March 2023 – JDC

In March, Lisa Brunick, Registered Art Therapist, partnered with Journey of Hope to offer art therapy to youth at Minnehaha County Juvenile Detention Center.

Lisa comes with a wealth of experience and knowledge in art therapy and is willing to meet people where they are on their journey – no judgment or expectations. She has worked with children and adults whose life experiences are often difficult to articulate due to their current pain and past trauma. 

Lisa has always envisioned art therapy at Minnehaha County JDC, so when Kari Palmer of Journey of Hope reached out to her, she was intrigued. Right away, Lisa jumped in with no reservations and led sessions at JDC. Starting in June, she and other educators will be using the START UP! Art Therapy, prevention, and early intervention program that will help the youth to heal; by restoring health and encouraging cultural heritage, while empowering people to improve their own lives and the lives of others. 

Art Seeds Self-Portrait

Considering the self-portrait in abstract form allows us to explore and evaluate less critically not only our personal appearance but also our characteristics: using art “seeds” (scraps of paper, colorful feathers, bits of ribbon, etc) to create an abstract self-portrait can be fun and introspective without feeling intimidating. Art “seeds” are a creative way to encourage planting and nurturing hope. Sharing and comparing these portraits will give participants the opportunity to see and learn a bit about each other.

Journey Paintings

To observe how their personal journeys weave in and out of the journeys of others, the participants cooperated in a meditative roundtable walk. While stepping intentionally and focusing on their own breathing, participants pulled paintbrushes along each others’ long strips of paper. They were invited to consider how the “lines” of their own life journeys move as straight, curved, angled, circles, etc. They noticed and commented on how the journey lines of others matched, wove through, or conflicted with their own.



Comments from the youth about their experience of art-making as a healthy emotional outlet:

It helped my anger go away.

It is relaxing.

Putting my anger on a piece of paper. 

I took words and pictures together to understand how I need to chill. 

Comments from youth on how they would like to be supported by using art-making as a growing and learning tool to provide hope along their personal journey.

By making art more often shows me how helpful it can be.

Continuing to let it calm me. 

By being able to express myself this way and getting an opportunity to do similiar things. 


Kari Palmer