Inside Out 265: Art That Heals

01.09.13 | Martha Manikas-Foster

We heard about it during the political campaigns--and we’ll be hearing about it as school districts draft budgets for the coming academic year: the pluses and minuses of funding the arts.

Today on Inside Out we take that broad discussion and focus specifically on one of the benefits of the arts: a woman in Pennsylvania is using the visual arts to help individuals and whole communities heal and grow. Rachael Arianna Van Tassel calls her ministry Hope In Art.

“Everyone has a story,” Van Tassel says. “There are so many people out there that need to get their story out that it’s time for them. And they don’t know how to do it.”

With her ministry Hope in Art, Van Tassel listens to a person’s story, captures key elements, and creates from these elements a conte crayon drawing.

“Just the process of working through telling it—you can see that the person is going through a healing process and finally releasing the story. One young man told me that he felt God wanted him to finally tell his story and that’s why he was participating in the ministry.”

Those who view the art can better understand those who are telling the stories, she says, and often feel more understanding and connection when they find that the stories they see are similar to their own.

“I encourage them to try it to see how God is working in their lives,” she says. “Sometimes we have to take a step back to really see what God is doing.”

Click the “Listen” button above to hear the interview with artist, art therapist and Hope in Art ministry founder Rachael Arianna Van Tassel.

Click on this link to see her work and learn more about her ministry:

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Inside Out airs Wednesdays at 12:20pm EST during the Family Life Noon Report.


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