Israel/Palestine Art Therapy Project – Entry 5

Israel Art Therapy Project – Entry #5: Paint Your Life Into a Masterpiece

I sit on the edge of a wooden dock that climbed right out of the “Phantom Toll Booth”. While my heart dances in the ripples of this Northwestern winter paradise, I hear a dear friend’s voice echo in my ear, “Be the hero of your own movie.” I spin around 360 degrees with my eyes wide open. A bald eagle nest is resting in the tree behind me,

Israel/Palestine Art Therapy Project – Entry 4

Israel/Palestine Art Therapy Project – Entry 4:
“3 Days, 3 Nights, 3 Murals”

A two week downpour in Israel concluded with a snowstorm in Jerusalem… and after a 2 day traffic jam and countless car accidents last year in the capital following a blizzard, when snow falls roads close. Essentially, the thousands of years of memory wonder the streets alone on the rare day that white flakes fall from the sky. Day after day we checked the walls,

Israel/Palestine Art Therapy Project – Entry 3

Israel/Palestine Art Therapy Project – Entry 3: “Oasis of Peace”

“Do you see him?” Shira Shvadron asked. I squinted my eyes after struggling to finish my burnt coffee at 7:12 am on the streets of Jerusalem. On the opposite side of the road a long, silver haired bohemian artist was walking towards us, moving to the beat of the Indian sitar. “We are going to get along just fine!” Robert Markey has been creating mosaic murals with the underrepresented children worldwide for over 30 years.

Israel/Palestine Art Therapy Project – Entry 2

Israel/ Palestine Art Therapy Project: Entry 2 – “The Bridge Over the Blue River”

Jisr Az Zarka is known to be the most economically impoverished Arab village of Israel, and yet, the quality of life in the hearts of the youth is growing everyday. We, Shira Shvadron and Benjamin Swatez, drove into this beach town, “The Bridge Over the Blue River”, with eyes wide open, feeling the story within the decaying walls. We were welcomed with open arms and immediately jumped into art class for the next 5 days.

Israel/Palestine Art Therapy Project – Entry 1

Israel/ Palestine Art Therapy Project: Entry #1 – The journey into the “Promised Land”

I, Benjamin Swatez, stepped onto the plane leaving LAX towards Istanbul on February 3rd, 2015. Thousands of dollars worth of art supplies were loaded into the Cargo department beneath the passengers. An existential feeling of liberation washes over me as I melt into the seat, a memorable deep breath oxygenates my lungs and I waive goodbye a beautiful chapter. As the following chapter knocks on the door,