Art auction to benefit mental health art therapy program

Posted at 3:07 PM, Oct 23, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-23 15:07:53-04

PETERSBURG, Va. — The Petersburg Area Art League (PAAL) will host an art auction Friday night with proceeds benefiting the new mental health art collective program.

“We are so excited to help launch this new mental health art therapy program, but we need funds to purchase the supplies and set the space,” President of the Board of PAAL Russell Kvasnicka said.

Through this new mental health art collective program, adult clients from District 19, the mental health agency in the Tri-City area, will be encouraged by artist Bryant Pugh to use the creative process to work through emotional conflicts. PAAL will provide open studio space, art supplies and classes where clients and staff can create art, ranging from painting, mixed media, photography, poetry and more.

To secure funds for the launch of this new program, PAAL is holding an art auction on October 23, 2015.

The donated art work will be on exhibit as silent auction show at PAAL for the Friday for the Arts! exhibit opening on October 9. The art work will remain on display in the PAAL gallery until the auction on Friday, October 23 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Final bids will be placed on each piece that evening and the auction will close at 7:30 p.m. Flautist Iris Schwartz will provide music, The Bistro at Market & Grove will provide food, and The Bucket Trade will provide wine.

Bryant Pugh, a former mental health residential counselor and a current PAAL Board member, will oversee the program for PAAL. Pugh is an abstract expressionist painter and a former mental health care professional. He founded the Burlington, Vt. – based Mental Health Arts Collective in conjunction with the Howard Center. Pugh recently returned to Petersburg, and will be working with District 19 to refer and encourage clients when appropriate to come to PAAL for the mental health art collective program.
The program is slated to begin in January 2016.

The Petersburg Area Mental Health Arts Collective is a collaborative art movement where adult clients of District 19 (multi-jurisdictional, community-based organization whose mission is to improve the quality and productivity of the lives of individuals who experience, or are at risk of experiencing, mental disabilities and/or substance abuse), come together to create and display visual art. This opportunity invites individuals to feel free to engage in a pursuit of self-discovery and then create an inspired physical product that represents that journey. Our focus is on healing and recovery while identifying a common ground. In this environment, we make it a point to replace the word “patient” or “client” with “artist”.