I believe the arts and creative self-expression put us in touch with our true selves, instill hope and add a sense of value to our personal lives, and to society. Even if we don't practice art ourselves on a regular basis, we are all creative individuals with our own unique way of seeing and experiencing the world around us.
Over the past twenty years I have developed and facilitated visual arts and creative writing programs in New York City, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and here in Providence, Rhode Island. I also founded and directed the non-profit art organization, fresh art, which serves New York City artists with special needs. Much of my work has been in under-served communities with homeless adults, people with mental illness, in recovery from addiction, people with developmental disabilities, the elderly, and youth considered at-risk. It is always amazing to me to witness the daring creativity and talent that comes out of these programs, and to see first-hand the many positive benefits that art-making brings to peoples' lives. It can be transformational when one begins to identify oneself as an artist and let the baggage of negative self-labels, or the idea of who is allowed to call themselves an artist, fall away.
Wherever one is one's life, and regardless of one's experience, making art can bring us joy. It can make us feel both calm and energized, as well as put us in touch with what matters to us in our lives. In my classes students will have the opportunity to explore their creativity, their way of seeing the world, and the world they dream of, through a variety of visual arts and creative writing projects.