#BUandBoston: Art for the Heart

This post is part of our #BUandBoston series, highlighting the work and research of BU students, faculty, and staff throughout the City of Boston and the Greater Boston region. Interested in having your Boston-related work featured? Tag us on Instagram or Twitter (@BUonCities) using the #BUandBoston or send us an email at ioc@bu.edu.

By Jaclyn Berman

Boston University’s prospering club, Art for the Heart, engages with the BU community and beyond to bridge the passion for art by supporting local charities. Through their art sales and craft nights, student club leader Morgan Devlin (CAS’ 24, Human Physiology) states that Art for the Heart “…gives artists a voice and an opportunity to express themselves while fundraising for and donating to important causes.” With new charities chosen every semester, students involved have the opportunity to impact the issues they care about through their creative creations.

Founded by Morgan during her freshman year, Art for the Heart was an idea that excited Morgan well before starting BU. Morgan describes, “I always loved art. I always saw it as a way not just to express yourself but also to be calm, meditative, and in the moment – and as students, we are always either studying or busy.” Art for the Heart serves as an escape for many of its members from the hustle and bustle of being a busy BU student and even acts as a form of art therapy. More than just a community outlet to destress and be creative, Morgan wanted to intersect this with the opportunity for artists to fundraise for different local organizations.

Art for the Heart hosts art sales where artists in the club come together to sell the variety of pieces they create during craft nights – from knitted scarves to sculpted pottery. 100% of the proceeds from these sales go directly to the selected charity by Art for the Heart, with a recent art sale raising $275 for Boston College cancer research. Morgan explains that Art for the Heart is not only a place for artists, but it is also a creative learning outlet for everyone to join in on learning a new art form: “A lot of our members are stem students, and they don’t often have the opportunity to do art or learn a new art form, but earlier this semester we had a crochet night and a bunch of people who had never crocheted before came together and made scarves and more.” Combining this artistic opportunity with the fundraising portion of the club compels students to make the time in their busy schedules to both be creative and give back since students might not have otherwise made the time to learn a new art form.

The innovative club emphasizes giving back to local organizations that people might not know about, but charities can be as broad as hospitals, labs, homeless shelters, and food pantries. Art for the Heart seeks to continue offering boundless opportunities for students to choose new and unique charities as the club progresses toward the new semester, with a potential new idea, including donating to a dental care charity. Beyond art sales, Art for the Heart has also initiated several food drives, where all donations went to the charity Haley House.

Aside from supporting local charities and the greater Boston community, Art for the Heart has a real impact on bringing the BU community together. The club’s various craft nights, where BU students come together to make art, provide a unique opportunity to make friends and collaborate. Morgan says, “I love the opportunity to meet new people, make new friends, and invite my friends. It becomes very collaborative and we also get to do things we all normally wouldn’t have been able to do.” Morgan continues by proclaiming that colleges need more spaces like those offered by Art for the Heart because they form a profoundly unique and artistic platform to connect with others and make friends.

Approaching the upcoming spring semester, Art for the Heart has exciting new plans to continue growing and supporting the community. One significant goal for the club is to host a new event where members’ creations are donated as winter-wear items like mittens, hats, and scarves. Art for the Heart plans to donate all of these winter items created during designated crochet and knitting nights to Warm Up Boston. This organization brings winter clothes to people experiencing homelessness all over the city. The club also plans to meet more regularly, work with more BU clubs, and hold more art sales, which have become increasingly popular for the people making and buying the art. One student club that Art for the Heart hopes to collaborate with next semester is BU’s chapter of the mental health organization Active Minds, to connect on the therapeutic aspects of art and the benefits for mental health.

The distinct space that Art for the Heart creates on BU’s campus is crucial and inspiring for a growing number of students. With Art for the Heart’s student leadership’s diligent work devoted to its club, Morgan looks confidently toward the club’s future in the broad impact of community art.