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Gallery of Inspiration

by Heather Jenkins

 

I love art galleries. I love walking through them, stopping at each painting/sculpture/photograph and taking in the whole experience. I often wonder to myself what the artist’s process was and how they went from a blank canvas to an original, creative piece of art. I was fortunate enough to be able to sit down with Jericho Phire, the Director of the Gallery of Inspiration, recently to discuss his gallery and the unique processes that each artist in the Gallery of Inspiration journeys through to create art.

"The Gallery of Inspiration is a specialized art gallery designed to showcase the artistic works of several talented clients of the Community Counseling Center (CCC), a local 501(c)(3), not-for-profit behavioral health organization.

 

The artwork featured in our gallery is the product of each artist’s individual explorations with Art Therapy. Ultimately art is what allows many of these gifted people to tap into their creativity--and for some, to overcome many day-to-day life issues such as dispelling stigmas associated with mental health.

 

With more than just a single focus, the gallery is designed to assist those CCC artists who are looking for ways to integrate back into their community while learning valuable work skills. However, some of the artists featured in our gallery have been successful members of their communities for quite some time; and for them, the gallery functions as a great way to display their talent and earn them a little extra income. For example, whenever one of our artists sells a piece of their art, 100% of that money goes back to the artist so that s/he can afford more art supplies."

 

The above is how Jericho explains the Gallery and the vision that he has for the Gallery. In speaking with Jericho, it is easy to see that he has an absolute passion for art and the process in which art is created. Jericho has an extensive history as an art therapy assistant in both a nursing home and a facility that assisted individuals with HIV and AIDS. Jericho is quick to say that although he is educated in the technicalities of art, he values and emphasizes the process rather than the end result. That being said, some of the end results that are being showcased at the Gallery are beautiful, awe-inspiring works of art.

 

The Gallery of Inspiration has several exciting plans for 2013. This year, a series of workshops will be available for the artists to explore different mediums and techniques, such as pastels, charcoals, and wire sculpture. These workshops not only expose artists to mediums that they may have not previously used but also, more importantly, the workshops allow the artists to come together as a group and the creative synergy that comes from that is immeasurable. As CCC is a not-for-profit organization, the money needed for these workshops is raised through donations. If you would like to help with donations for the cost of the workshops or for the supplies needed for the workshops, you can donate athttp://www.dickblick.com/ara/lists/2753/home. The Gallery of Inspiration is also looking for volunteers to host some workshops in pottery, jewelry making, sculpture, watercolor, and mosaics. Another exciting plan for 2013 is establishing a Yearly Gallery Sponsorship. Sponsors will be able to donate finances to assist in funding for supplies, media exposure, and workshops.

 

The Gallery is currently undergoing some new construction to ensure that the art being displayed there can be displayed in the best possible way. The Gallery will be open in late January and will be ready for the Grand Reopening on First Friday in February. Individuals interested in volunteering or donating services or monetary donations can call (573) 332-0050 or email Jericho at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . The Gallery of Inspiration also has a facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/GalleryOfInspiration , that you can ‘Like’ in order to keep up to date with all the exciting plans, see new art, and more.

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