Aurora Studio moved into the REFINERY AVL in May (207 Coxe Ave). We have slowly begun hosting face to face classes and look forward to having guests come by. Here are some pictures of the painting and furnishing of the space.
Thank you Maria, Maribeth, Cathy, Kyley, RHONDA!!! (and Maia the dog) for all your time and support. The place looks FAB! It couldn’t have been done without you.
This Friday, July 2, 2:30 – 4pm we will begin hosting FUN ON FRIDAYS FUNDRAISERS for visitors coming to Asheville to make a small art project for a small donation! They will be held every Friday from 2:30 – 4pm (unless posted otherwise).
Anyone interested in coming to the Friday classes should call Lori G to register at 828-335-1038.
I am very excited to announce the expansion of the board of Aurora Studio & Gallery and would like to introduce you to our newest board and advisory members. I anticipate some dynamic work, community outreach and involvement from this talented crew.
Catherine Gabe, a Minnesota native, began her career as a journalist. She was a reporter at newspapers in Minnesota, Iowa, Massachusetts and Ohio. For a time, she was the Health Writer at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland. Over the years she has worked in marketing, radio, television and as a freelance writer. She shadowed a class of Early College high school students for a year as part of a grant funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She became a Certified Prevention Specialist coordinating community coalitions to reduce underage substance use and risky behaviors among youth. That job included public speaking, presentations, data collection and grant writing. She is proud to say she is a person with long-term recovery, which means she has not had to use a drink or a drug since 1986. She also has lifetime experience dealing with mental health issues such as depression. Ms. Gabe has a seat on the Executive Board.
Catherine moved to Asheville in September 2019. She works at Hopey and Company in the warehouse helping in the bulk and grading departments. She is the mother of three young adults and four parakeets.
Annie Gustely is an artist and teacher. She uses her role as a Creative Grief Practitioner to support people in times of loss, grief and life transitions. She retired in 2012 from a 30 year career as a school counselor and educator with Asheville City Schools and Akron Public Schools. Annie’s art practice always found a way to weave itself into her counseling of students and into her classroom.
Ms. Gustely has a seat on the Executive Board. Her goal as a board member for Aurora Studio and Gallery is to support a program that provides a safe space, materials and time for members of the community to create, express themselves and heal.
Maribeth Collins – is on the Community Development Committee, info forthcoming.
Drew Hanagan– is on the Media Development Committee, info forthcoming.
And Our New Advisor
Evie Lindemann, ATR-BC, ATCS, LMFT, is a licensed marriage & family therapist and a board certified art therapist, and until recently she has been an Associate Professor in the Master of Arts in Art Therapy and Counseling Program at Albertus Magnus College. She also taught at Yale University’s Sherwin B. Nuland Summer Institute of Bioethics for seven years. Deeply influenced by the teachings of Meher Baba, Evie has lived and worked in Afghanistan, Israel, and India. She has implemented humanitarian art therapy projects in India, Jamaica, and the US. She is active in hospice care, teaches courses on mortality, and uses the visual arts to facilitate the inward journey. Additionally, she has worked with combat veterans who have complex trauma, using art therapy as a modality for healing. She has studied the Jungian tradition extensively and is certified as an Archetypal Pattern Analyst. She is a printmaking artist whose work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. For some years, Evie has worked with mandalas as a symbol of wholeness, has taught a system of symbols and colors (the MARI) to clinicians around the world, and offers consultations to individuals and groups interested in depth exploration using the MARI as a tool of integration. She also served as a board member on one of the oldest arts organizations on the East coast, the New Haven Paint and Clay Club. Ms. Lindemann will be Aurora Studio & Gallery’s clinical consultant.
Members of Aurora Studio would also like to share their gratitude to Rhonda Davis who is leaving the board after three years of service. Ms. Davis was extremely supportive to the programming aspect of Aurora Studio in a multitude of ways. She assisted in hanging many art shows and helped guide the principles of the creative process that takes place during our workshops. Ms. Davis will continue to be an integral part of Aurora Studio through volunteering in the future. The board would like to thank her and hopes to be able to honor her work in the future by offering the STARSTUFF SCHOLARSHIP. This will be an annual scholarship to a member of Aurora Studio who is interested in participating in a community based art program, workshop or class. If you would like to donate to this fund, you may do so by making your contribution through our DONATE TODAY page and writing STARSTUFF in the comment box.
One of the most touching parts about hosting Aurora Studio & Gallery is getting to know its participating artists. It seems as though we attract the kindest of the kinds. I have felt this sentiment in the past, but now during this pandemic, it feels like plush velvet.
Starting with one of our volunteers, Kyley Shurrona. Ms. Shurrona creates portraits of individuals who have been affected by a health issue, when she sells those portraits, she donates a portion of the proceeds to an organization that supports individuals and their families. She began doing this at seventeen, at eighteen Shurrona is the embodiment of compassion.
And take Autumn, who at the beginning of the pandemic started making masks for family, friends and community. She then called me to ask if anyone needed extra food as she was putting together care packages for people who needed them.
Last week, I heard from a former participant who was doing the same, helping distribute food to others. People who are taking their own personal resources and sharing. In a world that seems to be full of greed, power and the mine, mine, mine mentality it is heartwarming to know the real truth is ours, ours, ours, let’s share. It has been a powerful for me to observe this love from so many who themselves are financially struggling and trying to make do with less in order to help another person.
I also have to mention artist Joyce Thornburg in this note on giving. A couple of months ago, at the start of the pandemic, Joyce donated a car load of art supplies. Since Aurora Studio has been closed, we have taken those supplies and created anti-stress art kits for participants. So, over the weeks, I have distributed art packages and food to those whom we have supported.
On some days, I am not clear on what the future holds for Aurora Studio. We run on a shoe string budget, which means the leadership I have offered also comes from giving. Right now, some bills are on hold. However, creating a program like Aurora Studio has taught me so much about the capacity that people have to share with others. I feel assured that we will continue and the community will be there to support us every brush stroke on the canvas.