Last October, the Allentown Rescue Mission introduced bi-weekly art classes for men in its Transformation Program to reduce stress and anxiety and offer them a creative outlet for their emotions. Six months after its inception, the Allentown Rescue Mission is pleased to report that the art program continues to be a success and impacts the lives of the men staying at the Mission.
Recently, Wendy Navarre and Erik Fuqua, designers of the art program, implemented a simple recognition program that has sincerely touched the men. They display two paintings as Paintings of the Week in the lobby of the Allentown Rescue Mission. Then they photograph the artists with their paintings and send a brief story about the men and their work to the staff of the Allentown Rescue Mission. The stories are also posted on the Mission’s social media sites.
Some men have had intense emotional reactions to seeing their artwork displayed; the majority of the men are sincerely appreciative of the recognition. “Some of these guys may have never gotten any recognition in their lives, and something as simple as hanging their painting on the wall can be a turning point for them,” explained Fuqua, Development Director of the Allentown Rescue Mission.
The Allentown Rescue Mission would like to invite its donors to check out the Paintings of the Week in the lobby of its Hamilton Street building. They can also admire pictures of past artists and their artwork on the television monitor in the lobby when making donations. The men are working very hard to become productive members of our community, and building their confidence is a key component to their success.