Meet the monsters of the Jennifer Nolletti Memorial Art Foundation. They don’t have names. You will have to introduce yourself. Approach at your own risk. They might all try to come home with you. They are soft, they are silly, they are the most fun to take on a field trip and I can personally attest that they can fill a little hole in your heart.
Rosemary Nolletti, a volunteer in the DFAC gift shop where these are sold, makes the creatures to honor her daughter who was an elementary school teacher and artist herself. She created the foundation which provides funds so students can continue their education in art and/or music.
“Jennifer loved school and was in the process of applying to USF for her MFA,” Rosemary shares. “One of her main concerns was how would she support herself on her teacher’s salary and also pay tuition.”
“I usually start out by choosing a yarn and/or colors and then they just kind of get their own personalities,” Rosemary Nolletti says. “I feel their job is just to make people smile and if I smile when they’re completed, then it’s a yay!”
She wants Jennifer to be remembered positively—with happy feelings and thoughts. “She loved her elementary kids and I (subconsciously) thought these monsters would accomplish this little bit of happiness.”
OH YES, THEY DO!
Story and Photos by Leslie Joy Ickowitz