Messing with Mixed Media for Art (Therapy)

Rev. Dr. Me!
I am an ordained minister and an academic. It is an odd combination. I also was a mixed media artist for 25 years prior to my current combo-profession. Hence: artsy theology! Every time I explain the concept of "artsy theology" and say it is "art as a ministry of presence," inevitably the response is, "Oh, you mean art therapy." Yah, sort of! I'm not a licensed therapist. I fall into the category "related fields." My related field is specifically spiritual. Thinking, reflecting, and expressing theological and spiritual concepts through art helps to sort, process, and express diverse thoughts and feelings. And yes, ultimately it is therapy. However, my interest remains theological. Where is God present in this particular experience? How can one trust God in the middle of a detention center? How can one have hope? Art is a universal language which helps to name what otherwise cannot be named. And so I pack up my two jumbo suitcases full of art supplies and gratefully appreciate the privilege of facilitating art with women and children who are locked inside a so-called family detention center as they seek asylum in the U.S. from the violence in their homelands.Their art also helps me to share their stories from a theological (social justice) perspective. The kids prefer the art; the women prefer doing jewelry. Compromise: art during the morning session and jewelry in the afternoon.
I put the art supplies in see-through tubs with the content clearly marked on one end.
Watercolors, crayons & pencils are are set out on each work table. The extra FUN supplies are on one messy space.