Art Program Offers the Homeless a Way to Express, and Renew, Themselves
By Lavinia Rachal
Special to The Washington Post
Thursday, March 19, 2009; GZ01
"I Rose From the Bottom."
The letters are painted in white and yellow, and have been stroked across a creamy fuchsia background on a small canvas board. It's part of a collection of works Alice Sims shows off by students in the art therapy class she teaches.
Sims is founder and president of the nonprofit group Art for the People, which offers the class at the Community Vision center's Progress Place day shelter for the homeless in Silver Spring.
Students have been taking the class for about five years, and Sims, 60, treats them and their art like her children. She proudly pointed out the genius touches in the abstracts, collages and paintings she pulled from a storage closet to show a recent visitor.