‘SOLACE: Healing Through the Arts’
An Exhibit featuring the healing artwork by the Community!
Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts is proud to open SOLACE: Healing Through the Arts featuring visual arts, performances, and community Workshops over a six-week period, October and November. This series aims to bring individuals of all backgrounds together to find solace or healing from trauma, illness, isolation, grief, and/or related experiences, including, but not limited to, the past year’s world, national, and local events. The SOLACE Visual Art exhibition opens on October 1, 2021 during the Welcome Back Open House and runs through October 23, 2021. The SOLACE: OPEN Mic Night showcases the community with performing arts, like dance, song, and poetry, on November 5, 2021 at 8 PM. Both events are free and open to the public.
‘SOLACE started as an experiment. Typically, our galleries at the Suffolk Center host invitational exhibits — amazing, curated displays of artistic ability and prowess. What makes SOLACE so special is that for this exhibit, we invited anyone in our community to contribute their work, no matter their background, medium, education, or skill level, to tell their story of healing through art.’ shares Lorelei Costa Morrow, Suffolk Center’s Executive Director and CEO.
And what a treasure trove — and potent time capsule — the center received from the community. ‘We are proud that this exhibit includes work of such tremendous artistic skill as Torey Hall’s powerful drawing, Hides the Sun, Nansemond. Yet we are just as proud to display works by students, including three paintings by children, who received our art kits at the Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters as part of the SOLACE initiative.’ shares Rick Byrd, Suffolk Center’s Education Manager.
These pieces tell such a diversity of trauma and healing experiences. Diana Veazey’s sculpture, Broken, shows the artist’s feelings after a breast cancer diagnosis; C. Edward Vann’s oil paintings are haunting depictions of pain. Lisa Jeffress’s acrylic painting, Serenity, was planned to be a gift for a cousin who then passed away unexpectedly; Pat Eelman’s photograph, All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go, depicts longing and loneliness during COVID. Elizabeth Blanchard’s oil paintings are an expression of the solace she finds in nature and in her faith; Walt Hardy’s work, Free at Last: FREE AT LAST! is a celebration of Juneteenth and speaks to an escape from bondage. Renee Cowan’s acrylic works show her hope for a united America.
In various works, you can see anger, grief, fear, peace — and in some pieces, even joy. For some artists, these pieces are expressions of healing, or the need for healing. For others, creating these works became their process for healing. As artist Maia Micou wrote in her SOLACE art statement: “Mental health is a battle and I want my artwork to raise awareness to something that we all face every day. If I can inspire anyone out there to keep going and to fight, my art has done its job.”
We hope the community will discover a piece of art within the SOLACE galleries that resonates with them, or inspires them!