Out of pure curiosity I browsed around on Google yesterday checking out the value of the top 10 paintings at The National Art Gallery here in Ottawa. I encourage you to explore the same in your spare time; some of it is definitely interesting. Most of the paintings and art work exhibited there cannot be put with their price tag beside it for security measures that have been put in place…they are in the MILLIONS.
We can all look at the same piece of art, read the same book, see the same movie and feel and take away something completely different; that’s the beauty of life being unique and imperfectly perfect.
If beauty is in the eye of the beholder then art speaks to the heart through the eyes of those who choose to feel the emotions behind the paint and clay.
Art is a form of therapy, an emotional outlet, a best friend to talk to. Art can be raw and tell a story of past hurts or hidden scars. It can also be a way to watch a life and heart slowly transform, learn to trust, break down walls and build a safe community with support and unconditional love.
Up until a few years ago our home had some fancy prints of famous artists; that was until I came to Innercity Arts and met true artists with stories, faces and names. Now our home is proudly decorated with colors and hanging art depicting the talents and stories of REAL artists. For us we feel truly blessed to have gifted art in our home worth MORE THAN MILLIONS; the priceless stories behind them worth more than any amount of gold.
Purchasing art isn’t always about “agreeing” with the artist’s choices, it’s often how it makes you feel and the emotions that it either inspires or provokes.
Coming up soon is an amazing opportunity to meet our artists and purchase some real art at the 10th Annual Innercity Arts Show on May 9th. It’s being held at the Ottawa Art Gallery from 6:30pm-9pm. We can’t wait to see you there!
The definition of hope is as such:
Noun: The feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.
Other words describing hope? Belief, confidence, desire, expectation, faith, goal, optimism, wish.
That’s a BIG responsibility for such a small word…yet that’s exactly what our youth find at the Innercity Arts program. The word reminds me of our beloved 2-pound family pet Chihuahua named Princess; small but mighty.
Like all of us, our youth need encouraging words, community, safety, acceptance for who they are and the reminder that during the hard times there is hope and better circumstances waiting after the storms have settled.
Innercity Arts is my personal favourite place to be. Watching hearts and lives slowly transform as the youth learn to trust and open to the staff and volunteers who have been hand-picked to love and support them.
To be completely honest…they are my teachers. They have taught me what resilience of the human spirit looks like, what true community should be defined as, what real art looks like and how it should be more appreciated.
And they have also shown me how hope should always be at the forefront of our thoughts and the first words that roll off of our tongues….because watching the transformation come from it is breathtaking.
Our main goal at Innercity Arts is to make every youth feel loved. We don’t want the youth to just feel accepted or respected or tolerated. No….we want them to feel loved.
And they are easy people to love. They are funny, creative, talented, thoughtful….and so many other things. But I think it can be easy to love someone but sometimes it’s harder to feel loved. Especially if you’ve felt unloved for a long time. So my hope is always that the youth know we love them.
One night after our art program, one of the youth wrote this on her Facebook page: “I am always completely blown away by how much the Ottawa Innercity Ministries cares for its kids in their art program. We are a family, and they know that, and they don’t just treat us as a family, they treat us as their own family. The care these people put into the program for us is outstanding.”
Reading this meant so much to me. It meant that this young person felt loved by us.
30 Days of Prayer, 30 Seconds Each Day, In Honour of Our 30th Anniversary
This story is part of A Special Series this month in honour of OIM’s 30th Anniversary. We hope to raise awareness, challenge misconceptions, and honestly reflect the lives of those who call the streets their home. As you reflect on these stories, please take a moment to PRAY EACH DAY – just 30 seconds, in fact – for our ministry’s needs, including a permanent location for our Innercity Arts Program for Youth.
Thanks and God Bless You.