Wayne State University student, Ayaka Hibino reflects on her ArtsCorpsDetroit experience at the Mariners Inn. Ayaka, and other students, renovated the lobby and directed Mariners Inn clients on a face-mask project.
Please describe your service-learning experience.
My first experience with service learning was through the Seminar: Art as a Social Practice, held by Mame Jackson at Wayne State University. Through this seminar, I was connected with Mariner’s Inn, a treatment/rehabilitation center for men. With a group of a few other students from the course, we helped renovate the main lobby, and also held a few workshops with the men there. The main project that I had planned and directed there was a mask workshop that consisted of taking plaster molds of each person’s face, in which they then painted in ways that revealed self-reflection and embracement. The masks were later exhibited in their client exhibition held at Swords into Plowshares, Portraits From The Soul.
What did you learn about yourself and others?
Through this opportunity, I was able to feel the genuine power of human interaction, and the inspiring effectiveness of art as a bridge. I realized that when placed within the context of art, communication unfolds into a much more intimate language which can reveal so many more intricate subtleties that may be lost or overlooked otherwise.
To what extent has the experience impacted your decisions, personally and professionally?
This experience was inspiring to me on many levels. Since then, I have broadened my respect and understanding for the infinite possibilities that art possesses, and has also lead me to the current position that I hold within ArtsCorpsDetroit. Working with ArtsCorpsDetroit, I realize how vital art is to the advancement and growth of our community, and intend to participate in continuing this movement to a more creative and socially aware community.