For the first time since before COVID hit, artists from SHARE, Acquired Brain Injuries, and the Nest have a chance to put their art on public display.
Artists from all three organizations combined for ‘Healing Journey’, the newest exhibit at the John V. Hicks Gallery in the Prince Albert Arts Centre.
Art workshop leader Alan Ruder said the program shines a spotlight on artists who rarely receive attention. He’s pleased the program can help nurture their talent.
“So often, when the work is displayed in a facility as nice as this, the people who created the work come in, and they’re pleasantly surprised that they’re part of a show with such impact as this one,” Ruder said following the opening reception on Tuesday. “It looks professional. It’s in a professional space, and it really helps build self-esteem.”
‘Healing Journey’ includes work created from September 2022 up to the present. Ruder said the program not only allows the artists to express themselves in meaningful ways, it allows participants to develop relationships with people who have similar interests.
The positive emotional and mental health aspect helped inspire the exhibit’s name. Contributing artists, like SHARE’s Joshua McLeod, said it’s great to see his art hanging on the Hicks Gallery. Seeing the interest it generated at Tuesday’s opening also inspired him to keep improving.
“It’s good. When I saw those people looking at my art, I just knew I could do better than that,” he said. “I can do better art.
“(The exhibit) just lets you know you’re doing a good job (and to) keep going,” he added.
The opening of ‘Healing Journey’ marks the seventh such exhibit in the past 10 years. Artists from the Nest and Acquired Brain Injuries have contributed pieces every year, while SHARE artists joined the program roughly two years ago.
The event was a regular offering on the arts calendar before it was cancelled during the COVID outbreak. Ruder said it’s exciting to have it back on the schedule.
“It’s great. Like I said, it just provides an opportunity for the participants to gather and meet with other folks from other groups. It’s all part of the healing journey.”
‘Healing Journey’ runs until May 25 at the John V. Hicks Gallery. The exhibit was made possible by the Prince Albert Council for the Arts, the City of Prince Albert, Sask Lotteries and SaskCulture, Common Weal Community Arts, the Prince Albert branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association, the SHA, Acquired Brain Injury Services, the ABI Partnership Project, and the Artists in Communities Project.