Artist and clinical psychology student, Mj Merkley is partnered with Jasper House Haiti, a non-profit operating in Haiti focusing on empowering women survivors of sexual exploitation, to produce a 10-day creative experience called Draw From Life. The focus was on self empowerment through an art-based leadership curriculum.
Using artistic projects to generate new healing techniques and discussions about self expression and leadership Mj and Jasper House successfully collaborated on curriculum that explored themes and patterns of being an empowered woman.
Jasper House Haiti is a U.S. 501(c)(3) non-profit helping Haitian women realize their ability to rise above opposition and be champions of change within their homes, communities and country.
Jasper House Haiti provides transitional housing, education, therapy and vocational support to women who have been victims of abuse and exploitation.
Young women around the world have the potential to be influential agents of change within their communities.
Project Draw from Life is taking an incremental step towards achieving this goal.
This hands-on experience is designed to promote self expression through positive psychology and the arts. By teaching new techniques and creating space for honest story telling, over 25 pieces of work are expected to be made by Mj and Jasper House Haiti residents in video, photography and mixed media format.
This work will then be exhibited with an option for purchase at a gallery space in San Francisco during winter of 2017.
Teach new techniques and mediums including collage, painting, printmaking, and photography.
Supply curriculum that creates original avenues of self expression and promotes healthy dialogue for positive psychology in everyday situations.
Promote self-reflection through an experiential focus on visual art.
Equip Jasper House Haiti with the products, tools and techniques to continue to offer new forms of art (painting, drawing, print making and journaling) for women who have been victims of abuse and exploitation.
Explore techniques to build self esteem, empower and awaken leadership qualities.
Curate an art show in San Francisco to display and sell the women’s work for a broader audience.
Present a video compilation, photo series, and other supplementary output from the project.