Arts Heal Exhibit

May 16 – June 21

Bottle Works Arts on 3rd Avenue Presents the 2019 Arts Heal Exhibit. The Arts Heal exhibit is a showcase of work from the Opening Minds through Art Program (OMA), and is a visual representation of the healing power of art. Join us for the opening reception on Thursday May 16 during our 3rd Thursday Gallery Night. There will be a drum circle led by Matt Mikeska. Don’t miss the Let’s Heal Photography Exhibit in our Black Box Theater.

Opening Minds through Art Program

In the fall of 2016, Mount Aloysius College under the initiative of Dr. Donald Talbot, Professor of Fine Arts, partnered with Laurel View Village, Davidsville, to implement the region’s first Opening Minds through Art (OMA) program.  In the fall of 2017, a second OMA site was established at Richland Woods Assisted Living, Johnstown, and in spring 2019, a third OMA site at Garvey Manor in Hollidaysburg.  The program has been chiefly funded by 1889 Foundation Creative Health Impact Grants.

OMA is an intergenerational art program for people with dementia. Originally conceived by Miami University’s Dr. Elizabeth Lokon in 2007, OMA is grounded in person-centered ethics and founded on the fact that people with dementia are capable of expressing themselves creatively. There is a growing body of empirical evidence that creative expression improves their physical and psychological well-being. The mission of OMA is to build bridges across age and cognitive barriers through art.

The program is implemented in group sessions. Up to twelve people with dementia work one-on one with twelve trained volunteers.

Peer Empowerment Network

In spring 2018, an initiative between Mount Aloysius College and Behavioral Health of Cambria County led to the creation of a community-based open studio arts site to serve Peer Empowerment Network’s Drop-in Center clients.  The Peer Empowerment Network Drop-in Center, often called the PEN Center, provides a safe, supportive and welcoming environment for individuals 18 and older living with and recovering from a mental health issue. The Center provides an atmosphere of acceptance where individuals feel needed and grow in self-worth, dignity and self-respect.

H.O.P.E. Drop-in Center, Altoona

In fall 2018, Dr. Talbot started a weekly open art studio for clients of H.O.P.E. Drop-in Center.  H.O.P.E.   H.O.P.E. Drop-ln was established in July 2014, by a small group of individuals with a mental health diagnosis, who were seeking a safe, stigma-free environment to offer support to each other. lt began as an informal gathering to share a meal and socialize. This group continued to meet and organize, with an end goal of establishing a drop-in center that would be open daily for individuals with mental health issues.

In addition to the above, during the 2018-2019 academic year, Dr. Talbot and M.A.C. Expressive Arts students have worked with clients at Mental Health Resources of Cambria County (Ebensburg), Sothern Care Hospice (Altoona), Evolution Counseling Services, LLC (Altoona), and Arts for Healing (Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center, Johnstown).

Funding for the programming provided by 1889/PRAA Creative Health Impact Grant and funding from Behavioral Health of Cambria County and support of Mount Aloysius College.