Many Artists Believe It Does!
This morning, after spending a couple of hours viewing some incredible entries for the Manhattan Arts International “The Healing Power of ART 2015” juried competition I opened an e-mail from Hyperallergic blogazine and read this shocking statement: “Yesterday we got a strange thing in the mail. A postcard with big white letters on a black background arrived at our office. It read ‘I MAKE ART SO I DON’T HAVE TO KILL MYSELF”.
Well, as you can imagine I was startled by the words and the synchronicity of the message. It seemed as though the universe was sending loud instructions: “Renée, this year you must promote “The Healing Power of ART” online exhibition more than ever! And, you must use The Healing Power of ART & ARTISTS website as a platform to communicate the importance of art and healing.”
I may even go as far as saying art has the power to save lives. And, I don’t think that is an exaggeration.
As we do every year, we have been receiving a very diverse range of powerful art submissions from around the world. However, this year, for some reason — it might be because I suffered more than the usual amount of family grief and trauma this past year — I find myself frequently brought to tears as I view the art and read the artist’s statements. They are more visceral than in previous competitions. Some images make my heart sing while others jab me right in my solar plexus.
Art About Peace and Joy
Many of the visual images and statements being submitted are very positive and reflect the joys and rewards of creating art for healing others. For example, several nature-inspired artists write about their desire to reflect the magnificent splendor, beauty and resilience of their subjects, whether they are landscapes, flowers or animals. And, a sculptor submitted a joyful, playful and colorful wall sculpture that has been placed at a children’s hospital. Another artist expressed the feeling many artists have. With her beautiful paintings her statement read: “…it makes me happy to know that I am creating not only for me but for all others that seek that peace and joy!”
Art About Life and Death Issues
However, there are many statements coming from artists who have something very different on their minds like dealing with physical and mental illness. One artist entrant wrote: “Within the last ten years painting has been a continuous remedy for the depression and pain…” Another artist’s statement included: “During chemo therapy, for a bone marrow transplant, I experienced a vision..” While still another wrote: “My passion for art helps me fight a life-long struggle with severe depression…”
An artist from Australia really made an impact with these words: “I believe art saved my life, pulled me out of a coma…”
Many personal emails have been flooding in this year from everywhere thanking us for holding an exhibition of this nature. They are coming from artists, art therapists, authors, art and healthcare consultants, and the general public.
What is particularly heart-warming are the comments from artists with their entry forms thanking us for providing an important theme that may have a positive impact on many people around the world. Several artists have even said they look forward to seeing the online exhibition, whether they win or not. That says a lot about how they view the project more important than their egos. What extraordinary artists they are!
So, with a heart that is filled with compassion, joy, anticipation, excitement and an abundance of purpose I look forward to presenting “The Healing Power of ART” exhibition and sharing many extraordinary works of art with every year.
I am so very grateful to all the artists and art enthusiasts who share our vision.
This article was written in 2015. We already presented Manhattan Arts International “The Healing Power of ART” exhibition in 2016.
However, we are currently accepting entries for “New Beginnings”.
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