Art Restart Blog

How Art Relieves Stress November 21, 2016 07:15 1 Comment

If you know any artists, or are an artist yourself, you’ve probably heard them explain that completing a project feels like a weight has been lifted off of their shoulders. For many people, creating art provides a release that can feel physical and emotional. 

The Journal of American Art Therapy Association recently published an article titled “Reduction of Cortisol Levels and Participants’ Responses Following Art Making.” The study discussed in the article found that even if you have little to no artistic talent or training, forty-five minutes spent creating art decreases stress. 

Four times a week, members of The Gathering Place have a creative space to hone their skills and decrease their stress. Walking into the art room, artists throw themselves into creating and are able to put everything else aside for a few hours. Steve Hartbauer, the Arts Program Manager, teaches techniques and manages the creative outlets at TGP.

Their cards and triptychs relieve their stress and TGP provides a place for them to sell their art. The walls display framed artwork created with water color, acrylic and every other medium you can think of.  Every time I walk into the art room, my stress is immediately relinquished. Being around the artists is calming.

I’m sure you’ve felt this when you’ve walked into a gallery showing, or spent the afternoon in an art museum. Appreciating others’ creativity is almost as relaxing as creating art yourself.

If viewing art in a gallery makes you feel at peace, creating a gallery wall in your home, or sending a piece of art in the mail, could have the same affect.

Today, the artwork that makes me feel at peace is Colorado Dreaming by WA. Displaying this card in my home or sending it to friends and family this holiday is a way to share creativity and promote stress-free moments. 

Why What We Do Matters: Inside Art Restart with Felicia Magliula November 15, 2016 08:18

Hello Reader! My name is Felicia Magliula and I currently have the honor of serving on the Board of Directors at The Gathering Place, Denver’s only daytime drop in center for women, children, and transgender individuals experiencing poverty and often homelessness. Joining the board at TGP was not something I ever imagined was in the cards for me. You see, many years ago I once was a client at an organization very similar to TGP, so the idea of evolving from client to board member seemed far-fetched. After overcoming many obstacles, I was fortunate enough to make my way to university where I fell in love with women’s studies and social justice. Finally, I had the words to understand the struggles that I had gone through as a child and teenager. My passion for working with women and children who are experiencing hardships was born, and I have spent the last five years doing so at multiple non-profit organizations across the country.

One of my first priorities after joining the board was to really dive into the work that The Gathering Place was doing which led me to the office of Teresa Densmore, the Director of Art Restart at The Gathering Place. Art Restart is a social enterprise which sells original art in the form of greeting cards created by the artists at The Gathering Place.

I love Art Restart because it offers a truly unique way to improve the lives of women experiencing poverty. When businesses or individuals purchase cards from Art Restart, the artist receives a royalty check. The more cards that are purchased, the larger the check becomes. It’s a pretty simple concept that when magnified on a large scale could potentially provide enough income for someone to no longer live in poverty. I know that this is a very extreme scenario that is unlikely, but I am a big picture kind of person so hear me out. I know firsthand that poverty is intersectional and layered with many complicated obstacles that can often feel designed for failure, but sometimes small flickers of hope such as a modest check are enough to give someone the strength to continue overcoming the obstacles.

One person may not be able to purchase enough cards to produce a check in the amount of a livable wage for a woman experiencing poverty, but one person can purchase a small pack of cards. One business can commit to ordering annual holiday cards or thank you cards. One family can encourage their friends to buy cards from Art Restart. Even something as simple as sharing this blog post with a few friends is a great way to help spread the word about Art Restart. If enough of us do our part, we can make a much larger impact, together. 

Thank you for reading my post and please check out the beautiful cards for sale before you leave.