with Julie DeRosa


We are all survivors.

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From loss, from challenges, from addiction, from big change, from illness, from trauma, from oppression... we're human, and shit happens.

Whats important is that as we heal, we acknowledge our survival, regardless of the grace involved - or not. Surviving is not always tidy, and it can be easy to forget to notice our resiliency, our beauty, our victories.

But when we do make the choice to notice and acknowledge and even ritualize our survival and resilience, our creativity and persistence, we experience a fuller picture of who we are.

The survivor shrine workshop helped me to process some of the uncomfortable experiences I’ve had that I often think of as being ‘in the past’ or ‘behind me.’ Working with my hands to build something beautiful with my chosen objects helped me to integrate these experiences in new ways. I was nervous about making art as I don’t think of myself as artistic or creative, and I was nervous about potentially sharing vulnerably with others, as I’m a pretty private person. Julie’s guidance in preparing and conducting the workshop helped me feel confident and safe. She was always positive in supporting my process and never pressured any of us to share beyond what we volunteered. The shrine I created with Julie’s support is not only a celebration of my strength and resilience, it’s a beautiful, totally original, and slightly quirky work of art, just like me.
— Olivia M.

Celebrating our survival is radical self love.


Come join artist, educator and survivor Julie DeRosa and spend an afternoon creating your own Survivor Shrine - a handmade sacred object which celebrates and acknowledges your resiliency, creativity and power. 

You'll work with a hand-painted wooden container made by Julie and a wealth of materials to work with, as well as your own significant objects and talismans. Julie will guide you through the telling of your story and a creative process for making your shrine. The workshop ends with a little party to celebrate and ritualize the significance of both the objects created throughout the day and their meanings.

You'll leave with an object that works conscious and unconscious power in your life - reminding you of the fuller picture of your value, your joy, your victories and your resilience, even on the hard days.

"I began creating survivor shrines from a place of learning to acknowledge my successes and remind me that I was able to find what resilience looks like for myself. It reminds me that I have built these skills and added them to my toolbox. It reminds me I survived and to find meaning in that survival."

-- Julie Derosa

The open hand represents the willingness to connect, to change, to love, and to create that it takes to survive and heal from - well, anything. In addition to your choice of a hand-painted wooden box for your shrine, Julie has made a resin-crafted hand for each participant's shrine, to honor your openness to healing and to connect you to the other members of the group.

I really liked working in a group dynamic. The energy of the work shop leader (julie) put everyone at ease and it was meditative and relaxing, yet light hearted and fun. I loved seeing the other participants process and there was a nice feeling of comraiderie. Julie was very organized, having everything you could possibly need to make an amazing assemblage art piece. The space, music and delicious spread was such a treat!
— Workshop Participant
My Survivor shrine is exactly what I needed. It is so beautiful and so well made and you can tell that it was made with thought, care and good vibes. A perfect addition to my home. I will be back for more!
— Tanya H.

Julie DeRosa (Sacred Relic Studio) is a self taught assemblage artist from Pawtucket, Rhode Island. In her work, she addresses issues of transformation and reinvention. Discarded materials find new and unexpected uses in her work; they are assembled and conjoined with unlikely components, a form of rebirth from the ashes into new life and new meaning. The artist also routinely creates and adds resin castings to her work, which she created through a process of mold making with silicone rubber.

These assemblages are metaphors for rebirth, hope, and healing. These forms are examinations of the world in perpetual flux, where meaning and function are ever-changing.


Julie is a Certified Wellness Coach, Certified Peer Support Specialist, and facilitator for Intentional Peer Support, Wellness and Recovery Action Plan, Whole Health Action Management, and Trauma Informed Care Trainings. She has spent the last eight years of her professional career providing training and support to persons living with mental health, trauma and substance use challenges. She is a survivor with lived experience.

She creates in her live/work studio in Pawtucket, Rhode Island with her husband, and emotional support dog, Jack and has shown work in galleries, boutiques and specialty gift shops in and around New England. She is also one of the co-curators of Pop Up in Pawtucket, which has held three one night only pop up art events featuring some of Southern New England's most prominent up and coming and established artists.

She has taught and facilitated private workshops for a number of organizations, as well as teaching to a group at Rhode Island School of Design.

Reclaim the narrative of your own story!

Such a cool workshop! I really recommend it to anyone, regardless of your artistic skill level, to dig in and experience self expression thru art making. It was meditative, light hearted and fun and thought provoking all while being guided by the amazing Julie DeRosa! I met some really amazing women and the culinary spread was uber delicious!
— Hollianne Carruthers

Specialty Survivor Shrine Workshops I offer:

  • Suicide loss survivor

  • Suicide attempt survivor

  • Pet loss survivor

  • Persons in recovery from Mental Health or Substance abuse Challenges Survivor

  • Trauma Survivors

  • Chronic Illness Survivors

  • Sexual Assault Survivors

Please contact me directly to inquire about these types of workshops.

For Organizations

Survivor Shrine Workshops are created for persons of all skill level. Safety and power tool instruction are provided.

I liked that it was manageable, that there was everything there that was needed to make a shrine, the other participants, the snacks ad that the time was enough to make a shrine. I also like that Julie helped me finish up my shrine as well as figure out what to put in it and how to assemble it.
— Arwen M.