May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and the Wailoa Art & Cultural Center has invited Self Discovery Through Art participants and others associated with Care Hawaii Inc., a local mental health service provider, to exhibit work in the galleries tonight through May 30. The purpose of this exhibit is to teach the public that art is medicine and through the creative process participants experience an awakening that enhances healing and sustains recovery from mental illness.
The Hilo-based Self Discovery Through Art is an innovative structured psychoeducational studio art program where participants are taught to use the language of art to create a non-verbal vocabulary to express their feelings. They are shown how to use art materials to create a symbolic language to illustrate distorted thinking patterns and to then correct them with further art making. This program is informed by Cognitive Behavior Therapy techniques and clinical neuroscience of art therapy. It is inspired by and created in the style of famous visual artists.
The opening reception for the public will be held today from 5-7 p.m. Light refreshments will be served and entertainment will be provided by the Harlan Wolf Trio: Harlan Wolf, Charlie Benson and Richard Bradwell.
Local artists Ken Charon, Patti Pease Johnson, Patricia Hoban, Ester Szegedy and others have shared their expertise with the group on several occasions meeting at the Wailoa Center. The facilitators of Self Discovery Through Art are N.J. Moses, a former public school visual art educator with 37 years of teaching experience, and Nidhi Chabora, an advanced practice nurse working on the Big Island. Nidhi received the American Psychiatric Nurses Association’s 2012 Individual Innovation Award for creating this exciting new program. She was honored at the association’s conference in November.
Wailoa Art & Cultural Center is a Division of State Parks, Department of Land and Natural Resources. It is free and opened to the public Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and on Wednesday from noon-4:30 p.m. Call 933-0416 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.