Three days before my first solo show, I stood alone in a Dallas art gallery staring at one of my paintings. Tied Up At The Hospital is about my first visit to the hospital when I was five years old. This painting is about the moment when I realized that I was powerless in this fight.
Recognizing the age old connection between art and healing, curator and mixed media artist Barbara Russell aka Ms. B the Doodle Queen has collaborated with Harlem business owner Dr. Jeffrey Chow to present her Under the Radar art series.
Art has provided me with the tools to transform that pain and anguish into beauty and healing. Line and color provide a conduit through which I can reach into the deepest part of myself and share the treasures that lie within.
How far would you go to express yourself? Having your eye movement dictate a brush stroke. Utilizing a wheelchair as a brush. Painting with a mouth stick. Rise Up Gallery is committed to pushing the boundaries of how art is created and viewed.
By picking up a camera and using any or all of these simple tools and techniques, you are not only being present and creative, but you are actually practicing mindfulness, which reduces stress and helps leave you balanced and ready to take on the rest of your day.
I get extremely energized by the ever-increasing world of possibilities the universe is manifesting. I skyrocket this energy into my graduate school, making some folks kind of nervous. Oh, hell, what big ideas does Jim have now?
When once I held lives in my hands, I now had trouble holding a glass without fear of dropping it. Soon after, at the suggestion of a friend, I began to paint. My art became a meditation, and my studio a sanctuary.
"Everybody has won, and all must have prizes!" the Dodo from Alice in Wonderland proclaimed. Except it is just not working out that way in the USA these days, if the "prize" is a "good job" in one's field of academic study.
I looked around the room at my friends, each straining to make circular motions with their less-than-flexible hips while trying to keep their heads still, and tried (unsuccessfully) to stifle a giggle.
Being with so many like-minded people and having a sense of camaraderie are clearly important dimensions of the experience for these artists. It's being in a place without stigma, where people believe in themselves and their abilities.
There are four activities that can typically reach persons at all stages of Alzheimer's disease. Being visited by a child is one of them, as young Max discovered. Others include having a visit from a pet, listening to or playing music and observing or creating artwork.