By Steff Echeverria - volunteer/substitute teacher
For some art is born from a desire to express lived experiences that require color, shapes and textures. A place for feelings to be put on a surface of some kind-possibly in a “coded” form to shield the inner sanctum. Art as healing- this is what the students of Women’s Wisdom Art produce everyday. The studio is a safe environment where the teachers offer projects that each woman then puts her own signature on, in more ways than one. Each piece of art is infused with each woman’s herstory, personality, color preferences and her sense of style. Perhaps sharing styles or methods, yet each piece created is as unique as the swirl of a fingerprint.
The women get their inspiration from their own lives; the multi-faceted teachers in the Wisdom studio; from donated art books and magazines; also from field trips the students take to museums and galleries. The women share with each other their favorite artists and experiment with their styles, such as Magritte, Picasso, and Chagall. Some of the women have been to school for art, or are currently enrolled, or they are self-taught.
There is a classroom budget to be adhered to, yet a lot of the supplies for the 10 classes currently in progress are supported through donations of supplies as well as monetary donations. It is stunning to see what creativity comes shining through each class, each day.
I believe one of the greatest gifts of Women’s Wisdom’s Art program at Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services is witnessing the transformations in the women as creativity spills over into all facets of their lives, like a sort of magic mortar. Strengthening their self-esteem and building confidence in more areas of their lives. Creativity is as necessary as oxygen-it makes life flourish!