positive place to create art



SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) – Art can be created in many different ways – from drawing to painting, there are many different avenues. At Union Gospel Mission, they use art as a creative outlet for guests and community members.

It may be hard to imagine, but this region of Union Gospel Mission used to be unused storage space.

Today it has been transformed into an art studio.

This is partly thanks to Heather Craig, who is now in Human Resources and Director of Arts at UGM.

“I was at a prayer service in my church and God said I was supposed to do art with people waiting, and I didn’t know for sure where it was so I asked my pastor after the prayer service what he thought it could mean and he said, ‘it’s funny you say that, I’m going to have lunch with the new CEO of Union Gospel Mission, and so I’m going ask her if there’s anything art-related you could do,’” Human Resources, Art Director, Heather Craig said.

This eventually led to her meeting the CEO.

“He said if you want to make an art zone here, go for it, so I came and the rest is history, we built it,” Craig said.

Now the walls are filled with artwork0 and the shelves are filled with paint.

It is a space that is used every week.

“We use the art studio weekly for the men, women and children we serve, but it’s also open to the community,” said Elly Heckel, director of communications and marketing development. “The art program is just a very big part of what we do and I know our guests, I hear stories from our guests who have enjoyed it, and it’s just a different outlet than some shelters, some shelters don’t offer art so it’s something unique to the mission.

Heckel says art can be a way to aid in the healing process.

“What we do is work, they kind of go from darkness to light because they’re able to come out of that darkness and find positivity and find things that make them feel good again. happy, or being positive and thinking positively, so it’s good to see that process,” Heckel said.

The art studio is open on Tuesdays from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. It’s free and open to anyone who wants to participate.

A partnership with ARSAwhich is a local non-profit organization, contributes to the achievement of this objective.

“I will come to help Heather and help paint, help give advice to people and want to have free art and relax and experiment with their own pieces,” says ARSA CEO/Founder Hannah Van Steenwyk.

ARSA CEO and Founder Hannah Van Steenwyk has worked with Union Gospel Mission for the past year.

“It was fun advising a few people asking ‘how do you get that kind of texture’, and then obviously with my experience I know how to get that texture, so it’s really fun, I like to see how others react to when they come in,” Van Steenwyk said.

Those with UGM want more people to use the space and collaborate with other organizations and artists. According to Van Steenwyk, something is worth it.

“I remember growing up and being involved from time to time with volunteer groups with UGM, I never really thought I would help cultivate their art program like I work with them now. , it’s cool to think about it, I would definitely recommend people get involved and come help serve,” Van Steenwyk said.

To continue to make this possible, the mission is seeking donations, to help stock the art studio. For items like canvas, sketchbooks and brushes.

“It’s a blessing when we get supply donations, a lot of churches and ministries are giving to this ministry right now, but we’re asking the public to help us reach our goal, between $6,000 and $8,000. $, for the art studio outreach program and that covers the costs of all the supplies we need to do this program,” Heckel said.

“What I ask is that people bring donations, financial or supply-oriented, and also bring their hearts here to serve alongside us and help people who need this healing,” Craig said. .

A positive place to create art.

“It really is a safe space to play in the paint and heal from whatever is holding you back,” Craig said.

As part of Hunger and Homelessness Week, on Friday November 18, you are invited to Union Gospel Mission for Friendship Friday. You can stop by the art studio from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. to create care cards, crafts, and art for those in need.

To donate, you can call 605-334-6732 or go to website. For any questions, you can email [email protected]

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