Art & Spirituality Program

One part of my internship at Emmanuel Church is with the Art and Spirituality program at the Suffolk County Correctional Facility. This program provides women housed at the prison with the time and materials to make cards to send to their friends and loved ones. They are provided with images that they can color in, and I have started drawing my own images for them each week. I have made drawings for specific holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving, images to use for birthday cards, and images for cards that are not for any particular occasion. Continue reading


There were many feelings going around after the election results came in, almost all negative: anger, sadness, and fear. Common art took place on Wednesday morning, so it was especially fresh in everyone’s minds. As I mentioned in my last blog post, we had started working on a “gratitude tree” – a tree drawn on poster board that the whole community helped color in, and started writing things for which they feel grateful on cut-out leaves and sticking them on the tree.

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Something I have noticed the last couple weeks of my internship with Emmanuel is all the stories that people tell. All three of the populations with whom I am working, despite the wide age range and different backgrounds, have many stories to tell. I have been surprised by how willing many of the program participants are to tell their stories. In common art, I have found several people making art about events that have happened in their past, and being very willing to share despite the sometimes intense nature of these stories. It felt meaningful to me that they were given this artistic outlet to tell their stories. I want to explore this further, and see if there are projects I can come up with that could enhance their experience of telling their stories through art.

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