A Glimmer of Hope by Monica Brinkman (Canada)

I am a mosaic artist living in Vaudreuil-Dorion, Quebec Canada. The World Citizen Artists ONE FOR ALL competition, with the theme of hope was inviting for me.
Hope is a powerful emotion and action. It has been my personal experience, living with a chronic health issue that hope can get one through a lot. It may not change your situation, but offers you the possibility of a happier life. Both the arts and the practice of Hope played a huge role in my wellbeing during the worst times in my illness.

Each and every one of us has our own struggles, some are far worse and more dangerous than others. My mosaic is a dark room with a prison window looking out into the light. Weather we are prisoners of mental or physical illness, stuck in a job we hate, homelessness poverty, starvation, fear, pain, abused or literally in prison, we can still choose to have hope. It is the one thing no one can take from us and the one thing we can offer each other no matter what. I truly believe in the positive effects hope can have at improving the quality of our life. We should wake up every day and go to sleep every night having hope for ourselves and for those who have lost hope.

I have been fortunate to create and work on many community art projects. Bringing the citizens together through the power of arts builds a strong sense of belonging and gives people the chance to have a meaningful exchange. I have worked with many different groups; young, elder, different cultural communities, people with mental health issues and people with intellectual disabilities. Collective art gives us the opportunity to come together and create strong community ties. We can easily put aside our differences and discover our common ground. We can be more united. I am especially grateful for the time I have spent with a group of adults who are living with an intellectual disability. Through the arts they have grown in confidence and been given the chance to be active and important citizens. It has also given people who did not have the opportunity in their life to get to know this population, a wonderful chance at a friendship with them. I strongly recommend being friends with a person who has and intellectual disability for they will enrich your life.

Every single person has the right to happiness,food,shelter,medical care and a meaningful life. Arts has the incredible power of bringing us together, thus giving us all HOPE. There are so many ways as an artist we can create change. By sharing our art with people which can create important conversations, including them in the creative process thus giving them an artist voice, volunteering on art projects, donating your art to help raise funds for important causes and so much more. My life has been enriched but sharing my artistic journey with the people around me and I will continue to share my art and hope with anyone who is willing.