Is there a better way to show the powerful benefits of art than to create a giant project that anyone and everyone can participate in?
Ursuline College’s undergraduate art therapy department did just that at the Founders’ Week Open House and for several days after, by setting up their first community weaving project. On the third floor of the Parker Hannifin Center, there was a large loom set up, with myriad different color strips of fabric woven through the strings. Nearby, a table sat covered in baskets of fabric strips and markers, waiting for the next passerby. Everyone was invited to take a strip of fabric, write down a hope, a dream, a wish or a prayer on it, and weave it into the colorful tapestry.
The objective of the project is to create a beautiful piece of community art – something that is accessible to everyone, to which anyone can contribute. The accessibility to the community is what makes this art special – it is a living, breathing piece that you can touch, manipulate, and change.
When chatting with the students of Jennifer Schwartz’s, MAAT, ATR-BC, Art Therapy 101 course as they participated in adding to the project, they all agreed that it made them feel like part of something bigger. Several students went on to add that weaving in a piece of fabric made them feel relaxed and peaceful.
“The hope is to have the project displayed either here on campus in the art therapy department or somewhere in the community that people can see it and be reminded that they are part of a bigger web. We had so many participants from both the campus and greater community, and we want everyone to be reminded of that,” said Schwartz.