Art and Soul exhibit gives outlet to the homeless, turning trash into treasure

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Twiana Odom, or Mrs. Dash as she calls herself to give a little flavor in life, is an artist. Her artwork is on display at the Art and Soul exhibit gallery in Detroit. 

“I usually sell most of my artwork too, I think they get great homes,” she said. 

The exhibit is about recycling our future trash to treasure. Incorporating found objects into works of art. But it’s also about something else, something deeper. 

It’s about finding the talent and treasure in everyone like Twiana and her fellow artist who are homeless.

“Being at Art and Soul, we get so many different people and they walk so many different paths of life, being homeless we just brought it all together. You can see a shining star in just about anything,” she said.  

It’s all part of the Art and Soul program at Central United Methodist Church in Downtown Detroit which provides meals and many other services for the homeless. 

The art classes are a favorite for Twiana and others, inspiring a sense of pride and purpose.

“Art and Soul is only open one day a week, and I treasure that one day a week,” she said. 

“It’s very humbling,” teacher Ann Windley said.

Ann and other volunteers from First United Methodist Church of Birmingham teach art classes every Thursday and are always looking for more volunteers to help with classes, exhibits, at the swords into plowshares gallery and they always need help with their big sale in May. 

Artist are then able to earn much needed money by selling their work to the public

“We love Art and Soul, we love the people and we want people to know that,” Windley said. 

Twaina and her fellow artist want people to know about them too, about their work and their worth as artist and as people. 
“So the one I did here befits my life, enjoy life, this is not a dress rehearsal,” Twiana said. 

It’s real life, with all of its ups and downs, and even in the midst of homelessness there’s hope.

“Art and Soul it’s like a family, just to have a safe place to express yourself and to be encouraged to do so,” Twiana said. 

Through art they know there are friendships to be gained and lessons to be learned

Ann says “Live life to the fullest and don’t waste your time on the little things.”

The Art and Soul exhibit runs until February 7th at Central United Methodist Church in Downtown Detroit.