Operation: Monarch

          When I decided to start a blog I had no idea what I would blog about on a regular basis, other than photography related subjects. So, I know I'm a day late on my "weekly" blog. Let the flogging begin. I believe it was for a reason. I was privileged to be able to attend an artists reception event Friday night called Operation: Monarch at the Cultural Arts Center in Columbus. This is an exhibit, running from now until May 11th. Operation: Monarch shares stories of the people whose lives have been affected by the drug epidemic in Ohio and exhibit the role that art has played in their recovery.

I was amazed at the level of vulnerability these artist put themselves in. To share their personal stories and intimate details of the struggles they have been through is astounding and moving, to say the least. Many of these artists have said that they, like myself, cannot articulate into words how they feel… so they express themselves through art. For some, this is a very important healing outlet and for others it is the focus on the art that keeps them from using again!

Needless to say, I did not take that many pictures. I know the person whose work is featured above. His name is James. He uses a technique called Pour Painting which he teaches to other addicts. He shows how therapeutic this process is because, while you choose the colors and order they are layered, you have no real control over the outcome. He is available for teaching this in a class setting, one on one, and also does commissioned paintings from your photographs of loved ones.

Now, I sometimes have an apprehension about taking photos of other people’s art without their permission. That is not to say I don’t. For me, it sometimes feels like taking photos of other’s children in a public space. While it is 100% legal for me to do so, I just get a creepy vibe when I personally do it. So, I usually don’t.

I do encourage you to take the 30 minutes or so out of your day to go visit art that has a deeper meaning to someone else and maybe learn something about yourself. I personally believe that ANYONE can benefit from a 12-step program because none of us are perfectly happy.