top of page


Teaching Artist: Patricia A. Barrera

Site: Casa de los Soles, Fleisher Art Memorial

About the Project

The goal for this project is to investigate the impact of violence and trauma on our lives and the role that the arts can play in bringing community together to work toward solutions, process complex emotions, and respond to difficult situations. Through this project we invited participants from Casa de los Soles, community members, and therapists, to feel, heal, transform, and become part of the solution.

20160211_102608 (1).jpg

The Process
My goal is to create a call to action, encouraging participants to change attitudes of aggression or indifference by coming together through artistic expression. We invited a group of participants to share their powerful artistic responses to the pressing societal problem of violence. The participants made art for different reasons: to cry out against the injustice of violence, to deal with their complicated emotions related to personal situations and trauma, or, most importantly, to heal. Each work of art represent someone’s story. How can we come together as a creative community to make a difference? How can we use art to say things that are otherwise too painful to put into words? How can we spark conversations that might not take place otherwise or speak for those who do not have a voice? This project is also about our Self, who we are – or better who we think we are and how we think other people see us. We discovered what hinders us to accept and love ourselves as we are. And how we can find the key to a healthy self-esteem and self-confidence.


The project consisted of a series of easy and playful life-reflecting intuitive painting sessions. They gave students a chance to discover themselves in a new way. Essential issues of life were the guidance through each workshop. Beside different themes per workshop (i.e. Stress, Anger, Self confidence, Relationship and Family, etc.) the focus was to experiment with colors, brushes and other materials. Participants explored in a fun and playful way unknown sides of their Self. The project aims to create not only a collective awareness of the tragedies and trauma that people live every day not only in our country but in the world, but also to inspire people to actively engage in the practice of peace.

I believe that art making can make us "happier" through four positive forces that help us to be more resilient when challenged by life events, big and small. These four positive forces are: Connection, Compassion, Contribution and Courage. We all can use our own Creativity as a positive force that inspires and motivates us to deeply Connect with others, experience Compassion for others and ourselves, make Contributions that are meaningful and life-affirming, and have the Courage to tell our stories and speak our truths.

bottom of page