ABSECON — Dipping their fingers into bright colors and slapping paint on their palms, 25 girls from the Emma C. Attales Middle School spent Tuesday getting their hands dirty.

Kelly Sullivan, the lead artist and producer of the Mighty Fingers Facing Change project, had students make “super self-portraits” and encouraged them to make a little mess in the art room.

“That’s when they really loosen up a little bit, because there are no questions, no rules. They can really put whatever they want on it," she said.

"It will get a little bit crazy, and it’s fun.”

Sullivan passed out paper bags to each student. On one side, they used markers to draw symbols that represent themselves — such as plants, animals, instruments and machines.

She also asked students to create a vision statement, a sentence that outlined a positive action they could make in the world or in their community, and write it on their bag.

On the other side, they created a larger painting using their fingers instead of brushes. Sullivan did not limit them to a traditional self-portrait, encouraging them to try different styles and to paint over any mistakes.