|May is Mental Health Month, and the Mental Health Association of Southeast Florida is recognizing this month with a message of hope and opportunity. When mental disorders are talked about, the language typically used to describe them tends to be clinical and impersonal. These words, while useful for clinicians, often don't do justice to what life with a mental illness feels like. That is why this year's theme — for May is Mental Health Month is Mental Health Month-"Life With a Mental Illness" — is a call to action to share what life with a mental illness feels like to someone going through it.|
May is Mental Health Month was started 67 years ago by Mental Health Association of Southeast Florida's national organization,
Mental Health America, to raise awareness about mental conditions and the importance of good mental health for everyone. Last year, mental health materials were seen and used by 19 million people, with more than 5,500 entities downloading MHA's toolkits. The 2015 theme — based on off of our B4Stage4 initiative — helped individuals understand that when you address mental health symptoms before Stage 4, people can often recover quickly and live full and productive lives.
Read more about B4Stage4 Sunsentinel written by Paul Jaquith
Students from Broward Community College Psychiatric Nursing program took a sampling of our course curriculum. Classes lasted 20 minutes each and included Dance, Drawing, Clay, Painting and Creative Writing, Sets were created for use in the drawing and painting classes. The students experienced first hand the methods used by the Art Center to aid the recovery of it's members and gave the program an overwhelming 'thumbs up'!
Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working - Pablo Picasso
A conversation with Nicole Storrs, Ceramicist Instructor at the art center is fun, fast, energetic and full of ideas; A reflection of the artist and her work.
Nicole has been creating art for a long time, she dates it back to birth. When asked why she keeps producing work, the response was enthusiastic. “It is still fun!. The process is fun, reverse engineering on other people's work is fun. It is the coolest, it keeps me going.”
This months show did not start with brush nor pencil. They are images made with painters tape. They were sliced with an X-acto knife and laid out in different orientations. After painting, they were given a clear coat. “The coat takes it up a notch”
One of the tools Nicole uses to find inspiration is a swap file. A swap file is a collection of art images and ideas, kept in a scrapbook or other places. “I like to put my swap files on the wall so that I always have something to inspire me” says Nicole.
If there is one thought that Nicole would like to share with other artists, it is to “Do something with your time. One of the most satisfying things in my work is knowing I sold something, something that I created and it is out in the world because I made the time to produce it.”
Looking at Nicole’s body of work it was, and is, time well spent.
Monica Salzman - Freedom in Color Solo Exhibit
There is a common story members tell of their first visit to 9Muses Art Center, it is not always easy to get yourself through the door. This month’s Gallery Artist Monica Salzman tells the story of when her daughter suggested her coming to the center. She was not easily sold. “Who goes there? “she responded.
“I never drew before. I was going through the most difficult time in my life and I was not comfortable (around people) I was scared when I first came here. But from the beginning it was a miracle. I found happiness, there was a space for me and I found a place to be free.
At first Monica’s work was done in gray and black tones but grew into an explosion of colors in the paintings seen in the gallery today. An avid follower of art and artists. She is influenced by such artists as Modigliani, and Pablo Picasso. Perhaps her strongest influences are two south American artists; In the works of Romero Britto she finds bold lines. “I watched a video of him using thick markers and I thought if he could do it, I could do it.” You can also see the Uruguayan artist Carlos Paez Vilaro in her work. Both of these artists reflect afro-south American tribal culture.
Acrylic paints are used throughout Monica’s work. Vibrant, complimentary colors in harmony with each other. They are painted in blocks that are almost tribal in feel.
So Monica comes to the center. She has struggled through challenges here and has come to feel healthy and content as old friends go and new friends arrive and she feels she is healing the little girl she once was.
As she puts it, “My Circumstances are the same, but my colors are happy.”
As words are to an anthology, the images in this show tell, both individually and collectively, a story. Collectively it tells the story of classwork, commitment, achievement and the skill building of an artist’s natural talent that goes beyond itself. The artist’s eye defines color as the hand improves in skill.
Individual stories are more variant. More than individual gains, each image is about self-discovery. There are visual stories of the beginning artist advancing with more experience. The choice in media; Pastels, Watercolor, Acrylic or pencil affects the viewers outcome of the image.
There is another part of the story and that is you the viewer. There narratives for you to perceive and interpret. It is up to the viewer to discover what a flower, a child, a home or a bright ornament means to them. Where does the landscape go beyond the frame? What tastes come to mind when you see a still life of fruit?
This exhibition tells a story of artists, about artists, by artists. We welcome you to enjoy and explore.
Orchids: By Request
Where flowers bloom, so does hope. - Lady Bird Johnson.
The exhibit in this gallery is not just images of pretty flowers, it is also a dialogue between the studio's family and the community. It is a story of how one person, or person’s request became an opportunity to explore a variety of artistic techniques in a variety of styles and for some, an opportunity to exhibit for the first time. The seed for the show began with a request by Dr. Andrea Sciberras, of Sciberras Internal Medicine Inc., Dania Beach who displays 9Muses art pieces in her office. She asked Chris Yoculan, Director of Adult Services, MHA of Southeast Florida, if she could have images of flowers for her practice so that patients could have a calming experience while in the waiting room. Chris brought the request to the Muses. The response was prolific. read more
For More Information visit: www.RideToAwareness.org
Nursing cohort 24 students in our life drawing class with Pam
Have a chat with Clive Facey and you will immediately discover a man with a great variety and depth of interests. He is a dancer, and juggler; an avid fan of sports, from basketball to gymnastics (as Clive puts it, "people fly"). He likes golf, not just the game. "The course is like a forest and place of quiet."
Clive's art again shows eclectic interests. The eyes have expression, clothes give character and the images themselves create mood. "I can't believe the changes in Clive's work, it has come to life", remarks Clive's instructor Pamela Alaniz. In the past, Clive's work came from thoughts and experiences. Recently he has been creating work from referenced materials such as photography and paintings. "Clive works very quickly and picks up the essence of the images he is referencing."
When asked his opinion of his art, Clive simply stated "My work is changing because I am changing."
9Muses Art Center Solo Exhibition featuring Andrea Brandman. For Andrea Brandman; “There is a potential for adventure in a landscape painting”, always wanting to see what is beyond the image.” She has an attraction to beauty and nature and deep love of texture and whimsy. Andrea grew up in the State of New York near the ocean. “The sea is uplifting. It is home, peace and tranquility.” Travel is a theme that runs through Andrea’s life. “My favorite part of the year as a child was when we would take a trip to Florida and Miami Beach.” To this day she loves to to jump into the car and drive. “It brings me peace.” Andrea is partial to acrylic painting and is influenced by Van Gogh. “His works have a dreamy quality.” In the future Andrea intends to create a body of work featuring old time farms and barns. Congratulations Andrea!
On behalf of the Mental Health Association of Southeast Florida and the 9Muses Art Center, I thank you, The Korean United Methodist Church of South Florida for your continued support and encouragement as we work to achieve mental wellness for everyone. We have enjoyed a great relationship over the past 16 years with the Church and its members from the picnics to the annual concert.
The members of our 9Muses program appreciate your support and encouragement. This year's concert is a very exciting opportunity for the entire community to celebrate our long standing relationship and support. The Mental Health Association's Board of Directors and the 9Muses Art Center thank you for this wonderful opportunity to celebrate together. - Paul Jaquith, President and CEO - Mental Health Association of Southeast Florida.
Visit: The Korean United Methodist Church for more information.
Ringing in the Holidays
Korean United Methodist Church
4905 W. Prospect Road, Tamarac, FL33309
December 7th, 2014 at 7:00pm
Capture the spirit of the season this year with THE MUSES. Our 4th Annual Holiday Concert is mixed with Yuletide Musings, a classical violoncello, and the always popular Korean United Methodist Bell-Choir.
Join us for this very exciting opportunity to celebrate together as we work to achieve mental wellness for everyone. The Mental Health Association's Board of Directors and the 9MusesArtCenter look forward to Ringing in the Holidays with you and yours.
Howie the Harp, a leader of the consumer/survivor/ex-patient movement, He created peace with his music, playing his harmonica wherever he went. He was a founder of Altered States of the Arts, a national network for artists, writers and performers, and was always the emcee at Alternatives conference talent shows. He often stood up with his cane and said, "What am I doing?" - to which the audience would roar in response, "Raising Cane!" Howie was loved by everyone, and always served as a mediator, making peace, making music. Howie the Harp was a longtime advocate for the arts in the consumer/survivor/ex-patient movement. We honor the work he did by presenting an annual award in his memory to an individual or organization that has carried on that tradition. (9Muses is happy to be the winner of the 2014 Howie the Harp Arts Award.)
Lois Cleary has a very special place within the art studio. On her 20th anniversary, she has the perspective of years as a member, studio staff and employee of the Mental Health Association of Southeast Florida. "My daughter is a mental health consumer and we went to this new art studio called Hot Sketch (the precursor of 9Muses) where I met Jan Anastasio, the program director. Hot Sketch became 9Muses Art Center and Lois went from being a member to being an employee. "Jan taught me so much. I remember a woman came in agitated and incoherent. But Jan took her into the office and listened to her. Lois continues "in a conversation with Jan afterwards, Jan said "It is so hard when you know something happened to you but no one will listen, I know what that is like". Jan made me realize that everyone has a story to tell and they are valid." Lois has many stories like this to tell.
As for how far the center has come? "9Muses Art Center has broadened far beyond its founding; It has grown in outreach and programming. It has deeper meaning to the community, it has affected lives intimately. The center is not just a place of art; it is a place of healing.
This year's honorees are:
9Muses is featuring "Playing with a Full Deck" playing cards. Each card is an work of art created by its members. Cards sell for $10.00 a deck and proceeds benefit the Mental Health Association of Southeast Florida..
|9MUSES ART CENTER - 7139 WEST OAKLAND PARK BLVD. LAUDERHILL, FL 33313|
|PH: 954-746-2055 FAX: 954-746-6373|
When Roland (he goes by Skip) Gauvream first came to 9Muses Art Center, he first needed to discover a place to unload a lifetime of struggle with fear, social anxiety, and depression caused by trauma when he became his mother’s caretaker at the age of 10. He came for the support groups (“They gave me the toolbox to recover”) but then came, completely out of left field, a surprise. Skip is a talented artist.
On display this month is the work of an artist who has only been painting for less than a year. As Skip puts it, “I started to improve when I stopped having unrealistic expectations and just started having fun.” It is then that the artist developed.
What has developed is work full of color in floral and fauna and human portraiture. In his process, Skip likes to research. Art Instructor Pamela Alaniz has shown him art books and other media. As Skip puts it, “ I am looking for new ideas on how to create art in all kind of forms. I am influenced by images in stained glass.” In the future, Skip wants to develop skills in 3D rendering.
Skip is both excited and anxious about the show. “I am so surprised that this has happened”. He discovered his art and in the process he has grown in self-esteem. The year may have started with trauma and burdens, but Skip wants people to know. “Its been a very good year”
Thanksgiving is in the details says Marches' Gallery Muses Olivia Fears. She gives thanks to the viewers looking at her work by putting numbers by every line to keep count of each and every wrinkle. She is mindful of anatomy and her thankfulness can be seen by her choice of paper, as she puts it, "I like a watercolor paper that can take my attacks". She is particular in her choice of paints. As a watercolorists Olivia finds fluidness, moving from translucence to opaqueness. A self-taught artist, Olivia often breaks the rules of technique. "In watercolor you usually start from light colors and end with darker ones. I like to start with darker colors. It helps me see more of the highlights."
Creating paintings for a show has its challenges. Olivia sees realistic images in the details. As she puts it, "finishing is about perfection." She has to be aware, in her creative impulses, not to overwork the paintings. "It would effect the work." She likes to focus more on the experience. "I ask myself how is the painting making me feel? What are my thoughts? What questions is the work asking me? I try to find the answers". Olivia Fears' answers are intriguing indeed.
worked together to bring a special wellness project to members which involved the creation of personal recovery wheels with a list of coping tools and also aided them in creating collages with pictures that bring members joy or happy reminders.
It was lots of fun for all participants. Each person also had the opportunity to create their own stress balls made from flour and rice and hand decorated. We offer our gratitude and congratulations to each student for a job well done:
Sally S Clay
August 4, 1941 - April 4, 2016
Upon hearing of the passing of Sally Clay, Broward County, Florida Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren commented, “I’m very sorry to hear this news. Sally made a tremendous contribution to the world and to justice! A civil rights & consumer rights giant. It’s a terrible loss.”
In 1980 when the State of Maine developed its Client Rights, which were in essence privileges, not rights. Sally testifies before the State Legislature giving them a “lesson” in English which resulted in Sally being asked to help draw up the first official Client Rights for the State. She followed that up by writing and narrating a slide presentation in 1981about the stigma of mental illness. It was used in university settings for psychology and social work classes as well as the general public, and is referenced today. Sally was chosen to be the Consumer Expert and Representative for the Sanbourne vs.Chiles class action lawsuit regarding the care being provided to the residents of South Florida State Hospital.
Sally’s two final contributions were in the State of Florida. She was one of three consumers to write the proposal for the SAMHSA research about the efficacy of all- consumer-run programs and their impact on recovery and well-being when added to traditional services. The results are described in On Our Own Together with Sally as the editor. Sally had a role in three of the four drop-in-centers in the research study, Portland Coalition in Maine, Peer Center in Florida and Mental Health Client Action Network in California. She also worked on another federally funded project for Polk County Mental Health, known as WOW, Women of Wonder, for mothers serving prison sentences.
9Muses Art Center
Tobacco Free Florida
9Muses Art Center is hosting a free six week course on quitting tobacco featuring Tobacco Free Florida.
Thursdays, Aug. 20th to Sept. 24th 2015 from 2:00 - 3:30pm.
Whimsical worlds – Witty Words
Ask a member of 9Muses about John Ware, the answers are pretty much unanimous. He is intelligent, uniquely creative and a man with a wide range of knowledge. He is also quiet, polite, and kind.
What his friends have expressed about him, can be seen in John Wares’ art as well. But there is also a sense of playfulness. There is play in the scale of the images. The words also play with each scene. Sometimes in relationship, and sometimes it does not relate at all, and sometimes he is commenting to you, the observer.
“John zones in on the work. He is technical” said one member. Another member described his work as “...out of the box. It makes you think.” His work expresses humor and describes worlds he creates in his mind. He comments on them in his description and sometimes he is playing with the sound of words.
John's primary medium is use of colored pencils.
Eugene Ionesco once said, “A work of art is above all an adventure of the mind.”
This collection shows that John’s adventure is full of humor and thought and of course, play. Well done John Ware.
In Memory of our friend John Ware.
National Council for Behavioral Health
Every day, Congress makes decisions that affect you and your clients. Are your legislators taking your needs into account?
Do they know what your needs are?
When constituents stand together to voice their needs, we see the results. We saw it in the passage of the
Excellence in Mental Health Act.
In two consecutive years of funding for Mental Health First Aid.
In the 2008 Addiction and Mental Health Parity Law.
Speak up for your community's needs by joining the National Council at Hill Day 2015.
Because power concedes nothing in the face of silence. Be part of the change. Register today. It's free.
"We carry the message of the people we serve… If we don't speak, who will?"
“A Journey into Myself” solo exhibit by Shash Broxson
November 13th-December 4th 2015
Shash Broxson is a Polymath, a person of wide knowledge and learning, and her story of how she came to the studio is as broad as living in a tiny mud hut in the high desert of Arizona to exploring and photographing the people of Africa.
But Shash’s health deteriorated by the onset of depression. She found a way out of the pain and despair through self-acknowledgement and valuing herself as an artist. “The center was a place for me to come closer to myself.” The images in this show are comprised of abstracts with tight colors, tense still life’s and a human figure nearly overwhelmed by paint strokes of lines.
Community builds a toolbox
October 21st, 2016
For twenty years 9Muses Art Center has provided peace and comfort to those in need. A creative place to explore various means of improving the quality of life, for people trying to lift themselves from many challenges. And so like any homecoming, any family reunion, this community has come together to produce the recovery toolbox project. It's production had the energy of an old fashion barn raising. Many people participating in many different activities; the snipping sound of multiple scissors carving through calendars, books and magazines (shredded across the floor): The cries for more glue as they layered image after image onto cardboard boxes. Many people (instructors and students) were on hand to provide support, advise and listen to frustrated artists trying to figure out how to get things to stick to their boxes. There was also the laughter and chatter of members enjoying the process and commenting on each other’s work.
Wellness Assembly, in short is community in action, modeling the mission of this center. You are invited to take the time, explore the toolboxes not only for what they mean to the members, but also what they mean to you.
“Our Community, Ourselves” Solo exhibit featuring Joseph Heckler
To take an expression from author Oscar Wilde, “Every Portrait that is created with feeling is both a portrait of the artist and the sitter.” Here in this show, a curated project by Joseph Heckler, we see the familiar faces of friends and members of the 9muses Community. The images are both recognizable and different at the same time.
This comes from Joseph’s style. Influences; Surrealism, Cubism and Japanese Anime. “My work has a dream like quality. I try to capture a person’s expression and essence”. Some of his favorite artists include Salvador Dali, Van Gogh, Frida Kahlo, Monet, Manet, Degas, Cezanne, and Picasso.’
Joseph attended the New World School of the Arts in Miami, Florida. He likes to work in a variety of media such as oil and chalk pastels, acrylic, watercolor and colored pencils, pencil and ink. Each helps his creative process in different ways.
As with most artists, Joseph dislikes being caught in distractions that keep him from his work. But, when the time is right, as Joseph Heckler says; “I love to translate my imagination into my art.”
The annual "Bedlam Ball" was held on October 30th. It was complete with nutty costumes, spaghetti and meatballs and mud pudding. Music and dancing were the main ingredients of the day. At 6:00pm members enjoyed entertainment at the Final Friday show, the last of this year. It resumes in January 2016 so everyone ended the year's last show with a bang. The audience enjoyed the "Time Warp Again" as well as "Come Little Children" from Hocus Pocus and "Werewolves of London" topped with spooky poetry and dancing. A great time 9Muses style.
Richard Aldret was born in Homestead Florida. He started out as a performance artist and moved on some years later to the position of Creative Director of Wannado City Theme Park.
Richard was always a creative person. He came to the center ten years ago and was offered a job. He has been an asset to the organization teaching Poetry, Acting, Voice, Dance and several support groups
Richard found origami to be very therapeutic and relaxing except, Rick exclaims; “When it becomes very irritating.”
This is Richard’s first solo show which includes geometric clusters with an outer worldly feel, mounted and framed, along with rose clusters, a family of penguins, seahorses, and a cat and mouse.
Richard has developed discipline, tenacity and patience and even folds at home after a full days work, hence the name “Folding like the Wind”.
One of Richard’s featured pieces is named, ”Where’d You Go Major Tom?” “You’ve just got to keep folding and you will be surprised at what you can create from simple paper.”
“The Art of Playing with a Full Deck” - By 9Muses Artists
Earlier this year, the artists of the center were asked to create original works for an innovative fundraiser titled “Playing with a Full Deck”. The result was a unique deck of cards that had its debut during the 2016 EPIC Awards (Exceptional People Impacting the Community) in May 2016. This month’s exhibit incorporates a selection of the original works that make our limited edition deck of playing cards so beautiful. We would like you to take the time to look at the images, and you will find stories in each card. Some tell the tale of struggle, of stigma exposed, of humor and whimsy and others simply state the power and beauty of the creative mind.
The criteria for the call made to artists for the project was “Mental Health - A Goal for Everyone”. The art could be 2D or 3D, drawing, painting and photography. Design and concept were to express personal styles, techniques and imagination. In house members were encouraged to write a story, poem or create a performance piece.
The history of playing cards is long and varied, from Egypt, through France and England. The story of our community varies from people just looking for support, searching paths to recovery or finding a place to be and escape loneliness. Through the artistic process, artists are lifted from the challenges that life has dealt them, transcending struggles weighing down on the spirit. (In short, they play.)
So in the end, we all play the hand that life deals us. Some of us simply do so, more creatively.