After months of planning and a furious few days of building and painting, Selah Art Center is complete! What was once an abandoned house boat floating on the waters of Battambang, Cambodia, is now a colorful space ready for creativity and healing. We could not be more thankful for our wonderful partner, Rapha House. Their staff and volunteers are instrumental in the fight to end human trafficking and exploitation, and Selah Art Center is one more tool they will use to restore survivors of slavery.
The newly restored houseboat features a Lotus theme throughout the design. We love what Kim Lewis had to say about her inspiration. “The lotus flower represents purity, faithfulness, and vitality. Vitality is the ability to live, grow, and develop…the power to endure and survive. Growing in muddy waters, the lotus roots can go up to 4 feet deep. The deeper the waters get, the deeper the flower roots down to survive. Yet, all we see on the surface is this delicate, beautiful flower. For the design of the Art Center, I suggested the lotus as our theme for the boat because the girls at Rapha House have persevered through adversity, yet they radiate with pure beauty.”
When the completed Art Center was revealed to the Rapha House girls, they were amazed and began creating right away! Miranda Burnet, Founder and Creative Director of Flash Tats, brought metallic temporary tattoos for each girl to remind them that they are worth gold.
None of this would have been possible without our incredible team! Thank you to Kim Lewis, our visionary and lead designer, Meg Hulsey and Brooke LeMasters from Art Feeds who have been creating a new international curriculum to be used in the Art Centers, Laura Rhoades, who is assisting Kim with design, Jake Scott, our lead carpenter, Miranda Burnet, Founder and Creative Director of Flash Tats, Kate Zimmerman, a wonderful photographer, and our volunteers, Stacey and Madi Young, who were involved in the final build out of Connor Creative Art Center in Ghana.