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The Appleton Compassion Project is a community art project led by inspired by Richard Davidson, PhD — a University of Wisconsin-Madison brain researcher who has studied people who practice compassion. Davidson’s research demonstrates that compassion can be learned and can be practiced as a skill. “A little more joy might be within everyone’s reach,” Davidson said.

Beginning last fall, more than 10 thousand Appleton K-12 art students and hundreds of others in the community received a 6-inch-by-6-inch white panel (tile) on which to portray their idea of compassion. More than five hundred tiles were distributed to Lawrence University student organizations, academic departments and offices at Lawrence. “It is our hope that as many members of the Lawrence community as possible will take a moment to have a conversation about the nature of compassion and to produce a visual image on a panel,” said Jonathan R. Vanko, a sophomore at Lawrence and president of the Lawrence University Community Council. “Through the Appleton Compassion Project, we have a unique opportunity to collaborate with others and to connect Lawrence with the Appleton community, bringing many of our neighbors to campus.”

The exhibition opens Sunday, May 1, noon – 4 p.m. at Jason Downer Commons. The Trout Museum of Art, 111 W. College Ave., and the Appleton Area School District are sponsors of the Appleton Compassion Project. The Trout Museum’s gallery space will also feature compassion tiles from more than 10,000 Appleton Area School District students.