Visions of the Invisible Ones


from "A Place at the Table"
Art created by The Homeless Artists and Volunteers of
Trinity Cathedral's heARTspace Outreach Program
Cleveland, Ohio


Mary Ann Breisch and Rad


Believing 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


Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
2230 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44115



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  For more information on Trinity Cathedral - Cleveland, Ohio, and their Front Porch Ministry, visit the ECVA Featured Congregation article by clicking here.  

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2007 The Episcopal Church and Visual Arts