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What coming together through art looks like in community

Kimmy and Lili are community-mates in Mobile, Alabama. This week of #JVStories, they share more about how they came to deepen their relationship through practicing art with one another in community.

Kimmy shares a piece of herself with community 

In one of our first weeks living in Mobile, I decided to share one of my hobbies and form of self-care with my community – art. Throughout my whole life art has been a big part of who I am. It is a way that I step into a space of intentionality, quiet and prayer.

Art gives me a time to step away from the business of everyday life and focus on what is in front of me. To create something of beauty using the hands, mind and heart God blessed me with. In my own way, I see it as mirroring the way God created everything with such attention, care and beauty.


For one of our community nights, I decided to focus on art as a way to connect to the people in our lives. The ones who are in our hearts, but far from us on our journey as JVs in Mobile. This is something I have really enjoyed doing a lot of since starting my year of service. I use art as a way of prayer for people that I am missing.


I started to create cards, getting really into hand lettering and water coloring. When I am creating a card for someone, I pray for them. I take that time to think about what I love about them, what God loves about them.  Then I sit with my feelings of thanks for who they are to me and think about my hopes and dreams for that person. It has offered me a sense of connection and an incredibly tangible way to pray for those I love, near or far.

Gonzaga-Mobile-JVLili learns from a community mate

Coming into my year of service, I wanted to find a meaningful way of staying in touch with my friends and family back home. Personally, I find a lot of comfort in words and giving affirmations. When Kimmy did that art-centered community night, I felt that I had found the perfect medium to connect with my loved ones. Moreover, a way to use the power of words creatively.


After that night Kimmy and I would sit and chat about different brush techniques and what watercolors would stand out best on paper. Without knowing it we built this bridge between the two of us. A bridge that taught us a lot about the other without explicitly saying anything. I find that incredibly powerful.


Through art I came to know and understand who Kimmy is and what makes her come alive.


When I create something, I want whatever I create to come from a place of authenticity and intentionality. The words that I watercolor and decorate our home with are words that bring hope and meaning to me; I want to share that with my community-mates and my loved ones. Like Kimmy said, when I am making a card for someone, I use that time to think of that person. And I send them love from afar. For me, it’s a time to be with that person even though I cannot be there with them in person.


Every year, Jesuit Volunteers enter into service across the globe through JVC! Help pave the path for other volunteers to have powerful experiences within community.

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