Art for Healing
What We Believe:
We believe that even the smallest difference created in a day or in an environment can have effects that ripple out and touch many. The experience of art interrupts endless stress, captures the heart and mind in moments of positive experience.
Places Where We Serve:
The sites where Mending Spirit projects are placed are where clients as well as caretakers are stressed and traumatized, and where there may be little funding, time, or energy for art or creative activity.
Locations we serve:
Transitional Housing (Homeless- transitional houses/ halfway houses)
Youth- Schools/ youth in crisis/ juvenile detention/ recovery/foster care
Elderly Elder care/Rehabilitation/ hospice/ Incarcerated elderly
Medical- Skilled Nursing/ infusion centers/hospice
Communities we focus upon for service:
We focus on low income, underserved, poor, LGBTQ+, and refugee communities in the Philadelphia and surrounding areas as well as nationally.
You may not be able to enter these lonely, stressed, anxiety ridden places. You may not have art to share or time to spare, but through Mending Spirit you can reach them. Through firsthand experience we have learned that art reduces stress, stimulates the mind, comforts the body, lifts the heart, and heals the soul.
Mending Spirit, art for healing ~ where spirit is the life force we are healing, and art is the vehicle of repair.
Who We Are
D’vorah Horn is a studio artist, an education and professional development consultant and a therapeutic expressive mentor. She works privately with children, teens and adults as well as with groups. Her current studio and practice space is in Cheltenham, PA. D’vorah holds degrees in philosophy of education and political theory, as well as Masters degrees in human development (MSW), early childhood development, elementary education and Montessori education (Med). In 2014 D’vorah founded Mending Spirit, art for healing as a sponsored non-profit through Fractured Atlas.
“To be of benefit is a great honor to me. For me, Art, healing and service to others are completely connected and so I created Mending Spirit to bring this work into the world.”
Collaborating Artist ~ Stems By Meredith
Meredith came to her love of flowers and arranging in a twist of fate. One day while working at Vetri restaurant she was asked to arrange the flowers. From the first clutch of stems and vase she had found her path. Since then Meredith has been designing and creating arrangements for some of Philadelphia's most prestigious restaurants. Meredith has studied and apprenticed with numerous florists whom she admires – making bouquets and arrangements, designing for weddings and other special events. Stems was born of her desire to collaborate with others in making their memorable moments.
When Meredith started her business, she wanted to give back to the community. She knows from her own experience being treated for Crohn's disease how much people in lonely situations, battling for their health and well being, need connection and beauty. Meredith partners with Mending Spirit to do flower arrangement activities and to donate flowers leftover from weddings and events to nursing homes and women's shelters.
Amy Brewstein is a life-long event planner, communal worker, volunteer, artist and writer. In her spare time she is a partner in a family residential real estate business. One of her three (fabulous) daughters lives in an wonderful residential home in York, PA for adults with neuro-muscular disorders. To Mending Spirit Amy brings her passion for giving dignity, voice and beauty to places and people that so richly deserve it.
Co-Author of Fig Tree Stories, Collaborating Artist
Renie is a writer, teacher and administrator at Abington Friends School who teaches a 12th grade elective called “Telling Our Stories: Reading and Writing Memoir.”
Fundraising and Communication Consultant &
Etja is a results-oriented catalyst and practitioner with expertise working with women, elders, and individuals in transition, in both private and group settings. Etja has a background in the arts, movement, and healing. Etja also sings in Yiddish, English, Hebrew and Ladino in nursing homes and senior living centers.
Krista Thorp is a stage manager, arts administrator, and theatre educator. She graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts with a focus on Theatre Production and Directing in 2015 and has been in Philadelphia ever since. She has worked locally as a stage manager, assistant stage manager, house manager, box office manager, event coordinator, and director. In addition to working as the Assistant Director at Mending Spirit: Art for Healing, Krista is the Program Director at Yes! And...Collaborative Arts. She believes that love, presence, and openness are integral to every part of any art-making process, and feels so lucky to be able to practice that philosophy in her work at Mending Spirit.
Healing Window Paintings: How this work came to be
From Mending Spirit Founder D'vorah Horn:
"In 2009 I was working in a large urban hospital as a consultant training in a program entitled “care with compassion”. It was known that I was an artist, and I was approached to offer up ideas as to how to mask an unsightly construction project seen through prominent windows.
As I walked the halls of this bright, newly renovated hospital, I tried to sense what it might be like for the healthcare worker, a medical professional, a patient, or family member in this environment. I imagined the desire, but not time to go to the healing garden, or the limited view a patient has from the bed. I remembered the difficult walk down the long halls to comfort a loved one, or to work day in and day out with those who were ill, or perhaps to register for a medical procedure. I tried to imagine the days of rehabilitation, the narrow scope of stimulation and the potentially mind numbing lack of access to productivity. I tried to sense what I could do to positively affect these difficult realities.
Then I imagined the colors I could bring to this environment. The windows that could hold paintings of color and texture that would glow on grey days, colors that would cascade in like stained glass windows when the sun came through. This is how my work began, this was the birth of a connection between my paintings and bringing healing color into the lives of patients, families, workers.
The Current Work:
I paint on clear acrylic, with transparent and translucent colorfast paints, my style varies from completely abstract to realism and impressionistic imagery. I paint with the conscious intention of healing, of “mending spirit”. It has been very moving to find that my work aides healing by bringing color into environments where everyone is working hard to heal, stay well, keep their spirit intact, alive and strong. I have found that the positive effect of this work is not exclusive to health care related environments.
I began by bringing my work into individual hospital rooms, hospice settings, palliative care and rehabilitation centers. I gave pieces to individuals who were home healing from loss or injury. After the response I received I decided to create an exhibit that would go from location to location with the intention of freely sharing the work with the community.
I currently have a large collection of paintings that are being exhibited in over 30 locations around the Philadelphia area. Each exhibit lasts three-four months and the paintings are placed everywhere; activities rooms, eating areas, hallways, even in patient rooms. I had a survey created by a post graduate student at the White institute to follow up on collecting some qualitative date, but the real data is anecdotal, the response has been wonderful.
My goals are to see expansion of both the scope and breath of this concept, the concept of “Mending Spirit” through healing art. I would like to be able to continue to rotate the current exhibit through small centers and into larger hospital settings and Children’s hospitals. I would like to be able to continue to add paintings specific to each site as I have been doing so far, most of which have been collaborations. I would like to see the more sites be able to have permanent installations, specifically designed for their sites. I would like to continue involve shelter residents, public school students, incarcerated adults, patients, family members, health care workers, etc. in the creation of painted windows along side me.
I believe in seeing other healing art come into these sites. I have a flower artist, a weaver, singers, and a writer working with Mending Spirit, art for healing. I imagine a rotation of singers, musicians, poets, performers, even comedians; both volunteering and paid, (as we need to support their spirits as well) coming to offer healing art.