Teens sit in a circle at The Light House's LIVECTA campus listening as one student recounts his experiences with bullying in his school. They are all a part of Friday Friends, a program for teens on the Autism Spectrum that meets every Friday to provide participants with instruction in social skills, independent living skills, and community engagement. Their discussion today focuses on bullying and coping with trauma - one of the themes of "The Art of Healing" project.
The project uses art to explore the process of coping with and healing from trauma, with a larger goal of bringing awareness to the connection between art and social services. The Light House is one of the seven social service agencies who will work with an artist to explore the theme as it relates to the work they do and clients they serve. This year, the Light House is excited to be working with JPOart, a visual artist and street muralist based out of New York City. He has collaborated with international brands including GAP, MTV, The Grammys, Lululemon, Saks Fifth Ave and Maxim Magazine. His work has been shown in venues across the globe, however his roots to Connecticut were what made him interested in working on this project. Last week, John joined our discussion at Friday Friends to help us dive into the project’s themes, including trauma, bullying and healing.
The project, which has been funded by a Connecticut Office of the Arts Regional Initiative Grant, will culminate in a travelling gallery that will be displayed in multiple venues around Southeastern Connecticut . Organized by the Southeastern Connecticut Cultural Coalition, "The Art of Healing" is part of the Arts in Health Collaborative, a group spearheaded by the same organizations that work together on resource sharing, collective purchasing and coordinated field trips to arts and cultural sites.
Keep updated on The Art of Healing, learn more about the other social service agencies, and find out when and where you can see the completed artwork on The Southeastern Connecticut Cultural Coalition's website.
Learn more about JPOart and follow his current projects by going to his website.