Art is all around us, and yet, only a few people take the time to stop and truly appreciate a great piece of art. When people are introduced to great art, it’s generally while they’re in school, even though that is happening less due to budget cuts being made to school arts programs. Challenges aside, people who do appreciate art may gain cultural benefits that even they are unaware of. In fact, art, including photography created by artists like Tierney Gearon, Senol Zorlu and Lee Towndrow, is now being used as a form of therapy.
Although art therapy has a similar focus as psychotherapy and group talk therapy, the approach of art therapy is different. In addition, a person doesn’t have to be mentally or emotionally imbalanced to benefit from participating in art therapy. Art Therapy reports that some benefits to be gained from using art to heal include:
· Self-exploration or increased opportunities to connect with one’s authentic self
· Chances to process challenging emotions and thoughts
· Greater understanding of inner desires and motivations
· Pain reduction
· Lowered anxiety levels
· Improved social skills
Both children and adults can benefit from art therapy. During the therapy, clients generally create their artwork, focusing their efforts on new designs, similar to how established artists whose works are featured at a fine art gallery do. Other forms of art therapy might require clients to visit a fine art gallery and verbalize their emotions and thoughts about one or more art pieces.
TIERNEY GEARON – Frame 01, from the Explosure Series, 2008
People who feel depressed, anxious or angry when they arrive at a fine art gallery can, after spending several minutes at the gallery, find their mood lifting, turning in a more positive direction. This might be possible, in part, as people closely examine photographs and images of people depicted in situations that they, art observers, are currently struggling with. As shared in Art Therapy, “By expressing yourself through art, an art therapist can help you see things about yourself that you otherwise may not have comprehended.”
The article continues, “Don’t be surprised if the effects of art therapy lead to a general sense of relief and overall better mental health. Again, it’s therapy, but with a completely different ingredient than most people are used to, art.”
Attend a few structured art therapy sessions and people can learn how to explore parts of themselves they previously turned a blind eye to or ignored. They could discover why they feel the way they do about certain people, life events and experiences. They might also learn how to release painful memories so they can lead fuller lives.
Yes. Each of these (and more) benefits are derived from the work of artists like Tierney Gearon, Senol Zorlu, Roger Ballen, Lillian Bassman, Willy Ronis and Richard Renaldi. Perhaps it’s the effort, the passion and the laser focus that great artists put into their work that translates to viewers, that helps people to heal.
Furthermore, and as quiet as it’s kept, it might be for its benefits that Tierney Gearon, Senol Zorlu, Holly Andres, Sid Avery and other artists take their tools and create artwork to begin with. Historically artists have been known to perceive the world differently than other people, something that has, at times, caused artists to withdrawal from the masses. For these and a myriad of other reasons, it’s a wonderful happening when artists have their work featured at a fine art gallery, connecting artists and art lovers in rewarding ways.
Rhonda Campbell is an East Coast journalist who loves offering tips and advice about fine art and commercial art. Her work has been published in national periodicals like USA Today, Yahoo! Education and The Pittsburgh Quarterly.
Doodle July 14, 2012
Google commemorates Austrian artist Gustav Klimt with a doodle of the artist’s “The Kiss,” integrated into the logo in gold…a characteristic Klimt style.
Klimt is one of the most celebrated art nouveau painters in Austria today with works that can be seen in many historical buildings in Vienna’s Ringstraße which includes the Kunsthistorisches Museum, the Burgtheater and a lot more.
He became one of the founding members and president of the Wiener Sezession (Vienna Secession) in 1897 (below is the Secession building, which is characterized by a golden dome of laurel leaves). Klimt remained with the Secession until 1908. The group’s goals were to provide exhibitions for unconventional young artists, to bring the best foreign artists’ works to Vienna, and to publish its own magazine to showcase members’ work.
The Kiss is currently exhibited at the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, a museum at the Belvedere Palace.
For his 150th Birthday today, 14 July, a center dedicated to him was opened in Kammer am Attersee. It is not a museum per se, but rather a documentation center…Future activities associated with the artist will be held there. The initiative “Klimt am Attersee” is in cooperation with the Leopold Museum in Vienna.
(photos in collage taken during a night walk inVienna)
The Kiss, upclose
The kids and I saw this iris on our way home. It was the lone blossom from an area of bare earth…I had to stop and snap…I rarely see them around here. Irises remind me of Van Gogh because at one point, I think that was 14 years ago, I made a copy of his piece Irises during art class (watercolor). I learned to admire the work and the artist in the process…
We accepted that Van Gogh was troubled, cut off his ear, admitted to an asylum and finally took on his life as history books and film portrayals had it. Now, 121 years after, two authors – Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith argue that Van Gogh did not commit suicide. The inconsistencies in the stories surrounding the artists’ life prompted them to do extensive research, read about it here. We may never know what really transpired in the artist’s life but we know how great of an artist he was.