Peace on Art
Welcome and allow me to introduce myself. I’m Jen Russo, mother to a free spirited, two-year-old boy and Creator of Peace On Art. We’re a brand of modern kids clothing designed to better show the World the life lessons we want for our hip kids: an appreciation for earth and equality, the ability to live simply, and the importance of giving back. All designs are hand drawn by yours truly (inspired by my son Parker) so they’re just as genuine as the kids wearing them.
The designs are screen printed on soft US made American Apparel shirts by the talent at Artists For Humanity in Boston: a non-profit organization for under-resourced young artists. Me and Peace On Art are still evolving on our mission to bring positive back to life, but without further ado, here’s a the story of how and why I’ve got to this point:
After a career in the non-profit world I spent some time toying with selling custom children’s paintings, and while I love painting, making a career of it wasn’t striking me emotionally, and the seeming way of our world was leaving me less and less hopeful. Ten days before my son Parker was born in July 2012, the baffling Aurora CO movie theater shooting happened; then five months into motherhood we were disheartened by the Newtown CT Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting; and four short months later the Boston Marathon bombing went off a mere 26.2 miles from where I live with my little family in Hopkinton MA, the home of the Marathon’s starting line. Innocent children traumatically affected by each event. Being a mom through it left me with a heavier heart than I could comprehend. All this before my son had even been in the world a full year. How do I keep my baby from knowing these tragedies? How do I explain all the negative of our World to him? I can’t. But I can bring positivity into my son’s world and we can share it with others. I can help kids know the greatness of life. I immediately began sketching and illustrating phrases that I want present in my Parker’s life and found the most innocent way to display those expressions: on his clothing. Because kids wear our heart on their sleeve.
But how else could I “give back” to make charitableness a part of Parker’s life? Not long after having that though I was introduced to the folks at Artists For Humanity, a non-profit organization in Boston who shares my vision that the youth are our future and our hope, and we need to help them harness positive expression and appreciate sustainability. The organization gives under privileged, artistic teens a safe environment to pursue a career in the arts through education and paid employment.
These young artists immediately stole my heart, and I’m now proud to be able to say that I help those artists with further employment and experience by having all Peace On Art’s t-shirts screen printed by Artists For Humanity’s printing department. Another motivating fact? AFH’s home is the greenest building in Boston. Money spent is no longer a business investment; it’s giving back; it’s investing in our youth and their future and giving them a piece of the life I’ve been so lucky to find.
I want to give other parents the chance to express these essential life lessons to their kids through my designs. It’s so important to share the positivity that now runs through my house. Let’s make sure our little ones always wear the happy heart we have for them. Thank you for helping me bring positive back!