“Reflect: Healing Through Art” Celebrates the Therapeutic Power of Art

In partnership with Holy Cross Hospital, ArtServe recently hosted its second annual “Reflect: Healing Though Art” exhibition. The month-long initiative brought together community partners for a multi-disciplinary art installation and unique programming to demonstrate the many ways in which art supports healing therapy.

“Our goal is to raise awareness about the use of art as a viable therapeutic component of patient care and a powerful contributor to a community’s physical, social and emotional wellbeing,” said ArtServe Executive Director Craig W. Johnson. “Studies consistently show the positive effects of the arts in relation to health, healing and contentment, which is why it is so meaningful for us to have an established health provider such as Holy Cross Hospital as a partner in this initiative. We’re combining the empirical data with an experiential component in this exhibition to explore the limitless possibilities for utilizing the arts to heal and promote wellness.”

“Reflect” kicked off with a gallery reception for its art showcase, which featured artists of all levels and backgrounds who use art as a tool to positively manage addiction recovery, mental illness, physical disability, injury, chronic illness and the consequential impact of social discrimination. Participating artists Nerissa Balland and Sharon Thieman were recognized with designations as the Online Favorite and Audience Favorite respectively.

Guests enjoyed performances by students of the Exceptional Theater Company, which energizes and motivates children, teens, adults and seniors with disabilities to achieve creative expression and involvement in the community through the power of theater, and connected with the artwork of featured artist Wilma Bulkin Siegel, M.D., whose “Spirituality” series of 14 paintings were on display. The gallery reception also featured the projects and artworks of some of ArtServe’s esteemed nonprofit community partners including Artists with Autism, ArtStart, Feeding South Florida, Pace Center for Girls, Rebel’s Drop-In Center and South Florida Wellness Network.

Additionally, “Reflect” brought together a panel of local experts for a discussion about the applications and scope of using art as a recuperative instrument. Moderated by artist and human rights advocate Vicki Rosenthal, the panel included The Renfrew Center Art Therapist Kelsey Brannock, Florida Children’s Theatre Executive Director Janet Erlick, renowned sculpture artist George Gadson, ArtServe Executive Director and former Center for Contemporary Dance Executive Director Craig W. Johnson, stand-up comic and substance abuse counselor Michael Panzeca, and former Miami City Ballet dancer and stroke survivor turned painter Isanusi Garcia Rodriguez.

About ArtServe, Inc.

A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization born out of a missive established by the Broward Cultural Division in 1988, ArtServe, Inc. became one of six of the nation’s first arts incubators. Designed to provide emerging and seasoned artists the space, education and resources to create new work, build audiences and cultivate self-sustaining business models, ArtServe supports 2,300 artists each year. Also providing professional-development, marketing and technology support for Broward County cultural organizations, the organization is directly responsible for amplifying the County’s cultural vibrancy and strengthening the local economy through the arts. With direct service to the community, ArtServe offers public performances, workshops, community classes in the arts, gallery exhibits and customized, immersive arts experiences for corporations and communities alike. In 2019, the organization is redoubling its commitment to diversity and inclusion, and increasing its focus on the presentation of creative works by artists that promote global wellness, social change and advocacy for special populations. ArtServe is supported in part by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council, the State of Florida, the Department of State and the Division of Cultural Affairs. Entry to the organization’s ongoing public exhibits is free, and all are welcome. To learn more about upcoming events, please visit www.artserve.org or call (954) 462-8190.

Holy Cross Hospital Director of Marketing & Public Relations Christine Walker, ArtServe Executive Director Craig W. Johnson
ArtServe Marketing Manager Ed King, “Reflect” participating artist Deanna Barton
Exceptional Theater Company student Eva Beloso Vazquez, Exceptional Theater Company Executive Director Daniela Roeder, Exceptional Theater Company student and My Sensory Art founder Zofia Perez
ArtServe Curator Sophie Bonet, “Reflect” Online Favorite award winner and participating artist Nerissa Balland
“Reflect” Audience Favorite award winner Sharon Thieman, ArtServe Curator Sophie Bonet
Broward Center for the Preforming Arts Sales & Marketing Manager Maria Fulfaro and ArtServe Curator Sophie Bonet in front of Fernanda do Valle’s “Free Yourself” photography project
“Reflect” participating artists Janie Casoria and Nadine Egan Floyd
“Reflect” panel discussion speakers: stand-up comic and substance abuse counselor Michael Panzeca, former Miami City Ballet dancer and stroke survivor turned painter Isanusi Garcia Rodriguez, The Renfrew Center Art Therapist Kelsey Brannock, ArtServe Executive Director Craig W. Johnson, Florida Children’s Theatre Executive Director Janet Erlick, renowned sculpture artist George Gadson and human rights advocate and panel moderator Vicki Rosenthal