Light & Verity

Day of Service: action painting

Mickey Dobbs ’92

Mickey Dobbs ’92

Twelve-year-old Talia Fragner, daughter of Matthew Fragner ’75, gets airborne while painting a mural in Los Angeles. She is flanked on the left by William Wright, son of Rob Wright ’89, and on the right by Cara Tracewell ’05PhD. View full image

"Adults don't have enough chances to get messy," declares Darcy Pollack ’87. So in organizing a Day of Service event for Yale alumni on May 16, she picked a project with plenty of slopportunities: repainting a vandalized mural at a Los Angeles elementary school. Then, committing an act of compound art, she submitted a photo of the event (right) by Mickey Dobbs ’92, which was chosen as the winner in the Yale Alumni Magazine's Day of Service photo contest.

The 60-some Angelenos who turned out to channel Pollock with Pollack were among roughly 3,500 Yale alumni, family, and friends who joined the Association of Yale Alumni's first international Yale Day of Service. They painted, cleared trails, sorted food, refereed basketball, and made recordings for blind and dyslexic people -- among many other projects -- at 174 sites in 40 states and 12 countries, according to the AYA's Alisa Masterson.

One of the more far-flung service days was in Istanbul, where organizers put together a slew of activities, ranging from a demonstration on natural disaster management to a museum visit with orphans to "rowing blissfully" with visually impaired children in a dragonboat race, reports Mehmet Kahya ’73. In an e-mail, he characterizes the events as "a day to remember: joy, fun, affection, empathy, sharing, understanding, helping, caring, taking and giving back . . . unblemished happiness."

Pollack matches his enthusiasm, if not his gerunds. "We just splattered more and more paint," she recounts. "We got the color on so thick, and then we added black and white to make it pop. People enjoyed the physicality of it. It's really fun to get messy." 

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