Art of the heart
Artists who work in the basement studio of Prescott-Joseph Center for Community Enhancement in West Oakland believe they are being watched over not only by the Archangel Michael, but by the spirits of the previous tenants. Healing Through Art and Self Expression Hearts Center creates art — and lifts spirits — in the former St. Joseph's (St. Patrick) Convent. The artists who created this work, which was displayed at a fundraiser for St. Martin de Porres School, are in two recovery programs, Chrysalis and Serenity House. "The Serenity House program is faith-based and many of the women turn their lives around after painting these beautiful Madonnas," said Erika Mae Benitez of the center. St. Martin de Porres is a regional school, with its K-5 campus near Sacred Heart Church and the 6-8 campus near St. Patrick Church, both in Oakland.