I just attended Art & Creativity for Healing HeARTS for Healing Women’s Guild meeting. Art & Creativity for Healing is a non-profit organization I volunteered for as a facilitator in the early years of my being diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
Laurie Zagon is a working artist, art teacher and the founder of Art and Creativity for Healing. I credit Laurie for helping me process the physical, emotional and spiritual upheaval I was experiencing and reconnect with my creativity.
However, I can’t give Laurie all the credit. She has to share it with the local throw-away Penny Saver paper.
Laurie had put an insert ad in the Penny Saver (the first and last time she ever did that) announcing community Art & Creativity Workshops.
I was tossing junk mail out and her insert fell out of the pile, catching my attention. (the first and last time I ever read a Penny Saver insert) I was VERY skeptical that this was a legitimate organization that really provided free art workshops to help others. Who would advertise such an organization in a PENNY SAVER, on cheap grainy, low resolution paper no less?
I called mostly out of curiosity. Laurie’s enthusiasm convinced me to give one of her community classes a try. The rest is history: I became enthralled, impressed and grateful for the process and program Laurie created; Much of the art work processing my relationship with fibromyalgia I created during that time was done under Laurie’s encouraging and loving guidance.
This picture is one I painted at Art & Creativity for Healing. It is the only one I ever did that is a figure. I painted it very quickly — maybe 15 minutes — and the figure emerged just as the second head is emerging from her shoulder.
I didn’t consciously know it at the time but this painting reflected my own emergence from suffering. The pain was still there but I no longer asked “Why me?”. I began to focus on what I was capable of instead of what I no longer could or should do.
This painting hung in my office as a reminder for me that whatever my afflictions and limitations we are all capable of creating a better and more meaningful life for ourselves and others.
I probably should take out a “Thank You” ad in the Penny Saver. Until then, this will have to suffice:
“Thank you, Laurie!”
Like all non-profit organizations it relies on contributions and community grants. 100% of the money earned through community workshops goes to providing Creativity for Healing workshops for children and adults suffering from abuse, illness, grief or stress on-site, and at military bases, hospitals and non-profit agencies.
Since 2000, more than 30,000 children and adults throughout Southern California have participated in classes and workshops. The Zagon Method of Art4Healing® was originally developed by Laurie in New York City in 1987, as a workshop designed to help busy Wall Street executives deal with stress.
There are also community workshops and opportunities to be trained to work as a facilitator. Check it out!