Thursday, April 18, 2013

Community Art: "When I Feel Safe, I ..." Exhibit at St. Luke's

by Joe Scarry
Member, St. Luke's Lutheran Church of Logan Square

On Wednesday, April 17, I joined other members of the community to enjoy children's art exhibited in Haberland Hall at St. Luke's Lutheran Church of Logan Square. The exhibition, "When I Feel Safe, I ...", was organized by Casa Central and Heartland Human Care Services and was part of a city-wide program: Children's Exposure to Violence (CEV) Prevention & Awareness Week, 2013.

Below are some of my favorites.

"When I feel Safe" by Joanna (age 9)

I was just blown away by the sensibility expressed in 9-year-old Joanna's work. "I feel safe with my teacher because when she needs help I help her and when I get hurt she helps me." ("Yo me senta se gura cuando estoy con me maestra. Porque yo le ayudo y tambien si me lastimo ella me ayuda.") What was so striking to me was not that she said that her teacher protects her -- though that certainly is part of what she said -- but that she described a relationship with her teacher, including the way she is made to feel safe and strong by being able to be the one who is offering help!

"Marking Art" by Jamarius (age 16)

I loved Jamarius' work. One way that it stimulates the imagination is simply by showing the portrait being painted -- the art within the art -- as significantly bigger than the artist. It led to an interesting discussion with Pastor Erik Christensen from St. Luke's. He said, "I see! When he feels safe, it opens up the possibility for him to do wonderful things, such as make art!" And I said, "I thought what this meant was that doing art helps him be in control of his world and feel safe." Maybe we're both right! (What do you think?)

"When I Feel Safe" by Rasa (age 9)

Rasa's artwork was in a class by itself! The ingenious use of materials -- such as grass and twigs to create a nest and fabric to make the person -- was marvelous. And Rasa's message conveyed an important perspective: "I feel safe when I can go out & watch birds nest their eggs while I sit in the sun." (Inscribed over a rainbow, no less!) Nature is restoring, strengthening, healing. And note the nurturing image of the mother bird and her nest carefully cradled within her conception. Impressive!

Finally, enjoy this image of 3-year-old Andrea and her family:

"Love Bug" Group Portrait - Artist and Family

Where's the artwork, you ask? Look closer . . .

"The Love Bug" by Andrea (age 3)

At St. Luke's, we believe the arts are a vital ingredient in community life and our shared quest for a healthy, happy life. We are delighted to have been able to host this wonderful exhibit!