Monday, January 26, 2009

Creative Expression at Mercy Ministries

After receiving many requests from the Mercy residents to add art classes to the program, art night has been incorporated into the girl’s monthly schedule. Julia Barlar, board-certified art therapist, visits the Nashville home twice a month. She teaches the girls techniques using a variety of tools including pastels, colored pencils, and markers to express their ideas and feelings. Every resident is able to make her own individual piece of artwork and is encouraged to express her thoughts and feelings through her work. When the girls finish their artwork they have the opportunity to share their work with the group.

Ashley MacLachlan, Nashville program director, believes art night is a great addition to the program. She said, "It allows for an unguarded form of expression for things the girls are often unable to verbalize. It also provides a great opportunity for the girls to further explore some of these deep feelings with their counselors."

Art night has been a hit with all of the residents. Here is what a couple of the girls had to say:

"I love art night because it gives me the opportunity to channel my thoughts and feelings into something fun and artistic. I especially like using pastels because they cultivate my creativity." - Sarah

“I love to express myself through colors and drawings. It helps me to be able to face some of the hurts from the past that I don’t know how to express with words.” – Allison

We would like to thank Julia Barlar for giving of her time and expertise to our girls.