The ART of RECOVERY
In Spring 2006 Trinity Cathedral was
the scene of a very special art exhibition. ECVA NJ presented The
Art of Recovery,
which featured paintings, drawings, and three-dimensional
works by the artists of “Partners in Recovery”,
a program of Catholic Charities, and the “A-Team Artists
of Trenton”, an independent artists’ group based
at the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK). The work was
on display in Synod Hall from May through July. An opening
reception was held Thursday, May 18.
The works offered a window into the minds
and hearts of those who are taking positive steps towards
wholeness and independence in light of personal struggles.
For each of them, the creation of art plays an important part
in that journey. Just as moving as the artwork itself were
some of the statements made by the artists:
When I’m painting it’s
an incredible feeling all in my mind, body, and soul. —Chris
Dennis, Partners in Recovery
I hope through my ability that
I will be successful. If this is my calling, I’d
like to reach out and help people like they’ve
helped me regain some self-esteem. I’d like
to make people happy and to make something unique. —William
Hodges, A-Team Artists of Trenton
A white dude on death row when
I was in jail in my twenties taught me how to make
frames out of cigarette packs. Now I do my own style.
Ever since I’ve been weaving frames and crosses,
I’ve been glad. When I’m doing art, I
feel perfect. —Herman Rose, A-Team Artists
On hand to greet the guests at the opening
reception were Bishop George Councell and his wife, Ruth.
Guests included the director and members of the staff at Catholic
Charities, the co-ordinator and members of TASK, and the staff
of the Soup Kitchen as well as the clients and artists of
the two agencies, and many of their family members. The Diocesan
family was well represented, as some of the Diocesan staff
and Standing Committee members popped in from across the street.
Some good connections were made, and the artists felt affirmed
and appreciated. Several of the pieces were sold, the proceeds
going directly to the artists. As an added treat, James Coleman,
a TASK artist, sang gospel songs for us a capella. Reporters
from The Trentonian and Trenton Times were
present and both newspapers featured articles on the exhibition.
in Recovery is a partial care
program of Catholic Charities which provides integrated treatment
of the co-occurring disorders of mental illness and substance
abuse. A Recovery Model is followed as members are viewed
as active, responsible partners in their treatment.
A-Team Artists of Trenton grew out
of the “Extra Helpings” program of the Trenton
Area Soup Kitchen. They are still based at TASK but have become
an independent business entity, a limited liability partnership
run by the artists themselves.
Click each image for a larger version.