Messy Hands, Bright Futures


I’ve been researching curriculum to set up a few art projects for some sweet homeschooling students I know, so my mind has been deeply entrenched in the world of paintbrushes and smocks and pottery this weekend. Art has always been important to me – a nod to beauty, a practice of self-expression. It’s a way of making our world a bit brighter than it was when we found it; a high and worthy calling.


I love, love, love when brands, businesses and corporations embrace this, and I love even more when they enlist the talents of young hands to fulfill the charge.

Right now, Barilla Sauce is doing just that. Through their L’Arte della Cucina poster design contest, Barilla is inviting budding artists and designers in the US – young and old – to design a contemporary poster inspired by the idea that the fresh taste of Barilla Sauce creates fresh design expressions.


You can enter here, where the top five finalists will be chosen by a panel of judges (one of which is my friend Jaime – hi, lady!) and then determined by the public. The winner and a guest will receive a one week cultural trip to Italy for cooking classes, art museum tours and design school visits, or the monetary equivalent up to $10,000.


Bee’s entry needs some work (I can see your brushstrokes, young lady!), but I’d say she’s got a chance, right?


Kidding. No conflict of interest here; we didn’t enter. But we did find ourselves inspired by Barilla sauce and pasta this weekend, heading out to the backyard to paint some pasta necklaces for friends and family and smear some very, very edible “paint” onto a canvas.


You know, I used to fight my love for creativity and art and design. I stuffed it inward, opting instead to focus on more scholastic achievements – better math grades, higher level journalism courses, physical achievements that could be measured as worthy to the world.


It wasn’t that anyone explicitly discouraged art for me; it was just a byproduct of looking around to see what others valued. And art, in my immediate backyard, wasn’t one of them.


Yet the older I grow (and the more intentional I become in my parenting), I realize what a trap this can be. I realize how important it is to foster a child’s natural born creativity; to make messes and mistakes and continually search for the beauty in the process.


Art is love. Beauty is good. And creativity is so, so necessary.


Thanks, Barilla Sauce, for the reminder. (Friends, don’t forget to enter the contest!)

p.s. This is a sponsored post on behalf of Barilla, however, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive sentiments towards Barilla or their products. 

  • I share so much of the same story with regards to finding my way back to the natural born state of creativity. I want to let my daughter play, get messy, make mistakes and be her own little person. If she wants to pursue the STEM areas, go do it & momma will support it all the way(!), but I want her to have that time as a child to fully explore who she is and what she likes.

  • What a cool contest Barilla is hosting! That grand prize trip to Italy sounds amazing! Also amazing? Painting with pasta sauce! I may just borrow that idea for my 18 month niece and nephew…edible “paint” is right up their alley! :)

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