Standing in front of a vibrant blue oil painting, Shelly Abdalla, smiled ear-to-ear as her peers complimented her work, prompting her smile to widen even more.

Abdalla and six other women created their paintings, collages, and wall-hangings during a nine-month Art Therapy class offered at My Sister’s Place Women’s Center, a program that serves women who are experiencing chronic homelessness and poverty.

This week, the Center hung the art throughout its hallways for visitors, volunteers, supporters to view.  

One of the two instructors for the art therapy class, Emily Kendall, a graduate student from the Art Therapy program at Notre Dame of Maryland University, noted that the artwork reflects the challenges the women encounter every day. She cited a woven wall hanging, which is an on-going collaborative piece that depicts the safety that the women have found at My Sister’s Place Women’s Center.  

By creating these beautiful pieces of artwork, the women addressed their trauma and depression associated with on-going barriers in life and began to explore solutions to moving forward. 

“Our women have challenging lives, and through this class, they find peace, camaraderie and a creative outlet,” said My Sister’s Place Women’s Center Program Director Rebecca Lorick.  To learn more about Art Therapy and My Sister’s Place Women’s Center call 667-600-3700.