The Art Program is taught by Lesia Socher, professional artist, teacher, and children’s book illustrator. Each week, Farm House resident teens spend an afternoon exploring and creating artwork through a variety of media. Students learn techniques such as drawing and painting, scratchboard, mosaic, print-making and yarn. The natural world and its seasons, personal experience and imagination guide teens in creating original mixed-media pieces. Projects include mask-making, yarn painting and weaving, Ukrainian egg decorating, and Chinese painting with traditional bamboo paintbrushes and ink. One ongoing project is a mural painting on the walls of the recreation hall. Each student chooses a theme or group of images and, in the process of working through the subject matter, leaves their imaginative contribution in the space for present and future residents to enjoy.
Lesia is personally dedicated to the creative and explorative process of art. The art program also has a definite healing component. Art therapy involves creative self-expression to help resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight. This practice integrates the fields of human development, visual art, and the creative process with models of counseling and psychotherapy. As students master new media and techniques, they gain insight into themselves and the outer world. In time they may realize that they can shape their own life with the same thought, care and imagination they devote to a singular work of art.