Saturday, March 14, 2009

Delta Jewels

Last weekend my mom and I, along with friend and artist Kerry Smith, journeyed down south, past the casinos and Paula Deen's Buffet to Helena, Arkansas. When my mom falls in love with something, she falls hard, completely, and it was with this fervor that she introduced me to the Delta Jewels. The DJs are beautifully made jewelry, but more importantly, they are a group of girls ranging in age from 9-18 who meet every Saturday in the home of Ben and Leonora Newell to create, catch up, and make their corner of Helena a little brighter. Mom has been selling their jewelry in Memphis, and I came along for this restocking trip to meet the girls, take some pictures and learn a little more about the Newells' mission.

I get the wanting to remake your town into the bright star it can be.

In Memphis, I have many fellow Memphians, native and transplants alike, to help along those desires.

The Newells seem like a mighty two person operation, using sheer will to create positive change. They have developed a lovely community garden with the hopes to have a food stand later this year. They are currently seeking a building for Delta Jewels central so that the operation can move from their dining room and into space that can truly showcase the girls' creations. But for the meantime, it's Saturday at noon, and that means the Delta Jewels are already hard at work in the Newells home, laughing, teasing each other, and making more lovely art.

Here is a slideshow from the afternoon:

(sigh...I am alone in the wilderness with this persnickety slideshow software. Hopefully you see the image of the slideshow. When you click the arrow to play, the image will disappear and take a moment..or 2...or 10 to load. Click the cursor in the blank space a couple times if it doesn't show. The slideshow should kick in at this point. If it doesn't, leave me a comment and I will go track down the CEO of Showit and I shall smack him.)


CarrieJ said...

I had to right click and then close out the box that was there before it would start.
The pics are lovely! And it looks like a very happy and inspiring endeavor!

Laura Matthews said...

Neat! Where do you purchase them? I'm all too familiar with that fam is in the Delta...south of Cleveland.

Richard said...

Hi, I am a volunteer for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Arkansas, and I was wondering if I could have a copy of your pictures of the Delta Jewels for a promo video for the work that the Newells are doing in Helena. my e-mail is Thank you in advance.