During a Merritt College art class earlier this year, several students responded to a particular project by creating self-portraits related to personal healing. As the student artists discussed their work with each other, Sheila Metcalf-Tobin, the instructor, noted “very powerful moments of sharing.” She was so moved by the experience, she asked the students if they’d like to share their deeply personal art in a show featuring their work. Thus began “The Art of Healing” exhibit, now showing from November 20 to December 13, 2019 at Merritt College, Barbara Lee Science Building, Room S352.
The exhibition features artwork from over twenty students, faculty, and Merritt community members, and also artists from the other Peralta Colleges. “This is the first time we had an open call for entries and we had a great response,” said Metcalf-Tobin, Art Department Chair at Merritt.
Artist Talks are scheduled for December 4th (5-7pm) and December 5th (noon to 2pm). Many of the artworks are for sale, with money going directly to the student artists.
Stephanie Thames, a Merritt College student and life-long learner, is one of the artists featured in The Art of Healing. Her beautiful and provocative ceramic sculpture is called “The Unconscious Mind.” She explained that thanks to the process of working with the clay and letting meaningful shapes emerge, “I started having a healthy place for the toxic thoughts…the self-reflective thoughts became building blocks to my healing.”
While many of the artworks were created as a response to pain, from mild depression to extreme loss and death, the exhibition really is uplifting, as if one can feel the healing power the art had on their creators.