‘A Visualization of Hope’ exhibition opening at art center

Ken Broadbent’s “Living Proof” in cold wax and oil is one of the pieces to be exhibited at the Muscatine Art Center Sept. 5 through Nov. 3. Submitted photo

“A Visualization of Hope,” exhibit at the Muscatine Art Center shares personal stories while expressing appreciation for fleeting moments of time. 

The 30 artists represented in the juried exhibition rely on different media to process complex emotions. All of the artists have stories to tell about battling cancer. 

The non-profit organization, Living Proof Exhibit, organizes this annual juried show and has partnered with the Muscatine Art Center since 2017. 

The Muscatine Art Center will host the complete exhibition for the first time this year. “A Visualization of Hope” opens on Sept. 5 with a free public reception from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and runs through Nov. 3.

Connie Gross is one of this year’s artists. In her statement, Gross discusses her 2015 breast cancer diagnosis and how cancer led her to greater appreciation of fleeting moments that plays out in her art. She writes, “I look more intently, see colors and shapes more clearly, and put more of my heart and soul in the paint and canvas. I could give you paragraphs on my color theory and painting techniques, but I think it is more important that you know I have preserved a beautiful moment in time.”

In presenting this exhibition and through offering free classes, both Living Proof Exhibit and the Muscatine Art Center want to send the message that the arts can be part of the healing process. As creating art in any form is a process of sharing emotions, people managing a wide range of difficulties, including cancer, can benefit from a creative outlet. Patients coping with cancer can experience a wide range of emotions which may be difficult to communicate. Making art can be one way to express feelings and can result in reduced stress, anxiety, and depression.

Living Proof Exhibit and the Muscatine Art Center are committed to developing a safe place where cancer patients, survivors, support team members, and caregivers can connect with others in similar situations. The two have offered eight Creative Sessions in recent years and two more are scheduled for fall of 2019:

On Thursday, September 12, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., guest instructor Terre Klipsch will lead this mandala stone session. Mandala is Sanskrit for “circle” and it a spiritual and ritual symbol that represents the universe. Circle designs used in Mandalas also represents the idea that life if never ending and everything is connected. Join us to learn more about Mandalas and create your own. Kelly Hendershot from Gilda’s Club Quad Cities will also lead the group in meaningful meditation.

On Thursday, Oct. 10, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., guest instructor Gina Kirschbaum will guide participants through all of the steps of creating a beautiful mixed media tree. The process involves painting, ripping and cutting paper, and gluing together the composition. The final touch is writing words on paper leaves to express reasons for gratitude. 

Admission to these programs is free and open to cancer survivors, patients, and families touched by cancer. Both programs will be held in the Muscatine Art Center’s Studio. The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue, Muscatine, Iowa.

Visit www.muscatineartcenter.org for more information about programs and events and to download a class brochure.

This story originally appeared on the Voice of Muscatine. Read More local stories here.

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