Saturday, December 26, 2015

Art-Making builds Resilience

BuildaBridge features artists Hope Mead and Robert Kelleher in this video illustrating how art-making has made a difference this semester.  Groups this semester took place at the Philadelphia Refugee Mental Health Collaborative's (PRMHC) new storefront site in South Philadelphia, Southeast by Southeast.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Boat Full of Emotions

The PPR (Philadelphia Partnership for Resilience) Families and Children’s group reflects on the mural that they have been working on for the past several weeks.  PPR is a collaborative between BuildaBridge, Nationalities Service Center (NSC) and Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIASPA) providing services and programs to survivors of torture. The weeks’ themes have been “travel” and “home”, two issues of concern for all refugees. They reflected on what could be in the conversation bubbles next to each of the people.  The figures in the boat were made by tracing each of the group members’ silhouettes, and the stars that reflect light to the waves in the ocean were made by participants tracing their hands.
Jeane Cohen (Lead Artist), Mimi Scalia (Assistant Teaching Artist) and Hayley Strickler (Volunteer) led the workshops.  Each workshop examined a topical aspect of self reflection, identifying barriers, tools, and skills for resilience related to that aspect. For example, the topics addressed were:
  • Language as a platform for self-expression
  • Emotion based Self Portraits
  • A boat as a metaphoric safety container
  • Generated maps as a tool for understanding that home as place can be flexible and what you make it
  • A sail to learn how to be aware and in control of self directed activities
  • Water and the ocean as a metaphor for movement and change
  • Created stars of people who are important to us to remember that they are watching out for us
The artwork made during each workshop served as a component for a small-scale mural, or wall hanging collage. All of the components were created individually and then combined together for the final class to reflect the interconnectedness of the different components of healing and resources explored. They then provided a strong and lasting image of the process of resilience.
The final image included figures of emotion, speaking created languages in a boat of safety with a sail of direction, traveling on the ocean, at night time with a map in the sky and stars of guidance.
The final piece is 10 feet x 10 feet.