Staff and visitors who take a few steps inside of the Nursery's front doors will see colorful drawings of children hanging up on the wall.
The works of art were completed by Najha Fielder, a Crisis Nursery Lead Children’s Specialist. She was born in Okinawa, Japan, but spent most of her childhood days growing up in California. Najha said she can recall always participating in some form of art, whether it was singing, dancing or painting. She craved the spotlight.
Najha said as a black woman, she finds inspiration in portraits and photographs of African children. These are the subjects of her art hanging around the Nursery. Her work is original, but she blends aspects of two artists Romare Bearden and Jacob Lawrence, famous for portraying African American life during the Harlem Renaissance.
The artwork presents inspiration from both Bearden’s collage style and Lawrence’s colorful cubism. Flowers and bright colors are also defining features in Najha's work.
"I think flowers represent growth and beauty in the world," Najha said.
She will even find herself looking at the finished work in awe. Using pastels is her preferred medium, because she said they’re easy to use. When possible, Najha will incorporate items from nature, a tip she picked up while on a trip in the Dominican Republic.
Seeing her artwork around the Nursery inspires her to keep creating.