On Saturday, June 24, Branford Art Center Gallery (BAC) will open a very special exhibit, "Art for Change." Mounted by a group of art therapy students studying for their master's degree, the hope is to sell each piece in the exhibit to help fund expenses for a volunteer trip Bolivia in August, where the students will their services with children and share their knowledge with students and staff at a refuge, a community-run nursery and equestrian therapy center.
"We are a group of art therapy students traveling to Bolivia in August to perform art making and art therapy services," said group member Kirsten Auer. "We will not only be performing services, but also educating the staff at each location so they can continue using art materials in a therapeutic way once we leave. It is our hope that in sharing our artwork, we will be able to educate and help people understand how art therapy is such an important modality to explore."
BAC Gallery founder and director Yvonne Gordon, who is also an art therapist, was excited to note that a piece from the exhibit sold one day after she began hanging the exhibit at the gallery.
At the Bolivian refuge, community-run nursery and equestrian therapy center, the group will be, "...educating the workers in each program so they can continue to use art in a therapeutic manner once we leave," Auer said.
By the time the group completes their Bolivian volunteer trip, they also plan to have created two community murals as part of their visit, as well as educating university students about art therapy and what it takes to become an art therapist.
The Art for Change exhibit features original art in several mediums and will be celebrated on Saturday June 24 with a free opening reception from 5 - 7 p.m. at BAC, 1229 Main St. in Branford.
In addition to offering a rotating venue for professional artists and members of the artistic communitiy at large, as well as workshops for all ages, part of BAC's mission is to support social involvment in charitable giving.
Art For Change will run from June 24 - July 13 at BAC. More details of the exhibit can be found at the BAC Facebook page here or by calling BAC at (203) 208-4455.