Finding Meaning in Life through Art—Have you ever wondered what the purpose of your life is? How to make sense of the seemingly random things that happen? Questions like these can keep us up late and make us feel unsettled as we move through our daily routines. Bizarre events can throw us out of balance, even into despair. A study at Paris Descartes University says art can help us answer those questions…just by looking at it! Artists often incorporate visual clues and illusions into their work to evoke specific responses, and these visual references can help our brains find meaning in the arbitrary. Sometimes an artist’s mind shifts into an altered state; returning to normal consciousness, they’re surprised at what they’ve painted. Our brains are amazing, and “seeing” through another’s eyes can shift our perception, awakening pathways and making connections that change our understanding of the world around us. If you’re feeling off-center and not sure why, try taking some time to visit an art gallery or museum. Simply doodling as you relax at home could coax forth an insight that connects the dots. You might even discover something deeper that gives you peace.

Halloween Party!Art Presence is having a second reception on Saturday, October 31 from noon-4:00pm to celebrate Halloween. Two pioneers from “Meet the Pioneers” will come in full costume to tell their stories at 2:00pm. Come in costume yourself, enjoy treats and have fun making a mask!

Give the Gift of Art for Christmas!—Last year’s Small Treasures show was well-attended and successful—both for the artists and those who purchased small treasures for holiday gifts! This year’s show opens on November 6 and runs through December 27 with a reception on Saturday, November 8 from noon-3:00pm.

Score collectible paintings by Elaine Witteveen, long time Jacksonville resident & Artists Workshop founder who passed away in March of this year! Art Presence will continue to show and sell her works through year’s end at greatly reduced prices—another fabulous gift-giving opportunity!

Offsite Art Exhibits—View more exhibits of original art by Art Presence members:

Pioneer Village: Anna Elkins’ show of paintings and sketches continues through January

Medford Library: Linda Curtis’ “Our Valley and Beyond” exhibit of paintings and Leona Sewitsky’s “Mad Tea Party” collection of Alice in Wonderland assemblage sculptures remain on display through November

Jacksonville Library: Paintings by Shan Lollis hang in the Naversen Room through November

What’s Happening Upstairs?—Bring your pencils and sketchbook and draw professional models from life in our Figure Drawing studio every Monday from 1:00-3:00pm. Just $10/session!

Reserve our classroom for your class, workshop or meeting— Contact Anne Brooke at 541-941-7057.

Featured image is a painting by Elaine Witteveen.