A Hope-filled Message
No matter how dark things can get, there always seems to be a light that burns brighter. Being based in Las Vegas, I have never witnessed so much love and compassion in this town as I have since last week's tragedy. In the face of the unthinkable, that is a beautiful thing! All of us deal with trauma in different ways and many are stepping up to help support others until they can get themselves to a better place, including the victims and their families from out of town.
Our own Andre Agassi, the former tennis champion and also a longtime Las Vegas local, is one such individual. He narrated a wonderful message of hope and strength posted on the LVCVA website that is not only relevant to us in Las Vegas, but to communities everywhere. Here is a link if you would like to hear his inspiring words. This is a living example that apart we do so little, when together we can do so, so much!!!
The designated phrase Vegas Strong to include the #VegasStrong for those banning together via social networks, is truly going strong! A few local artists have turned to their craft to honor those affected, and are using this phrase as their way of helping the rest of us cope. This week I would like to focus on a few of those who have put forth their effort to not only create something beautiful in the face of a horrific event, but also raise money for those left behind.
The above skyline with inside the heart is found on a website called Art Box Surprise. This local online shop's tagline, “Supporting the arts made easy!”, speaks of their initiative to offer original gift boxes filled with artful items made by independent artists. They also donate $1 for every gift box sold to the schools to support the next generation of artists. They are obviously community minded, so it stands to reason that they donated all processed from their shop sales this week to the LV victims. Thank you Art Box Surprise!!!
Abbie Illustrations, a cute little Etsy shop, did the art in this week’s cover photo. Abbie brings a sweet and lighthearted note to her heartwarming this Vegas Strong art print. She is donating all proceeds of the sales of this item to the cause and has this one set as a featured post on her cover page. Way to go Abbie!
Another Etsy shop, Designs By Ry, features the above gorgeous Mandela style floral print in the shape of the state of Nevada to include the Vegas Strong hashtag. Ryylee just opened her shop on October 5th. It looks like she was inspired to help the community through this ordeal with her art. I hope to see more from her in the future!
Art as a Healer
Art has been used as therapy for trauma for quite a while. It is certainly therapeutic for me in general. I think we need it now more than ever to cope and express ourselves in a healthy way. I find it freeing and intangible, which allows me to step outside the box to imaging something new. Just getting our feelings out on paper or canvas can be such a relief and a comfort to know I have made something of worth.
Art and Healing.org takes art in a more spiritual direction. Their mission is to guide those who are lost within themselves to find solace and purpose again through art. They have published a book with a weekly plan to find healing and self awareness. What a beautiful endeavor!!!
The Foundation for Art and Healing has aggressively gone for the big fish to promote this concept. Their website hosts a wonderful article by Michelle Obama describing how she used writing in her younger years to expel negative emotion to reach a higher level of thinking. They launched The UnLoneliness Project to help battle those who had no one to talk to about their issues. Edythe Hughes, an American fashion model who is also a mental health advocate, attended the event as a speaker. On the site there is a video included of Dr. Paul Kolker who noticed that interpreting the art of his patients was as enlightening as a medical diagnosis. This foundation also hosts an online film festival and many other really helpful creative tools to assist the process of healing through art. Wonderful contribution!!!
Renée Phillips began an initiative of the www.manhattanarts.com called The Healing Power of Art & Artists. This organization is a group of "artists, advocates, and writers dedicated to raising awareness about how art serves as a positive catalyst for enhancing the well-being of individuals, society and the environment. We believe that art has the power to heal, inspire, provoke, challenge and offer hope." I couldn't have said it better myself. Above is one of the gorgeous paintings in their online gallery along with some inspiring artist quotes.
Kudos to all of you out there helping to bring heath and wellness to others and to yourselves by sharing, teaching and encouraging the arts!!! Feel free to add comments below if you have something to contribute to the art and healing cause!