Friday, April 17, 2015


Catharsis refers to an emotional release for the characters in a literary work, or an emotional release for the audience of the work. In Greek, the word catharsis literally means "cleansing". The emotional release that characters or the audience experience during the catharsis can lead to a sense of forgiveness and renewal. Most tragic works of literature end with

This Blog is being created to fulfill a requirement for a graduate course,ART 5364:Feminist Research Methods,which I am enrolled in as a part of the MAE Degree program at Texas Tech University,Spring 2015,instructor Dr. Kristi Humphreys.

We began this course with the reading of a book titled,Live Through This,edited by Sabrina Chapadjiev. This book includes poems,songs,artwork,performances and essays by 20 creative women.These women,( according to p.11 of the introduction), "who have dealt with self-destruction,and lived to tell the story....."are the type of women I would like to place my focus on for this blog.The purpose of this blog is to communicate and reachy.  out to women who have experienced trauma. This should be a place for healing and I feel in order to heal one has to begin by telling their story.I want this to be a safe place/ a sacred place where anyone who has suffered trauma or has known someone or has an interest in helping women who have suffered, can express their voice through personal art of their own/writings/songs/photography/poetry
I made this art,titled, Eight pink Crosses,mixed/canvas,5' x 3', in response to my readings about the femicides In Juarez, Mexico. The book which informed this art ,The Daughters of Juarez by Teresa Rodriquez,is a powerful and disturbing account of the horrible "atrocities" involving these very young women such as rape,kidnapping, mutilation and killings.
Eight Pink crosses,mixed/canvas,5' x 3',2015

My hope is that anyone who has been affected by trauma,mental or physical,will feel safe enough to post their art/poetry/songs/writings here!

About Healing,Susan Harmon,5' x 3',2014,mixed/canvas

pink behind the dark silhouette

Israel national anthem

HATIKVAH means The Hope and this Israeli Anthem is a hauntingly emotional song about hope.

the purple anger

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Inocente- Oscar Winner, Doc Short 2013,ART AS THERAPY

This post is about Art as Therapy and how  making art can give people purpose and a reason to go on living even in the bleakest of living conditions.Please watch the movie above about "A talented 15-year-old Latina who, as an undocumented homeless immigrant, fiercely pursues her dream of becoming an artist."
Inocente creating art

I created a very large painitng in response to this movie(see below).I agree with  author, Lucy Lippard who says, according to The Pink Glass Swan, a book by Lucy Lippard,(page 273)..."My own choice has been  to spend time on images of the world by women rather than on images of women  by the world"

           The Colors of Healing,by Susan Harmon,12' x 7',mixed/canvas,2015

A.R.T.S. is an organization which is dedicated to creating a movement behind the importance of the arts as a prevention and intervention vehicle to create a positive transformation in children and youth facing adversity."– This organization helps kids facing similar difficult circumstances as HEAL but have opportunity to engage on a more frequent and long-term basis. Our Inspire Program focuses on Maslow’s ’Estee’ level. This program starts to focus in on those kids whose intrinsic motivation is the arts. They have been introduced to the arts and want more! We begin building their skills in their medium(s) of choice and build their self-esteem and self-confidence by recognizing and celebrating their efforts and achievements in various ways. By exposing them to the possibilities in the arts – and in life – we build a sense of “hope and faith”, inspiring them to reach beyond their current circumstances and set goals for the future.

SURVIVORS WHO USE ART AS THERAPY;Feminist Art as Expression.

Survivors: Art Therapy in New York

Printer-friendly versionSend by email
Joyce Beckinstein
Today's self-taught artists belong to an extended family that includes the physically disabled, the abused, the impoverished, the unconventional and those, like Candyce Brokaw, living outwardly conventional lives that belie their post traumatic stress disorder. Brokaw, 55, spans the spectrum of this contemporary genre: a survivor of incest and rape, she is a visionary artist and founder of Survivors Art Foundation (SAF). Her recent collaborations with Pure Vision Arts and Fountain Gallery, in New York, champion the works of talented visual artists.
Organisations such as Hospital Audiences, Inc. (HAI) in New York City, began an art therapy programme in 1969 and now provide community facilities for people with mental disabilities, including schools, homeless shelters and substance abuse centers, offering them interactive workshops in music, performance, media and visual arts. Many of their artists have become well known, including Ray Hamilton and Melvin 'Milky' Way.
These artists comprise a diverse population and are now referred to as visionary, marginal, naïve or folk artists, to name a few current identities. Blurred as these lines may seem, this expansive genre is essentially composed of self-taught artists whose remarkable instinct for what colour can do for a line involves little pre-planning. What they put down stays down. Their art is driven by inner necessity, something people like Candyce Brokaw are compelled to do.
At 38, Brokaw, a chronically depressed mother of three, broke down, retreated to her bedroom and began to obsessively draw; a menagerie of pigs, birds and snakes scratched in pencil, bodies spewing other bodies bled straight from tubes. 'My art came from within,' she says, 'I couldn't stop.'
She never expected to be a fine artist. 'My monsters still lurk, but my art helps keep them at bay,' says Brokaw. Art heals, but for Brokaw healing is an ongoing process and she founded Survivors Art Foundation in 1997 'to connect others in similar, silent worlds and give them a voice'. The umbrella organisation was open to all artists suffering from physical or mental trauma. Word of this international lifeline flashed through cyberspace, with thousands of people - from Iraq to Indiana - accessing the site. By 2000, SAF's web gallery was part the Computerworld Smithsonian Collection on Information Technology.
Brokaw met many self-taught artists through SAF, like Ross Brodar and Alison Silva. Brodar, 38, began painting as a teen in a correctional program. Uninvited to the Annual Outsider Art Fair in SoHo, New York, he hung his paintings inside a rented mover's van and parked it curbside at the auspicious Puck Building fair site. Passers-by, invited into this make-shift gallery, purchased his art - outside the indoor outsider event.
Purchase to view the entire article: 
Raw Vision #68