Giving Hand to Hand

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.

The Art of Discovery

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”

Life with a Mental Illness - B4Stage4 initiative

​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

Broward Community College Round Table

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'!


 Sunlight is painting,  Nathaniel Hawthorne

 I paint what I see, not what I think I see”. From the images in this show, what Ellen Buchanan sees is bright light playing across the colored townscapes and places where she has travelled, from Miami to Honduras.

 Even though Ellens’ work is full of architectural elements, she struggles with drawing perspective. A mostly self-taught artist, she reads books and practices until she gets it right.

 For Ellen, the worst part of painting is “there is never enough time to do what you want to do with your painting.” What is the best part? “Being able to express in bright colors. It let’s me empty myself of cares and helps me relax.” 


Nursing cohort 24 students in our life drawing class with Pam

Holiday Concert

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.

Donation: $5.00

954 746-2055

Winner of the "Howie The harp arts award 2014"

Howie the Harp (1953-1995)

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.)

9Muses Art Center

Emunah Susson Solo Exhibit "Leftover Love"

At first look, the show in front of you is of colorful, fun images.  Look closer, the textures from found objects provides dimension that is both visual and visceral. Look deeper, and the individual objects embedded in each image tells the story of everyday living.
In “Heavy heart at its Purest” (See slideshow), the assemblage is layered with pill bottles, buttons, bottle caps , gun cartridges, jar lids, keys, broken jewels, parts from shoes, broken pens, and a watch given by fellow 9Muses Artist, the late Roger Granning. Beautiful job Emunah!


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.



Art in Tandem
"I think one’s art goes as far and as deep as one’s  love goes".
-Andrew Wyeth

A mother’s love brought a lonely daughter here. Through love of art, both found a place of being and happiness. When daughter, Jennifer Bergeron was beginning recovery, her mother, Elizabeth Benedictis, was told about the center by a care provider. Both have grown from the experience as their art demonstrates.

A native of Costa Rica, Elizabeth came to the U.S. well educated and wanting to learn to speak English. She attended Broward College and currently works there as a lab assistant in the pottery lab. Jennifer was born in Florida and attended schools in Plantation.

In this show we see examples in acrylics of animals and landscapes with demonstrations of color and movement and a post-impressionist style of expression.

Jennifer is proud of her achievements. Her hand-eye coordination has improved and she loves pottery and there is fun in the company of other artists. “The outside world is put in the background, in my art, I relax… the art world brings in all kinds of people, most would probably not meet otherwise”.

So here is art in tandem. A mother, a daughter, working side by side, explores a larger world at a table in community with other people. Paint brushes in hand Elizabeth and Jennifer are creating a better world for themselves and others.

To Benefit Mental Illness

3,000 Miles of Adventure Cycling across the Southern Tier of the USA
San Diego, CA, to St. Augustine, FL
September 14, 2015 – November 15, 2015

For More Information visit:

Andrea Brandman Solo Exhibit "Lost In Art"

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!

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?"

Reading the Grain
 The Wood Sculpture of Louis Goicoechea

 Louis Goicoechea  is a modern renaissance man. The Bronx native is an professional bassist, a composer and arranger, a gourmet cook (since the age of ten) and, it is in these sculptured pieces of wood that we see the skill of a self taught sculptor.
In his youth Louis watched his father sculpt, but he had no interest in it . It was only later,  in a time of self-discovery, that he created his own tools and began to carve.

“It takes time,” says Louis. “The process of working down to a sculpted form, chipping away, chip after chip, until you get the form you want. I read the grain of the wood.” In reading the grain he finds the form. Louis often finds his supply of wood simply by looking for it in the front of peoples homes. After Hurricane Wilma he found a piece of wet mahogany  and it took a couple of years of drying before he could work on it. Sometimes he combines different varieties to combine colors and create different effects as in waves of hair.

Louis finds sculpting calming and helpful to his wellbeing, but he also likes to see them completed. When he is done with a piece he sells them and often gives them away. “Sometimes, after years have gone by I revisit a piece and I am amazed. I keep thinking I did that?

A modern renaissance man, Louis finds that creativity touches the soul and heals.

[art - Thology]:

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

Clive facey  solo exhibit "Drawn to ourselves"

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."

Thank you... Korean United Methodist Church

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.

Exciting news!! Art Display in Health Professions Division to Benefit Mental Health Programs. Check out this announcement at Nova University's web site:

“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.

Archived News and Events at 9Muses Fine Art and Mental Health Support Center

Jammin' In the Park,, Lauderhill Florida

On Saturday April 25th 9Muses Art Center participated in the  musical event in Lauderhill, and presented original art and jewelry created by the members of 9Muses. Among featured items were necklaces and earrings made from colorful wrapping and writing paper by artist Kathy Garcia. They are sturdy and beautiful and were a highlight at the event. Musical performances included The Sugar Hill Gang.


A "Roast and Toast"

Violet King is one of 9Muses Art Center's earliest and most prolific members. Her style ranges from realistic to abstract and everything in between, and she uses a variety of media including pencil, ink, acrylic, oil, watercolor, and many times a mixture of two or more. Despite being so broad in her approach to art, Violet's work is almost always easy to identify as hers due to her distinctive manner of painting and drawing.

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.

The 2015 Halloween Bash

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.

“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.”

Folding Like the Wind - Origami Exhibit

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.”