An exhibition at the Armory Art Center brings together the concepts of art and healing.
The Armory’s Art of the Phoenix outreach program began with a collaborative partnership with the Human Trafficking Coalition of Palm Beaches. The mission of Art of the Phoenix is to provide art classes and counseling techniques in a safe space that gives students who have experienced trauma methods to face their feelings and challenges in healthy ways. In recent years, the program expanded to include youth and teens who experienced all types of traumas through partnerships with Place of Hope, Boys Town, Legal Aid Society, and Childnet.
The work created by students from Art of the Phoenix will be on display June 24-July 23 in the East Gallery. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday Friday. A facial covering and temperature check are required for admission. Admission is free and open to the public. A closing reception will be held 5-7 p.m. July 23.
According to the book, “The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma,” by Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D, “Art, music, and dance are used as trauma treatments around the world. These modes are important because they help the client translate their experience into expression.”
The Art of the Phoenix program, led by Brian Wood from Palm Beach Atlantic University, uses healing elements in his lesson plans to include surrendering resentments, dealing with anger, building self-esteem, forgiving others, and loving self.
“The benefits of healing through art are it helps creatively work through traumas, helps manage anxiety and impulsivity,” Mr. Wood said in a statement. “It also helps with visualizing goals and with communication for those who have challenges in that area.”
In addition to guidance from Mr. Wood, Art of the Phoenix classes are led by Armory instructor Max Mittman, who works in ceramics, painting, and small works on paper. With their passion for their work and love for the youth, they have provided services and instruction to 200-300 youth since its inception.
The Armory Art Center is at 811 Park Place, West Palm Beach. For information, visit www.armoryart.org or call 561-832-1776. ¦