In 2013, a creative component was added to Shape Your Life’s primarily sport-related focus. The old boxing ring canvas floor at the club’s gym had to be replaced, and Savoy Howe asked Shape Your Life participant Colleen Dockstader for ideas about possible re-uses for the canvas. Dockstader had been involved with art therapy and suggested that an optional final session be added to the Shape Your Life program, one in which art was part of the empowerment. Using pieces of the old boxing ring, participants paint images on canvases steeped with personal history.
“Women have sweated and spilled blood and healed and fought and laughed on this canvas,” says van Ingen. They’ve boxed on it (or, as Howe poetically puts it, “danced on it”) and now they’re doing a different kind of dance—painting their power on the canvas where they regained their power.
Excerpted from Fall/Winter 2014 Ornamentum. Click here to subscribe.
Lorraine Johnson is Associate and Managing Editor of Ornamentum.
I am stronger than you.