Sometimes the smallest hands have the biggest heart.

Such is the case for 4-year-old Jonathan Nathaniel Mathis.

Using brushes and sometimes his fingers, the Grove preschooler has created a series of artwork centering around the theme of love and family.

The paintings, created in a variety of sizes, will be featured in a Love Others art show from 5 to 6 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 17, at his mother's photography studio 602 South Grand, Grove.

The show, with artwork for sale ranging from $1 to $10, will benefit Petra's Closet - a ministry which helps students with in the Grove Public School System obtain needed items, primarily clothing.

Petra's Closet is the non-profit picked as the 2018 COW Week beneficiary. Multiple fundraisers will take place in the coming weeks to benefit the program run by Jenean Perryman. The ministry is based at Church of the Shepherd, Grove.

Mathis plans to have approximately 50 pieces of art on display during the show. 

"I want to raise money for kids, so they can have food and clothing," Mathis said. "I want to really help them, so they have clothes to put on, so they won't be cold."

How it began

Mathis, a student at Grove County Day Academy, has been "painting for a while."

His mother, Katherine, recalls how as a baby, Mathis would paint a picture using his mouth to hold the brush.

The idea for the art show grew out of lessons, Katherine has been teaching her son about serving others.

At Christmas, Mathis worked alongside his mother, as the pair collected toys for Be The Change, a local non-profit who helps families within the Grove area.

From that experience, as well as lessons about helping others, who aren't able to help themselves, the idea to do an art show blossomed.

"It was a way he thought he could do something," Katherine said, "And give people a place to donate money, to give to kids who are in need."

Mathis said he wanted to make the paintings, to raise money for Petra's Closet, "because it's really nice to help everyone."

"I feel happy when I do that [help]," Mathis said with a grin.

Through the experience, Katherine hopes her son - as well as the other children who attend - learn that every little bit helps.

"We can teach them at an early age about God, and about helping other people," Katherine said. "We can give them a heart for [giving], to help other children."

Ultimately, Mathis hopes he can show other people about love.

"It's so other people can know about Jesus," Mathis said. "I know some things, but I don't know it all yet.

"I just know that Jesus loves you."

Mathis said he's exited, and a bit nervous, about the show.

"It's exciting to help other people," he said. "We've given out lots of invitations."

Mathis is the son of Katherine and Bobby Mathis and the grandson of Betty and David Navorska. In addition to attending preschool two days a week, he likes to run, read and watch Rescue Bots.