Category: Art

Recovering Artists Hit the Street

Two active artists in recent protests tell of mixing painting with addiction recovery. For years, Cybin was deep into heroin and coke. He felt all their effects. On a wintry day, he was on the verge of suicide. He imagined his body slamming onto the ice below the Lake Street bridge. Eventually Cybin got clean, …

Read more

Songwriting for Recovery

katy vernon and guitar

My name is Katy. I’m a singer songwriter, a ukulele player, a mother, a wife, a dual citizen of the US and UK and I’m an alcoholic. In my Twitter bio I say I’m a ‘Singer of sad songs on a happy instrument.’ It took me a while to even realize what that meant to …

Read more

Ask the Expert: Jes Reyes of Avivo ArtWorks

Q: How does creating art help with the overall healing and recovery process? Art is healing because it can be a powerful tool for engagement with one’s self. Not only are you creating something when making art, but you are also building a sense of presence and space for yourself. Art can bring you into …

Read more

The Art of Feeling

“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way–things I had no words for.” Georgia O’Keeffe How are you? How do you feel? How do I feel? I am not sure. I come from a long line of people who avoided feelings–or at least conversations about feelings. My grandfather would answer those questions …

Read more

Let’s Just Have Fun and Make Stuff Up

improv

“Some of the funniest people I’ve ever met have been at recovery meetings.” This high praise comes from someone who is in the business of being funny. John Gebretatose, who left alcohol behind 15 years ago, performs and teaches Improv theater. He also mentors others to do the same. At HUGE Theater in Minneapolis, a …

Read more

The Ability to Identify as an Artist First

artability people incorporated

How People Incorporated’s Artability Program Challenges Mental Health Stigma For people living with a persistent mental illness ­— stigma, debilitating symptoms and a lack of self-esteem — can create a misconception that they are unable to choose who they want to be in life. They may feel defined by their mental illness. Daily struggles, confusing …

Read more

Art Heals

art is healing

“Art is a wound turned into light.” ~ Georges Braque, 20th Century French Artist I am not surprised that healing and art are connected. I know the calm I feel as I play piano or focus on a favorite painting or indulge in a luscious piece of poetry. Art is an oasis in the hurry …

Read more

Basket Making 101

basket weaving

About this time last year I ventured to the North House Folk School in Grand Marais, MN, for three days of basket weaving. Yep, Basket Weaving 101. Ostensibly, the adventure was to create and take home our very own, personalized, Birch Bark Berry Basket. In reality, the trip was much more profound. None of us …

Read more