With key funding from the Ten Friends organization of Sisters, the Hopeful Home is a children's orphanage in Kathmandu, Nepal where Sisters alum Leyah Jensen has just visited as an artist-in-residence. Jensen came to the orphanage after wrapping up a five-week residency in Orissa, India, in which she was selected as one of 20 international artists to study the ancient traditions of pattachitra painting and carving at the Raghurajpur Heritage Village.

"I gave the children no direction whatsoever on what to depict," says Jensen, whose support for the venture came from Sisters-area patrons along with aid from Ten Friends. "Though I had planned some lessons, the kids jumped right in as soon as they saw the supplies. The paper wasn't even all cut before the children were deeply concentrated on making pop-up hearts and painting birds."

The traditional colors of Nepalese art is often subdued pastels and earth tones, but the children were unrestrained. As Jensen states, "I was amazed by their sense of freedom and the drive with which they each worked, resulting in an array of bold designs that I never could have conjured."

The fruit of their labor will be a quilt, specially designed by the children themselves to reflect their hopes and dreams for the future. The "Hope Quilt" by the Hopeful Home Orphanage will be auctioned during the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, with 100% of net profits going to fund the educational costs of it's designers.

To learn more about the orphanage and the organization visit www.tenfriends.org.