Our young ladies recently had the opportunity to showcase the art they created over the past six months in our Craft Cottage at the second annual Art Show—in perfect timing with the beginning of Youth Art Month in March!

To prepare, our girls met with Craft Cottage Coordinator Nikki Sullivan to look over the pieces they had created since last June and choose at least one to two that they wanted to showcase. Each of the girls also had the opportunity to write a placard about what the piece meant or work with Nikki to write something about the piece.

Nikki said that while last year’s pieces showcased were more “random art acts,” this year the content was a little more focused.

“It seemed like the kids had more discipline in what they were creating and creating with intention,” she said.

“It seemed like the kids had more discipline in what they were creating and creating with intention,”

This year’s show featured many different styles of work, including fired ink art, paintings, 3D sculpture, and even conceptual art. One young woman did a piece where the viewer needed to look in a mirror and reflect on what beauty meant and then write on the mirror what they saw and what it meant.

The girls also completed group pieces—each home did a fired ink piece with Nikki that also served as a therapeutic activity. A representative from each home shared a little about their piece at the show’s opening event.

The girls work through a questionnaire together that asked questions about things like emotion, detachment, love, and relationships and as they answered the questions they put ink on the glass. If one of the girls resonated with what another said, she would also add ink to the glass.

“[There] was more of a collaborative, emotional component to that exercise,” Nikki explained. “I knew that was a really meaningful project as it was happening, but it was nice to know that even months later they were still reflecting on it.”

“I knew that was a really meaningful project as it was happening, but it was nice to know that even months later they were still reflecting on it.”

Because each piece was designed to have a deep meaning behind it, a number of young women presented their project and the meaning behind it at the show’s opening. A few of the girls also presented spoken word pieces.

An important part of the art show was allowing the girls to have control over what they were creating and sharing, Nikki explained.

“I had projects planned to an extent, but I really felt like they really wanted to have some control of what they’re making,” she said. “Because we give them so much structure, it’s nice for them to choose something.”

The show has even inspired more special art events at the Walsh Campus in the future. Sierra plans on putting together an event featuring her watercolor paintings and poetry series, while Destiny is in the process of creating a coloring book of surrealist images that she hopes to hold a signing event for.

Art therapy is such an important part of our kids’ treatment while they are at Mercy Home. It allows them a way to express themselves and cope with trauma they experienced in a healthy way. We are so proud of all the work they did and shared with us.