Turkey, Pink Blankets, and Family: Chicago Studio Gratitudes

November 14, 2019 By christea-parent

Though the low temperatures came a little earlier than expected, they bring with them a happy reminder that the holidays are upon us; and while the subject of playing Christmas music in the studio is hotly debated, one thing our community can agree on is that we have a lot to be thankful for.

We at the Chicago studio are gearing up for our annual Thanksgiving celebration, when the North Shore studio will join us at Carroll Avenue for a fully-catered feast of food, friendship, and of course, karaoke. The big word this month is gratitude – with the season comes an opportunity to reflect on our lives and think about the things we cherish the most.  I asked our Chicago artists about the things that fill them with gratitude – here’s what they had to say:

Many shared thankfulness for the studio. “I’m thankful for my family, my staff at my house, and my job,” said Maria Vanik. “I like it here so much.  I love the artists here.  Amy too, and Catherine.”

Susan Pasowicz also expressed appreciation for the studio: “All of you in the studio, all the creations they do.  That things will be better in the future.  There’s gonna be more things – more paint stuff, more colored pencils, stuff like that.  And meditation.”

Arts of Life artists from both studios pose with chefs from Union Sushi and volunteers from the Schweitzer Fellows at our 2018 Thanksgiving celebration

For some artist, they relish the time of year.  “Thanksgiving and Christmas,” are what Frances Roberts looks forward to – “We get breaks”.

“My anniversary is coming up,” shared Jean Wilson, referring to when she joined the L’Arche community.  “And I like this workshop a lot.”

Kelly Stone kept it to the simple things: “Turkey.  Stuffing.  Gravy.”

Other artists contemplated the essential things in life, such as family, friends, and shelter. Alex shared, “I’m thankful for my family, for friends and my brothers.”  For Steve Harhaj, it’s “that I got a roof over my head.  That I got a good person that looks out for me, friends and everything… Sometimes I could be so excited about some of the stuff that I did.  Like this,” he says as he points to his art, “or like anything else in between”.

When asked what she’s thankful for, Carolyn Kelley replied “just pink blankets”.

Chicago artists Debbie Vasquez enjoys our Thanksgiving luncheon

And finally, the always effusive David Krueger let us know what he’s thankful for:

“I’m thankful for all the staff and volunteers, and all the artists who make the studio running…  In my life, everything is perfect.  Everything, top to bottom, down and out…  I just want the studio to remember we are loveable, like Debbie, very huggable and very cheerful… I want everybody to be happy and enjoy the Thanksgiving meal, so help me god, if I died today, I want everybody to remember my name,  David Ray Krueger, gonna live another 2000 years.  And that’s it.  I’m done. “

We hope that the excitement and passion of Dave’s speech can bring warmth and happiness to your home, and that everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving.