Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The power of art to heal

I started making cards when my dear friend, Annie Carroll, was diagnosed with cancer. Annie was an art teacher at Cambridge Rindge & Latin who had a profound impact on everyone who was lucky enough to know her. Making cards was my answer to feeling powerless. I discovered Paper Source in Cambridge; rubber stamps and handmade paper became my obsession as did making cards that were funny, crazy and upbeat. I made those cards for her and I made them for myself.
Many years later my dear friend and student teacher, Ruth Rieffanangh, was diagnosed in the middle of her student teaching program with breast cancer. Again I felt powerless; out came the rubber stamps and the handmade paper but this time I added 40 plus mixed media students who were as devastated by the news as I was. We made sheets of paste paper. We looked up quotes that would be inspirational. We made cards for Ruth and in the process we felt less powerless. This was one of the greatest moments of my teaching career. Art has the power to heal. Art has been the greatest light in my life and one I want to share. I have always loved cards; buying them, making them and sending them. My intention is to start a line of cards to sell. I will keep you all posted as my venture unfolds.

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