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Baton Rouge artists paints positive messages on storefronts

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BATON ROUGE - When the COVID-19 health crisis temporarily brought everyday life to a screeching halt, writers, painters, and artists of all genres suddenly found themselves with more time for their favorite crafts.

While many use their talents to express a variety of deep emotions, local artist and LSU Fine Arts graduate Ellen Ogden is using her painting expertise to uplift a community that's been through a lot.

The effects of novel coronavirus were devastating in Baton Rouge and its surrounding areas, and as locals struggled to recuperate, Ogden wanted to do all she could to encourage them to keep going. 

So, as part of an initiative she's named the "Reflect Love Project," Ogden is painting uplifting messages on storefronts across the parish.

Now, passersby at JoVI's Taco's on Coursey Boulevard, Umami on Burbank Drive, and even Best Antiques in Denham will see bright and colorful messages that say, "Keep going," "sprinkle joy," and of course, "reflect love."

WBRZ's Rae'ven Jackson asked Ogden what inspires her work and Ogden replied, "I read recently that you can't have faith and fear exist in the same realm."  

She went on to explain, "I feel that when I'm putting these loving phrases out there, it ... makes people want to do good. Beauty has power to move people to feel good and stable." 

Business owners and others who'd like to see these uplifting messages on their storefronts or windows can contact Ogden via her Instagram account, which is @elloartist.

Cost can either be paid forward to another business or community effort or to Ogden herself, who will accept only a portion of the payment and then donate the remaining funds.  

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