Art Gives a Voice, Speaking Louder Than Words

Blog by Judy Engel, OPA

“Art is often intended to appeal to, and connect with, human emotion. Artists may express something so that their audience is stimulated in some way—creating feelings, religious faith, curiosity, interest, identification with a group, memories, thoughts, or creativity.” (Google definition)

The Angelico Arts Program for Refugees and Friends operated out of St. Joan of Arc parish in Toronto, Canada for 16 years (1992-2008). It gave refugees a way to begin to share their stories and start to build some relationships with Canadian citizens who could assist them in their resettlement process.

This is my life. It is torn apart.



These three pieces of artwork were done by one female refugee. She was a journalist from Oromo, a province of Ethiopia. There was an active rebel group opposing the oppressive Ethiopian government and she wrote in strong opposition to the government. Consequently, she and her family were targeted by the military and fled to Canada. The captions on each image are her commentary on her art and her life.





This is what happened to my village. It also is what happened to my life.














Now I have hope for my life here. I still feel torn, but I have hope . . .


Posted in Peace & Justice Blog

4 responses to “Art Gives a Voice, Speaking Louder Than Words

  1. Thank you, Judy, for these art creations which deeply touched me. Be assured of my prayer for all refugees and immigrants seeking healing after so much devastation.
    We need to see and do some art work ourselves! Thanks to Gaye Resiland here at the Motherhouse in Columbus, OH, our sisters are doing art work and enjoying it.
    God bless,
    Sr. Brigid

  2. I was touched by these art pieces and their captions. It made me think of and pray for the hundreds of thousands that are currently seeking asylum.

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