There is something about the power of art. I miss it – and must put “paint” back on my to-do list.
When I was younger, I always enrolled in at least one art class to help me balance out the stresses of academia and life in general. I took dance classes, I took painting classes, I took drawing classes, and much to my father’s dismay because I was at a private university, I took a textile class. Do you know which left the biggest impression on me? The textile class.
Something big happened in that classroom where I learned to knit, crochet, and develop what ever I wanted with yarn and fabric.
The class was taught by an amazing woman who learned how to knit with pieces of fencing and scrap metal while she and her family were in a concentration camp. Her name was Luba and she was a kind, generous, and appropriately feisty woman. She had a great skill for teaching art and encouraging communication. There was never a dull moment. The 7 of us in her class became close. While we worked we learned about each other, disclosed personal information to each another, and learned to appreciate each others differences. It was powerful.
Luba was my professor and my friend. I became so close to her that I would regularly return to her class room long after that semester. I invited her to my college graduation party and I kept in touch with her while at law school. She taught me more than knitting, she taught me that regardless of your artistic ability, art is more than the end product.
Art is a tool that can help us to learn, explore, and develop powerful relationships with ourselves and others. It can force us to change our perspective and find new solutions. These are just some of the many reasons why I love art and will always encourage and support the use of art as a means for communication and therapy.