May 4, 2021
Hopewell’s Art Crew: Made with Intention
There is often a pleasant aroma that emerges from Hopewell’s art studio each morning – from the scent of freshly poured candles, drying herbs from the garden, or the blending of essential oils. Residents and staff work together on projects for Hopewell’s Farm & Craft Market in art crew, one of several work crews residents may participate in during their stay at Hopewell.
Hopewell is a farm-based residential treatment program for adults with severe mental illnesses and meaningful work is one of its program’s key components. Participation in daily work crews promotes personal responsibility, a structured routine, and an opportunity to contribute to the community. Residents learn to recognize and develop their unique sets of strengths and skills which can foster positive self-esteem and a sense of purpose.
Art crew in particular incorporates the therapeutic benefits of art and craft making. Hopewell’s art therapist Clare Conway, LPC, ATR-P, and art/garden Crew Leader Cindy Wagner developed a line of products that promote mindfulness and creativity. Over the past several years, the types of projects selected for our art crew wares have been intentionally chosen based on their therapeutic value – projects that are group oriented, environmentally friendly, skill-focused, and have a practical purpose.
Candle making, for example, is a group effort, with recipes and precise steps to follow. One resident is tasked with melting wax while others prepare scented oils. Another cleans the jars and sets the wicks in place before the wax is poured. Then comes packaging – residents cooperate to box the candles and label them. Participating in the process from start to finish, while senses and connections to other group members are activated, makes for a positive start to the day.
Residents are given the opportunity to travel with the products to showcase and sell them at community art and craft shows throughout the year. They witness first-hand how their work impacts others and develop social skills and work experience in the process. In this way, residents connect with the ‘why’ of creativity, and how it pertains to their personal healing journey, the benefit of our community, and the wider world.
A portion of the proceeds from the market are donated to outside mental health organizations and services selected by the residents. The purpose of this is to strengthen our commitment to community as a healing force, and by paying it forward the work we do will go directly to help others who need the support. We believe we can extend the therapeutic value of our work by actively fostering such connections with the wider community.
Hopewell’s products can be found at the Hopewell Farm & Craft Market (open by appointment), at upcoming art and craft markets in the area (see below), and at www.hopewellcommunity.org/support-us/store.
WEST WOODS WEDNESDAYS
July 14, August 11, and September 8, 4:00-7:00 pm
The West Woods, 9465 Kinsman Road, Novelty, Ohio
FARM ARTISAN MARKET
August 8, 10:00am-5:00pm
Big Creek Park, 9160 Robinson Road, Chardon, Ohio
HOMESPUN MARKET DAYS
October 2 and 3, 1:00-5:00pm
Swine Creek Reservation, 16004 Hayes Road, Middlefield, Ohio
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