Earlier this fall, I attended “Shelter: Crafting A Safe Home” at Contemporary Craft in the Strip District. The show included mugs created by Pittsburgh artist Daniel See while engaging therapeutically with people experiencing homelessness at a local shelter. Dr. Jim Withers, founder and medical director of Pittsburgh Mercy’s Operation Safety Net®, and several Pittsburgh Mercy staff also attended the event. Daniel is currently a junior at Carnegie Mellon University. The sales of his handprint mugs support Pittsburgh Mercy’s work with people who are homeless.
I had a chance to chat with Daniel at the show. I shared my admiration for his project and his work. Daniel said he’s interested in training to become an art therapist. He said he was able to see how art and therapy can work hand-in-hand and would like to learn more about the field. So he could learn more about how Pittsburgh Mercy is using therapeutic art techniques to engage persons we serve, I invited him to come to the open art studio at our Wellspring Drop-In Center in Uptown.
On September 15, Daniel visited and engaged in our two-hour open studio at Wellspring, which has been operating for nearly three years. Daniel saw how the studio functions to engage individuals in housing crises by reaffirming their creativity and humanity, and how we share resources about other services we offer that may help them in their journey to recovery. Nearly all of the studio patrons on this day said they would like to start or get back into therapy.
Daniel was able to witness and give feedback on how he may be able to incorporate some of our therapeutic art processes into his own volunteer work.
It was great to host Daniel. We look forward to continuing conversations with him.
“Shelter: Safe At Home” runs at Contemporary Craft through Feb. 17, 2018. Learn more at www.contemporarycraft.org.