May is Mental Health Month, and along with a time for celebration of the hard and successful work of recovery that continues daily, it is a time for art. A nine year tradition continues with the third Martha Pace Swift Recovering The Artist Show. This years show features work by many artists from the recovery community, including a delightful new wall of figures from perennial contributor Lynn Marcoe. Her “Resinates,” named for the polymer resin clay that she sculpts them with, are humorous and touching, moving, and wonderfully detailed in classic Marcoe style.
An unfortunate fact of the Recovering the Artist Show is the loss of gifted artists too young. Those under mental health treatment die an average of 25 years younger than the general population. This year we remember Garrett Chesney, a true original. Garrett lived with traumatic brain injury from childhood, and in adulthood, suffered a debilitating stroke that left him relearning how to walk and talk. Yet throughout his recovery he continued to make art in a style that remains completely unique. Garrett’s compositions could be compared to hieroglyphs or cuneiform, dense tablets of personal symbology he often used as portraiture of his familiars, a kind of visual haiku. Seeing Garrett Chesney’s achievements in the face of lifelong challenges clearly demonstrates that artistic expression is at the core of human experience
The show opens Friday, May 2nd from 5pm-8pm with an artist’s reception and live poetry readings in the studio, and will continue through July 25th, with a special openings on June 6th in conjunction with Friday Night Liberty, our first Friday’s gallery crawl. Hope to see you there-
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