As a healing community, Housing Works seeks to provide positive ways for clients to express themselves. One popular avenue is Creative Arts Therapy – part of our AIDS Adult Day Healthcare (ADHC) program. The Creative Arts Therapy program celebrates our clients creativity and healing work through its annual art sale and exhibition. We recently sat down with Kim Stevens, an art therapy and ADHC client and soon-to-be tenant at our own Keith D. Cylar House to learn more about her creative process.
See Kim’s work plus nearly 100 other pieces at Imagining Passageways: Annual Client Art Exhibit and Benefit at the Leslie Lohman Museum January 15 – 17.
Housing Works: Name, location, where are you from?
Kim Stevens: Kimberly Stevens, born in London, based in New York
HW: How did you learn about Housing Works?
KS: Another agency connected me with Housing Works about a year ago and I got involved with the Creative Arts therapy program about four months ago.
HW: How does making art make you feel?
KS: Creating art is a way of expressing yourself without using words. You can put anything on paper, how you feel, emotions, ideas, stuff for the future, stuff from the past – it’s really helpful. It’s not really important whether you can draw or not. You can draw stick figures, or colors, or anything and still express what you want to say.
HW: What’s your favorite material to work with?
KS: I was very set on using pencil and eraser, but since I’ve been at Housing Works, I’ve used all different materials. I’ve learned that everything doesn’t have to be perfect, I can just do a smudge on paper and that’s a way of expressing myself and it’s fun and so much better than what I used to do.
HW: In your opinion, how does the Creative Arts Therapy program help participants?
KS: I’ve done art therapy before, but people in the Housing Works group are just so cool. We work really hard on trauma issues which cause us to use drugs – it’s helping me a lot. Not only working on my drug issues but what caused me to use drugs. I think if you fix that, not using comes along with that. So the people are really trusting and it’s the safest group I’ve ever been in. You only have to draw what you feel comfortable with. I can draw stuff that really bothers me, I’ve gotten through a lot of stuff in there. And just to know that someone across the table has gone through something here has gone through something similar has helped me a lot.
HW: Tell us about your piece for Imagining Passageways?
KS: I love sunsets and sunrises and always liked the saying, “A promised sunrise is worth waiting for.” The sun is always going to come up. There is comfort in knowing that no matter how bad things may seem on any given day, the sun will always rise the next day without fail.