Lost in Hope | Create Hope Art Class

Bimala hears them before she sees them. Their joyful clamoring up the steps brings the quiet studio to life every Tuesday. It’s bubbling with joy. Everything’s laid out, made ready for them. We consider each student with great care and intention as we prepare each class. Create Hope a moment in their week — a moment, we hope, will lead into a thriving, joyful, purposeful season of life.

The atmosphere is crafted with care. From the thoughtful curriculum to the studio stocked to the brim with colorful paints and blank canvases. The entire experience is curated to take the students somewhere else; a place unburdened where they can create, explore, and find hope.

a place unburdened where they can create, explore, and find hope.

The students that attend Create Hope art classes are not aspiring artists or even necessarily looking to tune skills or pick up a hobby. Our art teacher, Bimala, specifically connects with women and children in surrounding areas who have been or are at risk of being abused or trafficked. Classes are often made up of roommates who are living in safe homes together, participating in programs designed to protect and care for them. Create Hope was designed to come alongside these programs. Art is just the medium.

And we’ve found that they love it!

When we see our students, they’re like any other group of school girls — eager for a break from class and homework and giddy to be somewhere new, doing something fun. Some of them are loud and make their excitement known. Others are more reserved, quiet with their joy … but it’s there. The art studio is a place for them to relax, a place for them to feel accepted and free to express themselves. 

Students come into the studio as they are. Some are carefree and wild. Others hold their hurts close to the surface. Some have yet to say a word. We welcome it all. The loving and kind way Bimala teaches reaches them all. They feel safe with her. They feel seen by her.  No matter the day they’re coming from, class provides a time to get lost in their creation. 

No matter the day they’re coming from, class provides a time to get lost in their creation. 

Most days, Bimala is hardly able to finish giving directions before students have picked up their pastels and slapped color onto the white page in front of them. While they create, they are encouraged to consider some of the more difficult parts of life with gentleness, with acceptance. There is no pressure, no expectation, or deadline… just time to consider what hope might look like.

What better thing to get lost in?

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