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.
I first started getting involved with Aurora Studio & Gallery in the fall of 2018. I volunteered a few times before my internship started in january of 2019. I worked with three other interns for the spring semester of 2019, then continued on as the solo intern from fall 2019 to summer 2020. As my relationship with Aurora continues post-graduation, I am stepping into even more creative roles for the organization. I’m excited to share this story with the next wave of potential interns as well as interested volunteers! I found a place that fits perfectly for my skills and passions to be used for a small, heartfelt, and community-based non-profit.
Our program serves people from all sorts of backgrounds, often having faced life challenges, sometimes participants may experience food insecurity. One of my main goals has always been to “bulk up” the meals we serve for lunch during the program. I connect with local food banks to use food that would otherwise become food waste; I plan and make balanced meals for everyone and offer take-home grocery bags of veggies and non-perishable staples. This has proved to be really rewarding for me, a chance to service people directly, to nourish in the most literal sense.
An aspect of attending Aurora in any capacity, as a volunteer, paid worker, or participant, is the amazing exposure and accessibility to art and an art community. We all get to practice new mediums with local artists, and the group dynamics provides a safe container to express creatively. There is a binding thread between all involved- it is that we enjoy creating something new, learning and appreciating beauty together. The connections with the artists, those in the program and those visiting to teach, is definitely the most important aspect to me. We all come from diverse backgrounds and are able to connect over our art in such genuine ways. In addition to seeing the demonstrations of new forms and techniques, Lori, the director, has collected lots of donations of art supplies so materials are always available for people to try and make things to keep, gift, or sell and make profit. Specifically with the roles I fulfill, I also get more of a foothold into the local art scene by connecting with local gallery spaces to schedule shows and sell merchandise.
Learning the in’s and out’s of group facilitation in a therapeutic setting and non-profit organization planning has been invaluable for my interests. Ive been able to practice, with guidance from a professional, how to facilitate a creative group with a strong focus of support and inspiration. This has acted like a safe womb for me to experience myself in that role and to explore and get feedback on what worked for the group and for myself. I’ve been brainstorming big-picture and long-term visions for us a lot during quarantine, like expanding the food program, getting touched into more sections of the population, and the ideal space for us. I also participate in event planning initiatives, direct and indirect fundraising, marketing for art and merchandise, and very soon this month i will be attending the board meeting to learn about the grants related to our mission and other planning and budget discussions. This upcoming board meeting will be another milestone for me within this organization, one that will look and feel slightly different because of current Covid-19 restrictions, but nonetheless another step i am excited to take with this community. It’s been great so far ~ I would love to talk to anyone hoping to get involved about how you see that happening and how we can collaborate in beautiful ways!