By Laurie Wechter
Over the past several holiday seasons, the ArtBreak Studio program, run by Becki Spangler, has conducted a popular window-painting workshop led by Mary Thiefels and her TreeTown Murals team. Mary and her talented crew have worked together with residents and ArtBreak volunteers to decorate the indoor side of the Delonis Center’s dining hall windows for the holidays as a traditional holiday celebration.
TreeTown Murals artists would paint outlines of designs, such as ornaments. The outline might be 16″x 16″ for a Delonis participant to fill in with their own painting. TreeTown workers would then offer help with inspiration and/or technique when needed.
The result was transformational. The cheerful, bright paintings always helped turn the view from gray and sad to festive and glad!
According to Spangler, “The residents always look forward to this event, and their creations have been both beautiful and amazing.”
As painting communally was not possible this year, due to COVID safety measures, Thiefels and TreeTown Murals generously offered to continue the tradition of beautifying the Delonis Center, and painted all of the windows on the outside entrance to the building with a lovely holiday scene. Spangler states that the window display “adds some cheer for some folks who need it most. Indeed, this kindness is in the true spirit of the season.”
The Delonis Center personnel, ArtBreak volunteers and the homeless residents thank Mary and TreeTown Murals for their gift of love!
Begun in May 2017, ArtBreak Studio was inspired by similar programs throughout the country. With a well-established program for people currently experiencing homelessness in Ann Arbor, the enthusiasm to provide a program in this community was an easy fit with the Robert J. Delonis Center. The studio is a supportive, safe, and welcoming space where once-a-week art instruction and the freedom to create is paramount. For more information, click HERE
TreeTown Murals: Creating opportunities for art to be transformative. Vision: “We believe mural art helps foster unique connections between people and places, in addition to encouraging community involvement and economic development.” For more information, click HERE