Published by AZCulture.com
|Warehouse 1005 artist Barbara Proctor|
From the moment you walk in, colors and sounds seem to surround you. Everyone is busy; artists are deep into their easels and paintings, canvases and sculptures fill every wall. In the middle of the main hall, a group of musicians practice. The acoustic guitar player works through his chords while the woman on the microphone sings the words, and the drummer keeps the beat on time. The three are surrounded by spare guitars, maracas, and you guessed it – more artwork. And despite their music filling the room, the painters and sculptors at their workstations are not bothered in the slightest – they concentrate on every stroke. It almost seems like the music helps them, even encourages them to push on.
And maybe then you consider why each artist is here at Warehouse 1005, that encouragement they feel from one another is not that hard to understand.
Organizers describe PSA Art Awakenings as a program seeking to promote empowerment and recovery through the power of creative expression with children and adults who face behavioral health changes. Whether the individual is challenged by serious mental health, general mental health, or substance abuse conditions, PSA Art Awakenings provides safe and supportive environments that foster exploration and development of artistic skills.
In late fall 2000, PSA Art Awakenings was born out of PSA Behavioral Health Agency, a local non-profit organization. From Phoenix to Tucson to Bisbee, these Art Awakenings studios are a new kind of assistance – they help participants deal with issues through artistic expression and art.
“PSA Art Awakenings helps community members deal with serious mental health issues through art,” said David Reno, Director of Marketing and Community Relations. “We always encourage our artists to seek medication and counseling, but for some, that alone won’t work. This program is a kind of ‘psycho-social’ rehabilitation: unlike conventional therapy or counseling, this form of rehabilitation doesn’t just encourage a person to keep moving on, but it gives the person a reason to keep going, to keep fighting.”
Read the rest of the article on PSA Art Awakenings and Warehouse 1005 at AZCulture.com!