Mary Ann Breisch
that we are all broken, longing for home and community,
I have come to experience the healing process of making
art as a way of building community. I
was invited to consider how we might use that idea with
the heARTspace Program here in the cathedral. Unsure of how to get
started, I began by drawing portraits, and witnessed a miracle of transformation.
As I drew, I was drawn, into the heart of God, seeing God’s face
in every person. As each “invisible” person experienced being “seen”,
they, in turn, began to look at themselves differently.
Every Sunday from 8:00 a.m. until noon there is a quiet gathering in
Trinity’s Cathedral Hall, in the heart of Downtown Cleveland. Individuals,
who are primarily homeless and unemployed, come to seek food, shelter
and fellowship. On a cold winter day, we may number two hundred. We converse,
play checkers, rest, make music, and read the morning paper. We
worship and share a meal. Some of us participate in Bible Study.
Sometimes students from the CSU School of Nursing come and check blood
pressures or provide flu shots, or representatives from Legal Aid may
volunteer their counsel.
And some of us make art. When we gather, there is a table of “stuff”…paper,
pencils, pastels, paint and a variety of other materials. All are invited
to make pictures in response to a theme, or to create freely. We
share our images, words and stories. We are getting to know more about
each other, and more about how we are a community of creative and vital
individuals. The art table has become a kind of altar where we offer
the gift of our own imagination. Through the process of making
art, we create an image of community, all of us drawn by the need for
fellowship and a space to make art from the heart.
The work you will see here is a compilation of the pieces we have been
making since 2003. On view are works by artists who are homeless and
volunteers, many of whom are also professional artists or teachers. The
works range in quality and technique, but all of it comes from a sense
of the things we share in common as we come to the table—the gifts
of individuality and imagination.
Mary Ann Breisch, Curator’s Statement