Vail Valley Prayer Flag Project collecting hundreds of messages of encouragement, faith, love |

Vail Valley Prayer Flag Project collecting hundreds of messages of encouragement, faith, love

Local art project creating national momentum

Prayer Flag Project details: Blowing in the wind to spread compassion and goodwill into all pervading space, Prayer Flags send messages and mantras of inspiration, hope, peace, and strength into our local and global community. How to participate:
  1. Use white fabric you have around the house (sheet, pillowcase, canvas, dish towel, etc.)
  2. Cut to approx. 8”w x 8”h
  3. Create! Paint, draw, journal, use words, symbols - express your message freely. Artwork is accepted in any medium (markers, paint, ink, stitch, applique, collage, etc.)
  4. Drop in the mail to P.O. Box 754 Edwards, CO 81632, using a standard envelope and stamp
  5. Stay tuned for ongoing project documentation and details on Facebook @projectseedlingcreative and Instagram @projectseedling or email heidi@projectseedling.comwith questions

Prayer Flag Project

Heidi Cofelice is creative and optimistic by nature, so when the Vail Christian High School art teacher asked herself, “What I could do for my students?” a breeze kicked up and answered her question.

Like most of us, Cofelice has a side hustle. She is also the creative director and owner of Project Seedling.

“My tagline is plant a seed and watch it grow,” Cofelice said.

What’s growing is her idea to create flags. Call them what you will — prayer flags, encouragement flags, hang-in-there flags. They’re about the same size as Tibetan prayer flags. In the Tibetan tradition, every time a flag wafts in the breeze a prayer goes up to heaven.

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“It’s meant to honor the original context of the Tibetan payer flags. The white flag is tabula rasa, blank canvas, for folks to express themselves in any way,” Cofelice said.

Some of her Vail Christian High School students emblazoned their flags with scripture, which is great, but not a requirement, Cofelice said. In fact, there are no requirements, only suggestions: the flags are 8 inches square and should depict something encouraging.

‘Making art is so cathartic’

“I sat at my sewing machine and cranked out 150 of these flags for my high school students and private classes,” Cofelice said.

She has dozens so far, on the way to hundreds and maybe more than a thousand.

“People are running with it. It’s inspiring to see what people are coming up with.” Cofelice said.

She has visions of permanent displays, certainly in her Vail Christian High School classroom and maybe other places — a reminder of that time when we really were all in this together and acted like it.

“There’s an obstacle but we can overcome it. Making art is so cathartic. We need an outlet like that,” Cofelice said. “The bigger it gets the more inspiring it will be.”

It’s the first time the Colorado native has curated a community project. Her friends in the Front Range are involved, as are friends and others in the valley, Vermont, California — from sea to shining sea.

“This began as a small project for my art students at Vail Christian High School to create a meaningful art installation, but is quickly growing and I’m now hoping that we will have hundreds, even thousands of entries to compile into a much larger public art installation to display somewhere in our community, serving as a visual reminder that we are all in this together and there is great hope on the horizon,” Cofelice said.

Cofelice has been talking with her students about this since late February, said Vail Christian High School headmaster Steve O’Neil.

“She’s a rock star and has been talking about selfless acts and service since late February when corona was an abstraction in the valley,” O’Neil said.

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