Now that it's the new year, it's a fresh start. Never mind that I submitted a post on New Year's Eve; NOW is the time to really welcome you to the activity at Expression-M!
I have high hopes for 2018. 2017 was a year of laying the groundwork in preparing my humble workspace/studio/office and getting all the paperwork in to make Expression-m a reality. It's a relatively small space, but it works for me - for now, and it required lots of paint on the walls (and me being me settled on 3 different colors - a feng shui thingy), set up, moving tons of canvases in, drafting table, easels, desk, etc. There was also much time spent completing a series of work and presenting some of the prints for display in October, where they can be viewed at Lela's, which is located downstairs from Expression-m. The giclee prints are available to view during Lela's hours: Mon. - Sat. from 11am to 8pm.
This spring, Lela's and Expression-M are teaming up to provide some art-related ventures to add to an already thriving arts community in Portland but with our own creative and educational twist. To keep abreast of what is taking place, please sign up for my newsletter or check back on the blog. Know that any sign ups you enter will NOT be shared nor will you have your email bombarded with excessive and annoying stuff. I believe in the good neighbor adage of treating others as you wish to be treated, so your inbox is safe with me.
There is a lot going on with Expression-m and as things get done, I'll fill you in. Ultimately, I wish to see Expression-m become more than my work but a place for kids to learn, create, heal and explore the arts in a way they can't at school or home. As electronics replace drawing paper, paint, markers, books, etc., there's a tremendous deficit occurring in the life of a child, a world of disengagement taking place that is, in all honesty, almost criminal.
Having worked with many at-risk kids over the years and with young women suffering from domestic abuse and the horrors of trafficking, I have witnessed the transformation that takes place in someone's life when they have a 'safe space' to go to only found in The Arts. I'm not at all alluding to the current pop-culture/political speak regarding safe spaces but to that internal safe haven referred to in my artist's statement about what art offers: a way to take something so personal and intuitive and apply it creatively in a relevant, meaningful - and soulful - manner.
With that said, I am also a huge advocate for Art Therapy and am pleased to see that it has taken a serious role in our current conversations - even at the political level. I have a feeling that going forward, we are going to need a lot of Art Therapists to assist those suffering from a myriad of addictions - including electronics - and dissociation, which is another feature extracted from our virtual reality gadgets/games.
We have a lot of ground to cover, and it is my goal to have Expression-m involved - wherever it can be. I know what being able to draw, paint, write, film, play and record music has done - and continues to do - for me; I want to extend those gifts to anyone who is looking for a way to apply art into their world.
Well, that's all I have to offer for now. I'm sending out some good vibes to those of you in most of the country freezing at this time. I am quite grateful to be in Portland right now, thank you! It might be damp but the sun has appeared a bit, and it's a sweltering 40-something degrees outside, which would be a heatwave for my Chicago pals about now.
Take care and until the next post - be good to yourself & to everyone you encounter!