The most exciting place at Marillac Social Center or St. Vincent de Paul Center is the Art Room.
When you walk in, you see colorful paintings hanging up to dry, kids gluing together projects, and even a kiln with freshly fired clay in the corner. Sitting at the table with her students is Edie Morris, the Young Expressions Coordinator and Facilitator and a certified Art Therapist. For over a year, Morris has used her creative skills to bring art into the lives of MSV students, encouraging them to draw, color, paint, build, form, and write whatever they feel.
"Art is powerful because it gives a voice to people in communities that are usually silenced and can have a big impact on dismantling systems of racism and inequality,” Edie Morris said.
Morris runs small weekly art groups for children in the pre-k and school age programs at MSV. “Our groups emphasize cultivating a passion for creative expression. We also use artmaking to develop problem solving skills, enhance cognitive, social, and emotional development, and increase sense of accomplishment and empowerment.” At the end of the school year, Morris puts on an art exhibit at each center to showcase the work of the wonderful young artists in her classes.
As a DePaul University alumna, Morris has a lot of enthusiasm for the Vincentian spirit of service. “MSV's mission and vision speak to my passion for social change to ensure equity, restorative justice, and empowerment for all. Art is powerful because it gives a voice to people in communities that are usually silenced and can have a big impact on dismantling systems of racism and inequality,” Morris said of her work with Young Expressions and MSV.
Student work from the 2019 Young Expressions Art Exhibit at Marillac Social Center.
“I was born and raised in the city of Chicago. I spent half of my childhood living in the Uptown neighborhood and the other half living in Humboldt Park. I’m really passionate about working with children and social justice programs that serve Chicago communities like the ones I grew up in.”
When she’s not creating art with her students at MSV, Morris volunteers her time advising student-led organizations at DePaul University and educating others about the profession of Art Therapy. We are so glad to have Edie Morris at Marillac St. Vincent and excited to continue our partnership with Young Expressions in empowering young people through art!