Art is Our Voice

Art is Our Voice
The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider's web. -Pablo Picasso

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Remembering Linda King

I'm sorry to share the news of the passing of another artist of McAuley House, Linda King.  

To read Linda's Obituary, click here.

Linda was devoted to her art and a talented writer and poet.  She was an active participant in ArtLifting, which provided her with unimaginable recognition.  

I want to thank ArtLifting for the numerous opportunities they provided for our artists. 

Below is Linda's prior profile from ArtLifting: 

Linda King

“I am committed to art as my passion and vocation. Sometimes painting is a prayer or a marker of how I got over an obstacle in my life. This life, this journey, has had a through-line. Through the many calamitous twists and turns of my heroic odyssey, drawing, painting, and writing poetry, have strengthened me when I have encountered challenges that cut my inner world to ribbons.”

Linda King is a 68-year-old African American woman, driven to make art from within and inspired to create from the context of her life. She writes, “I refer to myself as an African American woman and mention my age, 68 because I want to own the ancestral and existing cultural influences that impact my work.” Linda’s artwork is heavily influenced by African American culture, her own experiences, and music such as jazz, celtic, classical, hip-hop and rhythm, and blues. She creates both abstract and figurative art, seeking to evoke qualities of movement, gesture, and dance. She is fascinated with exploring and recreating the intricacies present in facial expression.

Linda has overcome many obstacles in her 68 years, which have created a sense of inner strength and resilience that is reflected in her artwork. She writes of her experiences:

“The brunt of violence and alcoholism and the deficiencies of teenage pregnancy caused my parents to divorce. My brothers and sister were split up between relatives. As the only child of a middle-aged aunt who believed children belonged outside or playing in the basement, I learned to play by myself. While she worked long hours doing laundry for middle-class white families, I drew pictures in the dirt in front of the church next door.

The pieces began to come together in school when I produced a drawing that a teacher offered me a dollar to make bigger. I didn't care about that. Drawing was my playmate. Years later at the age of 59, during a period of homelessness, I rediscovered my love of drawing and painting, and found the sustenance to embrace my gift.”

Linda began making art through an art program offered at McAuley House, a meal site and program that offers hospitality, social services, and other enrichment programs for people who are homeless. She enjoyed using found objects and creative materials supplied by the weekly Tuesday workshop, to create original works of art. Linda explains that “the encouragement of the staff, art supplies, and art shows, helped every one of us to grow.”

Linda has since gained housing through the Housing First program and is overjoyed to finally have an art studio of her own where she continues to develop her art practice. Linda now works in her home studio and also attends art groups regularly at McAuley House as an important part of her community, artistic growth, and support circle.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Celebrating 15+ Years of Expressive Arts Therapy at McAuley House

 Click on collage to enlarge it 💙
A photography tribute of our amazing years together. It's been such an honor and blessing to be a part of this group that has inspired so many people, including the funding programs that have helped make this all possible! 

David- Collage artist with a big heart that never stops giving !

My Life, My Art

I've been asked many times over the years about the role of art in my life. Well, it's everything and everywhere-- be it in my studio or in my mind! I found this older post from some years ago that seems to be a good answer the question. Thank you Linda King for encouraging me to share my journey. 

In my studio.....

I've been making art since I was about three years old. I remember my father bringing home pads of paper from his office and I would sit on the floor drawing until I was instructed to go to bed. So- I felt pretty lucky that there seemed to be an endless amount of paper for me to play with.  My father had a set of miniature battle ships in a box from his service in the Navy during World War II. I would take one of the ships out and just look at it and then try to draw it the best I could. 
For me, art has this strong grounding quality that I feel so blessed to have in my life- even 61 years later from being that three year old child. As I like to say, " When in doubt- make art."
I don't really have one style of art that I prefer over another- just as long as I can create something- be it a journal page, a collage, or painting. I work a lot with mixed media, which I love- as the possibilities are endless with combinations of paint, paper, stencils, fabric, etc.
The art featured below is a combination of work recently completed as well as some favorite pieces from past projects.
Mixed Media Paintings

Below- Collages 

The art above is a collection of random drawings (doodles) that I love to do while sitting at my desk.

I'm probably best known as an abstract painter. The painting above, Finding the Spirit, was done several years ago. I wanted to create a piece of work that captured the Grace we all have within us.

As a facilitator and member of the McAuley House art program, I'm constantly inspired by my fellow artists. My group always inspires me to do better, stay strong, have faith, and trust the process.

Compassion is the keen awareness of the interconnectedness of all things  ~ Thomas Merton

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Remembering Anthony Taylor


Remembering our very talented friend, Anthony Taylor:
A long time member of our group, Anthony recently passed away on Saturday November 14, 2020. 

Anthony was always a warrior as he battled many health issues.  He was a naturally gifted artist and studied at the High School of Music & Art in New York.  Afterwards, he was a student at the New York City College of Technology.  His infectious smile and sense of humor will always be remembered by many.  

Anthony generously contributed to the Art Group at McAuley House. He enjoyed sharing his talents and helping others start a sketch or painting.  The photo above is an illustration of the Hulk and Wonder Woman that he cut out and made for the kids at the Olneyville Library celebration.

Anthony was also a member of ArtLifting-- a platform for artists that have traditionally been underrepresented in the contemporary art market.  To read more about ArtLifting, click here

Here are some of Anthony's favorite works that I photographed over the years. 

Anthony, your light will always shine bright especially for those in need.

We're not born
To chase the faded light
We're not born
To fall and lose the fight
Never letting go. Oh no, Oh
Am asking you to
Lift me, lift me higher than I ever been
Hold your breath and say
You're gonna come with me
We were born to follow
The light that never fails

Anthony, it's time for our group hug!

Saturday, January 11, 2020

2020, A New Year= New Art

*We're Back* 
We may have been away from the blog for awhile, but the creativity never stops!

Happy New Year Artists !

Anthony Taylor


    Linda King

David Fair

David and I have been working together since the first day the art program started.  We're still together 14 years later!  Love you David


Ron Reeves

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Art Happenings

 The art program is back and going strong now that the Holidays are over. We finally have the activity room available for our artists ! So come on over and join in the fun.
Olivia celebrated the New England Patriot's win as National Champions with a tribute to her favorite player, Tom Brady.

Anthony inspires us all with his ongoing devotion to his creative practice. He's also really great at inspiring the other artists to just let go and paint ! Thank you Anthony for all you bring to the group.

                                                                 A new  visitor painted this great picture. There's a lot of talent here.

 Torri has been experimenting with abstract painting (for the first time). I'd say she's found a great style to work on. Go Torri !

Brittany says "Love is in the air."
Thanks Brittany, You always make us smile.

Monday, September 24, 2018

September Creations

Remembering Bob .... Even though Bob is no longer with us his memory lives on through his art. We now have Bob's fabulous bird collection in the art room. I love seeing it on the shelf and feeling his spirit watching over us every Tuesday when we gather together to share our art.

David has made some fabulous collages lately. He is so skillful in his arrangement and layering of images.

 Anthony is working on the Mighty Thor, the Marvel Comics superhero. Looking forward to seeing the end results to this fantastic start.

Mike painted his own version of The Scream (an autobiographical, expressionistic construction based on Munch's actual experience of a scream piercing through nature while on a walk, after his two companions, seen in the background, had left him). 
I think he did a great job capturing this iconic painting in his own style.
 In addition to his collages last week, David also found the time to paint four new paintings.

The above painting is by Mama Dreads. This painting rocks with energy and sparkle that follows Mama wherever she goes!

 The painting above was created as a gift by a student in honor of her children and grandchildren. I know they're going to love it ! 💙💚💜💛💓

Thank you to the artists for sharing your work!