Art Used as a Healing Tool
Written by Jennifer Fernandez
I was assigned to visit Mr. Hashem in the Fall of 2015 and my goal was to provide him companionship and anticipatory grief support to his beloved wife.
When I first met Mr. and Mrs. Hashem, I was welcomed into a happy home filled with love and art. The walls are full of incredible paintings and bookshelves filled with picture albums of their travels all over the world.
Talking comes easy for Mrs. Hashem, but Mr. Hashem, although very friendly, is not the chattiest. He speaks effortlessly through his art. Anyone can see his talent clearly from looking at his paintings and it is still visible in the paintings he does now.
Mr. Hashem is an artist. He spent his life creating large buildings as an architect and enjoys painting beautiful art that hangs around his home. Mr. Hashem speaks through his brush strokes, by teaching me, with critiques and praises. As someone who is not an artist, this was a perfect opportunity to learn from a talented artist. On our visits, we sit down and draw or paint still-life. The sessions are filled with suggestions from Mr. Hashem, questions from me, the sound of music playing in the background, easy silence and happy chatter.