Chosen Hands takes its art healing program to Tobago

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Some 25 people had their lives transformed by an arts and wellness workshop titled “From Broken to Beautiful II”, held at the quaint Waves Restaurant and Bar in Black Rock, Tobago, on Saturday, May 21, 2022 .

The event is the result of the NGO Chosen Hands Art and Wellness partnering with Women of Substance and Trinitica International, to bring its art healing program to Tobago.

The workshop was attended by survivors of domestic violence, health professionals, social workers, leaders of youth and women’s groups, and migrants from the Latin American community based in Tobago.

A statement from Chosen Hands explains this recent initiative – the brainchild of Anika Plowden-Corentin, the NGO’s creative director – marks the third in a series of gender-positive initiatives by Chosen Hands to support, empower and inspire vulnerable groups.

Anika Plowden Corentin, Creative Director of Chosen Hands, holds one of the butterfly paintings created during the Art and Wellness Workshop,

Anika Plowden Corentin, Creative Director of Chosen Hands, holds one of the butterfly paintings created during the art and wellness workshop, “From Broken to Beautiful II”, held on Saturday May 21 2022. (Image courtesy of Chosen Hands Art and Wellness NGO)

“The Waves Restaurant and Bar located in Black Rock, Tobago provided the perfect backdrop for attendees to receive the workshop topics. The soothing sounds of the waves provided restoration and rejuvenation to the mind, body and soul,” the statement from Chosen Hands said.

Gold sponsors of the event were COLFIRE, Waves Bar and Restaurant and Le Grand Courlan Spa Resort.

Waves Restaurant and Bar, Grand Courlan Spa Resort and Grafton Beach Resort COO Jason Hadley said:

“The hotel chain was thrilled to support such a timely and worthy cause to help vulnerable groups in the community.”

A painting of a butterfly landing on a zinnia, created by one of the participants in the Art and Wellness workshop,

A painting of a butterfly landing on a zinnia, created by one of the participants of the art and wellness workshop, “From Broken to Beautiful II”, held on Saturday May 21, 2022 (Image courtesy of NGO Chosen Hands Art and Wellness)

The healing session was guided by the director of Chosen Hands, Arveon Prout. It started with Mindful Mediation by fibromyalgia activist and artist, Terri Osborne.

Author, designer and nature enthusiast, Serina Hearn, member of the Friends of Botanic Gardens T&T and curator of the Butterfly Garden, gave an inspiring speech for those in attendance. Hearn used the butterfly analogy as a symbol of hope and actualization of human potential for transformation, despite life’s challenges.

Serina Hearn, curator of the Butterfly Garden, is surrounded by several works of art created during the art and wellness workshop,

Butterfly Garden Curator Serina Hearn is surrounded by several works of art created during the Art and Wellness Workshop, “From Broken to Beautiful II”, held on Saturday, May 21, 2022. (Image courtesy of NGO Chosen Hands Art and Wellness)

Later, a “Paint & Inspire” session was led by Anika Plowden-Corentin, Creative Director of Chosen Hands, who encouraged the ladies to tap into their inner selves to unleash their creative expression.

“As children, we use art and creativity to make sense of our world. Somewhere along the path of life, we lose that connection. These sessions allow us to reconnect with our core, our authentic selves,” explained Plowden-Corentin.

The workshop ended with an expression of gratitude from Onika Mars, the founder of the NGO Women of Substance. She inspired participants to open their minds to new ways to navigate the turbulent seasons of their lives.

“Overall, the opportunity provided a safe space where the women in attendance creatively voiced their concerns about sensitive topics, as well as relaxed in the therapeutic ambience of the venue, while recovering pockets of peace and wellness,” said Chosen Hands.

A participant prepares her brush to continue her painting representing a butterfly, during the art and well-being workshop,

A participant prepares her brush to continue her painting of a butterfly, during the art and wellness workshop, “From Broken to Beautiful II”, held on Saturday, May 21, 2022. (Image with l courtesy of the NGO Chosen Hands Art and Wellness)

Aleah Guitan of Trinitica International helped bring participants from the Latin American community into the workshop. Trinitica International specializes in academic and cultural immersion programs and also facilitates the teaching of Spanish and English as a foreign language. Its programs are created for children and professional adults.

The NGO Chosen Hands Art and Wellness promises to host more “Broken to Beautiful II” art and wellness workshops during this year.

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