Campus News: Belonging and Togetherness through Caring Hands art project

Residential Supervisor Dominic Monick explains the latest creative endeavor on the Latham campus, the Caring Hands project, which brought our students a sense of Belonging and Togetherness through the use of art and collaboration.  

We started the Caring Hands project back in November in the spirit of the giving season. Our purpose over the past few months has been to bring the students together through art. It was a simple concept, outline your hand or help another do so and color it as bright and vibrant as you could. The project was reoccurring for several weeks after its start. What I found were friends coloring each other’s outlines or collaborating together. Seeing the kids come together week in and week out to create something that became such a magnetic piece of art, was fulfilling for all of us. We knew once it was completed, we wanted it somewhere we could see it every day. We hung it in the dining hall for everyone to see. The students were so proud once it was completed.

The meaning of the Caring Hands project was to build a sense of belonging and togetherness. When you see that many hands together you can’t remember whose hand is which, but we know we did it together. But that’s sort of the purpose behind the fun of it, it’s not one person’s – it belongs to all of us. That’s the direction we take our art projects in by trying to have an underlying message. I think we’re finding that these art projects are serving as a great tool to build students up and to encourage them to be more expressive where maybe words fall short. I have a great respect for the students that come and feel safe to express themselves. I have had multiple students come and just watch for weeks, only to find them becoming involved. Art can be a vulnerable thing but it’s so empowering once it has begun. Any opportunity to empower our kids is well worth the resources and time.


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