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Recovery is messy, and it looks different to each person.

Therapists often pack paints, brushes and canvases to bring to group sessions. When asked to paint recover, some use a bright palette to create a vision of hope. Others sketch their demons. For each, art offers a way to express the struggles that accompany mental illness.

Providing a Glimpse

Each year, Rappahannock Area Community Services Board honors the role creativity plays in mental wellness by holding the Art of Recovery exhibit. The 14th show begins May 4 at PONSHOP Studio and Gallery in Fredericksburg.

The exhibit opens with a reception on held Friday, May 4, from 5-9 p.m. A show featuring live music, poetry, readings and art begins at 6:30 p.m. in the gallery’s courtyard.

Members of Kenmore Club organize the exhibit, which coincides with National Mental Health Month. 

The Art of Recovery features work from 40 artists. The works include original drawings, acrylic and oil paintings on canvas, as well as mixed media and video. 

Giving a Voice

The Art of Recovery provides a forum for artists living with mental illness. The works challenge stereotypes about mental illness. And the exhibit helps individuals develop confidence in their abilities as they continue on their path to healing. 

“Art can be so healing,” said John Butler, coordinator of RACSB’s crisis stabilization services. “Art is a method of journaling, to share life experiences. It provides a safe haven for expression of feelings, hopes and dreams. Although art can be judged, art doesn’t judge. The Art of Recovery helps society in general to look at people beyond their disability and for folks with disabilities to not be defined by those disabilities.”

Stop by the PONSHOP Studio and Gallery  Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. You will be able to view the exhibit through May 27.

For details, contact Amy Jindra at 540/373-7737 or artofrecovery@rappahannockareacsb.org.


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