Flagler County Art League donates $500 to make sure program has the materials needed to provide the courses.
Art is an important part of the day at Project WARM, Women Assisting Recovering Mothers. On Friday, Oct. 30, Project WARM received a $500 donation from the Flagler County Art League.
Case Manager Roberta Thomas, Alicia Vincent, executive director, and Kenya Griffin, assistant executive director of WARM, took the FCAL representatives on a tour of the facility, especially the art room.
“Just finishing a simple project can be earth shaking, especially when they take nothing and make it into something.” Roberta Thomas case manager at Project WARM
A recognized stress reliever, art also helps the clients at the Vince Carter Sanctuary to feel accomplishment.
“We use it as an exercise in completion,” Thomas said. “Most people that come into the program have not been successful or completed anything under their own guise,” Thomas said. “Just finishing a simple project can be earth shaking, especially when they take nothing and make it into something.”
Thomas says she is not an art therapist but enjoys working with the women, teaching class twice a week. The classes start with a color theory class to teach the basics. In this class the students learn the basic techniques of water color and acrylic.
“We have a specialty class for clients referred by the counselor, clients dealing with trauma,” she said. “These classes don’t get larger than six or seven students, and no children. We have them in the evening and work on very specific pieces that deal with trauma or the uniqueness of feminism.”
As a medium, watercolors can be hard to control, much like the clients’ lives at the moment.
“It has to be done in watercolor because there is very little control with watercolor so they learn watercolor techniques and they apply them to these places in their lives, these times in their lives,” Thomas said. “We talk about it while we are doing our work. I am holding the brush and I am dipping the paint, but the watercolor goes where it wants.”
Thomas said it is rewarding for her to see the pride in the women when they realize they have created and completed a piece of art.
The amount of artwork adorning the walls, drying on racks and on the window sill of the small room, illustrated the success of the art programs. Two kilns in the room are going to be the focus of new volunteer art teacher, and art therapist, Wendy Roth, also a member of FCAL. Some of the money donated by FCAL will be used to purchase paper clay; a medium Roth said is stronger and yields successful results.
“Miss Wendy is a blessing from the sky,” Thomas said.
“We wanted to be more involved in the community.” Ann DeLucia, president of Flagler County Art League
Roth, who began volunteering at Project WARM four weeks ago, approached FCAL president Ann DeLucia about soliciting supplies from the members.
“I went over to the art league to talk to Ann on the Friday afternoon after I taught my first class,” Roth said. "There was a class going on."
Roth asked the class if they would be willing to donate art supplies, explaining that the program didn’t have much money and few supplies. The response was immediate as members thought of items they had to donate.
“I gave a talk to the women at the Elks Club and they gave me a lot of stuff too,” Roth said.
DeLucia said that while the art league is involved in community projects, including the schools, they had not been involved in Project Warm.
“We wanted to be more involved in the community,” DeLucia said. “The Whitney project earned us all this money and we wanted to give it back to the community for the arts. I asked Wendy, ‘do you think Project WARM would like a nice donation?”
For Thomas, who spends some of her weekend going to garage sales in hopes of finding supplies, and even old painting that can be painted over, the donation was indeed a blessing.
“What we have is from the generosity from people in the community, and SMA gives us what they can, when they can,” Thomas said. “It’s wonderful when the art community can come in and lend their support. With your contribution you are allowing more art classes to happen. “