It was a day of celebration.
About thirty people gathered together to celebrate the opening of our very own artists space at the homeless shelter where I work.
I started art.works just after I joined the shelter two years ago. We've used borrowed space, continually moving and cleaning up, putting our supplies away, shuffling the works as we've moved along, sharing a multi-purpose room with many others.
Yesterday, our very own space was officially opened. What a wonderful day.
For M and R, two of the artists, the day was filled with pride and a sense of hope. Hope that this could lead to more, to something greater than its simple origins. With their art they are fanning the embers of a dream that life could become more than they imagine living in a homeless shelter.
For those who came and participated, there was a sense of hope and joy as well. Several politicians attended -- a coup in and of itself! In their attendance, we brought light on something that is integral to every human being -- The power of the creative spirit to keep hope alive.
The French have a saying, “Hope is the dream of a soul awake.”
When I witness the art of the clients who come to art.works, I am in awe of their spirits awakening. In their work, they create bridges of hope, of community, of beauty with those of us who walk on the other side of the street.
"There are no boundaries to art," said R.K, one of the artists yesterday. "There is no social or economic status, no judgement of how you dress, or speak, or even where you live. There is only the creative spirit."
It was a day of celebration. Of joy. Of possibility. Of hope.