Sunday, April 22, 2007

Art as Sustenance

I saw something on TV just now I wanted to tell you about. It was on a PBS program called 'The Arts Within Religion'
There's a soup kitchen in Manhattan at the Church of Holy Apostles, an Episcopalian church.
Not only do they feed people who need it, they have arts programs, as they feel that creativity and the expression of it is just as basic a need as food.
It brought tears to my eyes.

When I was living in a bad home situation, without realizing it my focus became survival. I went for more than 2 years without doing anything I could call creative.
After I made some important decisions, I found my self longing to create again. I had oil paints and a brush leftover from a paint-by-number set my then step-son had finished.
I used that, and the cardboard from the back of a pad of paper and painted an elaborate abstract. It felt so good. So freeing. I cried as I painted and I cried as I finished it. One of the good things my then-husband did was to create a frame for it. He himself is an extremely artistic person (or he was when I knew him) but trapped by his demons which made him an unsafe person to live with.
I am so glad that the program in Manhattan exists. I hope many other places follow their lead.
It is when your life is worst, that you need the healing and expression of art the most.

They have a drumming circle, followed by an art session and they also have a writing workshop.

a quote:
"The arts and spirituality are very very closely entwined, that one of the ways we touch on the holy, one of the ways we touch on the mystery of our lives is through art."
Rev. Elizabeth Maxwell, Program Director Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen

(image is of the painting I did with the leftover paint. It doesn't have a name. Any ideas?)