The Art of Healing

Today we want to celebrate the healing power of art!

Art is the free expression of the human mind and senses and it allows one to feel liberated. It makes you see, smile, feel, think, it transports you to another place, and it connects people. Last week, we came across a very inspirational company (thanks to Elements of Style for sharing). We wanted to help spread the word about this company with a great mission and also share all the wonderful programs we have right here in St. Louis!

ARTLIFTING

The company is called ArtLifting! They empower artists living with homelessness or disabilities through the celebration and sale of their artwork. ArtLifting is about creating opportunity, empowerment, and validation. They offer artists the chance to secure their own income through the sale of original paintings, prints, and products. By showcasing and selling artwork via ArtLifting.com, artists gain self-confidence that permeates all aspects of their lives. Every artist earns 55% from the sale of their work; 1% from each sale goes to a fund, which provides art supplies to therapy groups nationwide; and ArtLifting uses the remaining 44% to further their mission. Amazing, right?! The company started in Boston in 2013 and has quickly spread to 11 states around the country. Below are a some art pieces available for purchase (click the picture to be taken to the link). There were so many great pieces to choose from, so make sure to peruse the whole site!

Charles Blackwell - Bass Thumping in Red Blue Set

Bass Thumping in Red Blue Set by Charles Blackwell

Jeff Roysdon - Crest

Crest by Jeff Roysdon

Andrew Weatherly - Heaven at Night

Heaven at Night by Andrew Weatherly

Michal Baksh - Still Life Pineapple

Still Life Pineapple by Michal Baksh

Shannon - 4 Horses

4 Horses by Shannon

While St. Louis is not currently involved with ArtLifting, there are several local programs with the same impetus that we encourage you to explore! These 5 companies are doing great work in our community and many of them host events throughout the year. We hope you’ll visit their websites and follow their social media accounts to stay in the loop!

ST. LOUIS ARTWORKS

St. Louis ArtWorks was founded in 1995 as a collaborative partnership with Grand Center Inc., the City of St. Louis, and the Regional Arts Commission. Since that time, ArtWorks has provided opportunities for thousands of young people, successfully helping to prepare them for future education and employment opportunities. ArtWorks bridges economic, racial and social divisions by providing under-served youth with arts education, workforce development training, and 21st century life skills, including fiscal literacy and professional communication. In 2015, ArtWorks proudly celebrated 20 years of creating opportunities for St. Louis youth. To learn more about their amazing artists, artwork, staff and programs visit St. Louis ArtWorks.

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FRIENDS OF KIDS WITH CANCER

Friends of Kids with Cancer is devoted to enriching the daily lives of children undergoing treatment for, and survivors of, cancer and blood-related diseases. Their mission is to be an advocate for these special kids and provide them and their families with the educational, emotional and recreational support needed as a result of the long hours of chemotherapy, illness and isolation. Through their art therapy program children are provided a creative outlet to release their emotions and help them sort through their feelings, confusion and fear.  In 2010, they introduced Art from the Heart. This special fundraising event centers around an auction of the art pieces created by kids with cancer in St. Louis. For more information on Friends of Kids with Cancer or to attend the upcoming Art from the Heart event please visit FriendsofKids.com.

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VISIONS FOR VETS

Visions for Vets offers free visual arts workshops to military veterans to help assist in the healing process, provide community and serve through art. They seek to bring the healing power of art to Veterans in need–whether it’s physical or mental healing that they need. Launched in November 2015, they offer interactive art workshops in a variety of visual artistic disciplines, including ceramics, sculpture, drawing and painting. Visions for Vets ultimate goal is to improve the quality of life for Veterans and their families. If you would like to learn more about this organization or find out how to get involved please visit their Visions for Vets Facebook page.

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COMMUNITY COLLABARTIVE

The Community CollabARTive is an arts collaborative housed at Peter & Paul Community Services. This program generates cohesion among residents of transitional housing programs and staff members and connects them to the arts, culture, and creativity in a meaningful way. The program was founded by Con Christeson, artist, and Tom Burnham, shelter services director, and is funded by The Regional Arts Commission and Missouri Arts Council. Many local artists, students, volunteers, and neighbors have participated over 18 years! Participants work with artists in a variety of art forms such as creative writing, dancing, drumming, sculpture and painting. The residents and staff succeed and fail together and learn to relate to one another on a personal level. They are currently holding a mixed media art exhibit exploring the intentional conceptualization of self through reflection on personal goals, dreams and challenges. Stop by the Maryland Heights Government Center until August 20 to see the artist’s work! Learn more about Community CollabARTive here.

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ARTISTS FIRST

Artists First is a non-profit organization that fosters the growth of artists with disabilities through creative self-expression. Artists First offers art-based programs throughout the greater Saint Louis area serving aspiring artists of all ages whose lives are challenged by developmental disabilities, pervasive mental illness, and/or traumatic brain injury. Visit http://www.artistsfirststl.org/ for more information.

Artwork by Jeff Johnson

Artwork by Jeff Johnson

Artwork by Melelani Perry

Artwork by Melelani Perry

Artwork by Ricky Douglas

Artwork by Ricky Douglas

Are there any other local programs you know of in the St. Louis area?  Please share in the comments if you have any more information!

Feature Image via Art Lifting:  Bubbly Creek 3 by William Douglas