Artists in Schools & Communities



Year Three (2019-20) of PCA&M’s and POWER’s (PA Organization of Women in Early Recovery) Long Term Residency (LTR) Project, funded by the PA Council on the Arts, has helped the women in residence at POWER House to experience life in recovery with new creative tools.  During multiple projects since 2016, Teaching Artist/Textile Artist Amber Coppings has been leading POWER women in experiencing the process of creating art from conception of an idea to creating work that’s been enjoyed and shared with many others including peers, families, and members of the general public.

The Pittsburgh region is very fortunate to be home to many extremely talented artists/teaching artists working in a wide variety of mediums.  Some of our visiting teaching artists, both onsite at POWER House and during visits to PCA&M, have been: LaVerne KempConnie MerrimanLindsay Woge,  Oreen CohenLaura Jean McLaughlinLindsay HuffKaty DeMentTressa JonesMelissa SullivanMaritza Mosquera, and Sarah Leavens.

While working and creating with Ms. Coppings and the other TAs, participants have learned to dye, make natural inks, embroider, weave, make felt, print, make jewelry, paint with watercolor, create in clay, make paper, use iPads/apps, plan, observe, adapt, critique, reflect, share ideas/inspiration all while growing strengths, skills, and talents they already have inside.

POWER Women Reflections:

Art makes me feel more creative than I ever imagined. I am terrible at drawing, but there is so much more to art than that.

I am able to look at things differently- due to lines, shapes, patterns, colors, and textures. I have a better understanding on how they came to be.

I look forward to art class.  I really enjoy the different projects and love to see the end results.  Art is always fun before, during, and after each project.

Even though we all had the same instructions, not one piece turned out the same. Each person has their own creative side and every woman here is extremely creative. It’s a blessing to watch each person grow and blossom into stronger women.

In May of 2019 we had the opportunity to present to the PA Legislative Arts & Culture Caucus regarding project goals/outcomes and how art may provide alternative and effective experiences for those struggling with addiction.

In March–July of 2020 Ms. Coppings and the POWER women went virtual in an online residency, exploring drawing, painting, self-portraiture, creative lettering, collage, how to make natural inks, and memoir poetry while creating artworks on paper/fabric and handmade books with personal imagery.

POWER Long Term Residency with Teaching Artist Amber Coppings