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.
If you are able to give, donations can be made through our donation page at: www.aurorastudio-gallery.com/donate. We also continue to have our on line store at: https://www.charity.ebay.com/charity/Aurora-Studio-%26-Gallery%2C-Inc./2814121
While most of our participants have not been able to connect with each other in person, we have been with each other in spirit and the spirit of giving.
Lori Greenberg, Board Chair/Founder
At this time of uncertainty, ART IS MORE IMPORTANT than ever. Read on:
The month of May marks Aurora Studio’s eighth year since its inception. And as part of our anniversary, we are asking that you help us celebrate by visiting our on line auction on the eBay for Charity Web-site. The web-site has been set up to help our artists who are part of Aurora Studio, a supportive art space for artists who have been impacted by mental health issues, addiction and or homelessness.
On the eBay for Charity Site for Aurora, you will see original artwork, art books, T-shirts and other miscellaneous items. Scroll down the page on this site to see the items. We will update the site with several more items in the coming weeks and can arrange local pick ups. The link is:
While groups from Aurora Studio have not been able to meet during this pandemic, here is what we have done. Volunteers from Aurora Studio have delivered care packages of art supplies to many participants to help alleviate stress during this time of quarantine. Phone calls, to offer a friendly “Hello in there”, during his time of greater isolation is meaningful to all who are homebound. We have worked with other local organizations and hosted regular Zoom Groups and organized a couple of outreach groups to youth.
I am hoping that you are all managing to do things that are nurturing to you at this time. I understand that this period has been a struggle for us all, emotionally, physically, spiritually and financially. This is why Aurora Studio & Gallery has continued to provide as much support as possible over the last two months and into the future.
We will all continue to heal through ongoing conversation, support and love.
Thank you so much,
During this pandemic volunteers from Aurora Studio continue to reach out to its Artists. Over the last two weeks participants have received care packages of art supplies to help alleviate stress during this time of quarantine. All have gotten phone calls, having a friendly “Hello in there”, during his time of greater isolation is meaningful to all of us who are homebound.
Last week, Aurora Studio partnered with the Youth Villages Life Set Program to host two on line art groups. The intention of the groups was to come together and help reduce stress through discussion and art. The groups were co-facilitated by Kyley Shurrona and Lori Greenberg and focused on lessons that we are all learning from the pandemic. Below is the list of lessons that the group decided they would like to take with them into the future as part of this experience.
- Learning to slow down.
- Learning how to be alone.
- Learning how to live with myself.
- Becoming more self aware.
- Realizing that not everything goes your way and that it’s good to find a balance.
- Learning how to listen to others.
- Appreciating the meditative quality/time.
- Learning to express one’s feelings through art.
- Witnessing all the care people are sharing with others.
- Appreciating the little things.
- Working on patience.
- Remembering to reach out to others – especially those who are homeless.
- Remembering to connect with others, especially elders.
- Trying to stay active (and away from too much movie/tv/video/computer habits).
- Creating balance – looking at self care, eating well, exercise.
- Becoming a person of substance.
- Using this time of isolation to rethink and grow.
- Appreciating the simple things, simple moments, being able to hug.
As I look at this list, I believe each of us can find a personal lesson from these youth, ages 17-21. It helps me feel like the future for our world is in good hands, reading their messages brings me hope.
Aurora Studio board members and volunteers, plan to take this time of quarantine to continue reaching out to members of our community to help keep with our mission. That mission is to provide a supportive art studio for artists who have experienced mental health issues, addiction or homelessness. Aurora Studio offers a safe environment with facilitators and visiting artists that enhances personal growth through the visual arts. We are utilizing this time to incorporate ways in which we can reach varying segments of the community and build a greater infrastructure.
If you are interested in learning more about what we do, I encourage you to contact me, Lori Greenberg at email@example.com . If you are interested in donating supplies, email me. If you would like to make a donation, one can be made on line at: www.aurorastudio-gallery.com/donate .
We will all continue to heal through ongoing conversation, support and love.
Thank you so much,
Lori Greenberg, M.Ed, LCAS
Board Chair/Founder of Aurora Studio
I am hoping that this note finds you well during these stressful times. There have been pandemics before and we will get through this if we do our best to take care.
For most of us in the U.S. it means getting quiet, living more simply, staying away from others for a short time.
For other people in the U. S. this task is not so simple. Many people need to continue to work for fear of eviction or lack of food. For others having a place to get meals is now more of a challenge, soup kitchens that provided congregate meals aren’t serving (although many are offering food boxes for take out). For others missing the support of community can enhance anxiety and fear, possibly leading to relapse. Buses are not running or taking few riders, to be “safer”, while completing their limited routes.
Photos taken from a YOUTH GROUP this past January. Kyley Shurrona, Aurora Volunteer was the Instructing Artist.
Pandemics happen, thankfully NOT very frequently, not even in our lifetimes. Every day I have been thinking about what I can do to help. I am now in a higher risk age group, so as hard as it has been, I haven’t gone into the community to reach out and do some of the things I had done not so long ago.
As Board President and coordinator for Aurora Studio this is what volunteers and I have done. We have been calling all of our participants weekly to check in, see how they are doing and insure they are all set with food and medications. I have hosted an on line art group with our friends at Seek Healing. I am working on future planning and last week hired Aurora Studio’s first time ever Grant Writer.
Making art during turbulent times is one way to navigate. There are times in each of our lives when we truly don’t know which way the boat is heading. All we can do is observe and document our passage. As humans, we can do this through the arts, it is one of the many gifts the arts bring us.
In September, I left my job in order to set the sails for Aurora, for the program to become more sustainable. Plans for sustainability include one and a half time paid staff (as we are now primarily volunteers, myself included) and a space of our own (we now use a local community center one day a week).
During these times of financial uncertainty, I am asking each and every one of you to do your part, be the helper that Fred Rogers talked about. Whether you donate to your local food pantry, hospital, homeless shelter…help in whatever way you can.
(Buncombe County Relief link: https://www.buncombecounty.org/countycenter/news-detail.aspx?id=18584)
And, if you want to support a program that promotes individuals with life’s challenges turning them into art and creating community, of course Aurora Studio will accept donations. Donations can be made at: www.aurorastudio-gallery.com/donate
We truly are in this together. I wish you and yours safe passage (and remember to wash your hands!).
M.Ed, LCAS, Founder and Board President
I am writing this note to let you know that with the challenges we all face at this time due to COVID 19, Aurora Studio will not be hosting any classes. This is out of concern for those people we care about and want to take care of at this time (including ourselves).
This means that we will not be hosting our weekly classes at the Community Center or the group at Seek Healing.
I (Lori Greenberg) am available for phone check ins with our community. And would like to offer phone check ins with a few of the members of the Seek Healing Community as well. Over the course of this week, I plan to look into how to host an on line group to see if this might be something the folks from Seek Healing would be interested in.
I am thinking our groups will be in hibernation for the next 2-4 weeks and I will be paying attention to public health info and will notify you when we will start up again.
I wish everyone a safe time, taking walks, listening to music, reading, FaceTiming, chatting on the phone. I will be around, but not in social settings at this time.
We will get through this together.
Love and good health to you all,
I know that things are changing daily due to COVID 19. Due to concerns about the health of the our community – GINGERS REVENGE WILL NOT BE HOSTING THE ROARING 20’s PARTY, SATURDAY, MARCH 14TH.
We invite you to join us, Saturday, March 14 at the Stand Gallery/Phil Mechanic 12 – 3pm for our ART OPENING.
If you cannot make it and would like to support the work we do at Aurora Studio & Gallery, donations can be made, which will help support our events at: https://aurorastudio-gallery.com/donate/
Please stay safe and stay tuned for a future date.
Thank you for your support, your interest in ZELDA and commitment to the arts,
Lori Greenberg, M.Ed, LCAS
Friends of Aurora Studio & Gallery are excited to announce the fifth annual Zelda Fitzgerald Celebration. This year’s week long series has a little something for everyone.
The kickoff is Monday, March 9, 6pm at Pack Memorial Library, Lord Auditorium, 67 Haywood St, Asheville, with “Z – A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald” by Therese Anne Fowler.
Therese Anne Fowler is the New York Times bestselling author of “A Well-Behaved Woman” and “Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald”. “Z” has been adapted as an original television series for Amazon Studios, starring Christina Ricci. “A Well-Behaved Woman” is currently in development with Sony Pictures Television.
This event is FREE to the public and includes an interview by Dr. Lisa Nanney, professor of literature and American Studies at U.N.C. affiliates.
Tuesday, March 10, 5pm – The Reading of the Proclamation, that Tuesday, March 10th is Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald Day, City Hall Meeting starts at 5pm, 70 Court Plaza, Asheville, 28801.
Tuesday, March 10, 6pm – The Thomas Wolfe Memorial, 52. N. Market St., Asheville, 28801.
“Amid the Rubble and Ashes: The Highland Hospital Fire”
In recognition of Asheville’s annual Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald Day The Thomas Wolfe Memorial staff will take a look at the events surrounding her tragic death. This event is being presented on the 72nd Anniversary of the hospital fire.
FREE OF CHARGE.
Friday, March 13, 12 noon, Asheville Art Museum, 2 South Pack Square, 2nd Floor Gallery, Asheville, 28801.
“In Conversation: Zelda Fitzgerald”
Zelda (actor Terry Darakjy) and “reporter” (actor Carol Anders) have created a thought provoking interview which takes place in March of 1948, days before the tragic Highland Hospital fire. The interview explores Zelda’s the therapeutic sustenance she receives from the arts. This imaginary interview is based on historic research.
Free for Museum Members or included with general admission.
(Buncombe County Library card, holders can go online to reserve a ticket).
Saturday, March 14, 12 – 3pm, Phil Mechanic Building, Stand Gallery, 109 Roberts Street, Asheville 28801
The Story of Zelda – As told through Mixed Media by artists from Aurora Studio & Gallery, ART OPENING.
Scraps of ceiling tin, copper and aluminum siding forged into a colorful palette of texture and design to create silhouetted pieces that capture milestones in the life of Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald. This exhibit will be on display for the month of March. Presented by Aurora Studio, a nonprofit art space for artists who have been impacted by mental health needs or addiction. Aurora Studio & Gallery is the host of the week long Zelda Event series. Light refreshments will be served.
FREE OF CHARGE.
The week closes on Saturday, March 14, 8 – 11pm, with A ROARING 20’s Party with Queen Bee & the Honeylovers at Ginger’s Revenge, 829 Riverside Drive, Suite 100, Asheville, NC 28801.
Queen Bee and the Honeylovers are an unabashedly joyful swing band that performs all-original compositions with a dedicated ‘nod’ to the small-jazz-combo and ‘hot club’ legends who first defined the genre. Their debut album, ‘Asheville’, celebrated their hometown’s history and won them #41 on WNCW’s listener-voted poll of Best Albums of 2019 among other honors. Their video for “Beacham’s Curve” won Best Soundtack at the 2019 Music Video Asheville Awards. The Honeylovers are: Whitney Moore, Mattick Frick, Trevor Stoia and James Posedel.
Come decked out in 20’S PERIOD APPAREL, and you may win a PRIZE FOR BEST COSTUME! This event is free of charge with any donations going to Aurora Studio & Gallery.
This year members of the committee have put together the first ever ‘SPIRIT OF ZELDA AWARD” which will go to a woman in the community who has demonstrated both community spirit and artistic strength in the face of adversity. This award will be announced at the Roaring 20’s Party (applicants have until February 14th to apply, the application can be found on Zelda Fitzgerald Day in Asheville’s Facebook page.
The Zelda Fitzgerald events are the brainchild of James MacKenzie who had a desire to have the city of Asheville offer an annual remembrance for Ms. Fitzgerald. Each year a proclamation is written and read to proclaim March 10th Zelda Fitzgerald Day.
Zelda Fitzgerald, born Zelda Sayre in Montgomery, Alabama on July 24, 1900, had a zest for life and the arts. In 1920 she married F. Scott Fitzgerald and together they became early 20th century celebrities. In fact, Zelda was coined the first American Flapper and early on, was the muse for F. Scott.
Zelda began her painting career somewhere around the time she and her husband moved to France in 1924. Her passion for ballet began a few years later in 1927. A published writer, it is said that her husband may have stolen much of her writings from her diaries for his own novels. This and other infidelities drove a wedge in the couple’s relationship. Within ten years of marriage, her relationship with F. Scott and her own health severely deteriorated and Zelda had her first “break down” and hospitalization around 1930.
Zelda’s mental health needs eventually brought her to Asheville, where she received treatment on and off for about ten years at Highland Hospital. She tragically died in the Highland Hospital fire, March 10, 1948.
Aurora Studio & Gallery is a supportive art space for artists who have been affected by mental health needs, homelessness or addiction. A part of offering this series is to shed a light on the powerful healing aspects the arts have on wellness. If you would like to find out about how to get involved, the web-site is: www.aurorastudio-gallery.com.
More information on the EVENTS can be found by checking out the Zelda Fitzgerald day in Asheville Facebook Page.