The Power of Art: Recovering from Trauma—We think of art as a peaceful occupation, but its power to heal a traumatized mind is revealed in the wake of war. The U.N. estimates 95,000 children have sought refuge in Lebanon, having fled to escape the ongoing tragedy in Syria. Traumatized by the conflict, they suffer insomnia and depression, and their learning abilities are diminished; but when the art therapist arrives, she brings relief, healing and hope along with paint and brushes. One therapist notes that they are not teaching art, and not doing full therapy, but providing psychosocial support with therapeutic art, offering them a chance to express themselves freely, without judgment. Sometimes painting individually, sometimes in groups, the kids release the trauma through art. Results show in decreased bullying, increased self-esteem, and better concentration in other subjects, but most poignantly in the return of laughter to the classroom. “When they’re happy, they all become children,” she says. If art therapy, even in this limited form, can help children traumatized by war, how powerful can it be for other victims of trauma? We hope you never need to find out, but you know who to call if you do—a local art therapist.

Moon Lunacy—October is an exciting time for Art Presence as we open the gallery to Rogue Valley artists responding to our annual Creative Challenge and bring you one of our most popular shows. The theme for our third Creative Challenge is Moon Lunacy. We invited artists to create weirdly creative Halloween or autumn-inspired works with a moon incorporated in the composition. The art they’ve submitted is haunting!

Join us to welcome these visiting artists at a festive reception on Saturday, October 3 from noon–3:00pm, with live music by Martin Ball, Tarot card readings, and face painting.

You’re invited to a Halloween reception on Saturday, October 31 from noon-4:00pm. Meet players from the Friends of Jacksonville’s Historic Cemetery’s 2015 Meet the Pioneers program at 2:00pm, and even a few Pioneer Spirits from beyond the grave, here to tell their stories.

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

  • Pioneer Village: Anna Elkins shares a collection of new paintings. Opening reception Thursday, October 8 from 4:30-7:00 pm; show 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 are on display through November.
  • Jacksonville Library: Paintings by Shan Lollis hang in the Naversen Room through November.

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

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