The work on display at the upcoming Our Journey: Expressions Through Art exhibition at the Tidemark has been created by youth receiving services at Campbell River Family Services Society.

Our Journey: Expressions Through Art

Exhibition celebrates resilience and the tranformative power of creativity

Aremarkable collection of art created by children and youth who have received services at Campbell River Family Services Society (CRFSS) from a diverse range of programs, Our Journey: Expressions Through Art opens March 8 at the Tidemark.

According to the British Columbia Art Therapy Association, “Thought and feeling often reach expression in images rather than words … through the use of art therapy, feelings and inner conflicts can be projected into visual form.” The counsellors at CRFSS often use creative means when working with children and youth, especially in cases where there may have been a history of trauma or abuse.

This amazing collection of art showcasing the creations of children as young as six years of age has been made possible through a grant from the Campbell River Community Foundation and in partnership with the Tidemark Theatre and the Campbell River Arts Council.

“The creativity, originality and feelings expressed by the artists through their work are a reflection of their individuality and resilience,” says Camille Lagueux, executive director of CRFSS. “We hope that everyone in Campbell River will join us in celebrating these young artists by stopping in to view the exhibit.”

The goal of the artists is not necessarily to make something that looks good, according to Marion Bryan, a counsellor who works at CRFSS and uses art therapy regularly in her work with children and youth. But as visitors to the show will see, the end results are a visual treat, even if you are not familiar with the story behind the creation.

“Creating in this way is often instinctive and taps into thoughts, feelings, memories and ideas that go beyond verbal language,” says Bryan.

“Creating art therapeutically is more about the process of play and exploration, than about a finished product, although the finished product is often quite profound.

“Several studies have shown the tremendous benefits that playful activity has for the human brain. Even animals play. Exploring with the art materials in a safe, nonjudgmental atmosphere allows children, youth and adults to engage in a process that is fun, improvisational and nourishing without the attachment to outcome or the worry to ‘productive’ and ‘successful.’”

A good number of the pieces in the show come from the talented group of clients who participate in the Campbell River Family Services Art Group sessions every second Wednesday of the month.

Participants, both children and youth, come together not only to create art, but to share stories, eat pizza, listen to music, have a laugh and on occasion even break out into song! The environment is informal, supportive and fun.

The Tidemark Art Gallery will exhibit Our Journey:  Expressions Through Art show from March 8 until the end of April at the Tidemark Theatre.

Gallery hours are from 12 to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays.