Brocton art exhibit aims to be stress free

Participants of Brocton’s Art Discovery program view their own work. Their work will be on display for the public on Monday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Tri-Church Parish in Brocton.

BROCTON — For Brocton’s Art Discovery program this year, director Lucy Andrus decided to focus on what she felt like her participants needed, rather than the world at large. In the past, she’s taught about different cultures, but this year, she has decided to focus on having her students relieve stress.

“We’ve just been through hell the last several years,” said Andrus. “In our world, our country, and community. Everybody is stressed and there’s so much going on. I didn’t want to do anything too stressful for people, and I instead went with a stress free, therapeutic healing experience to give people a respite from all of this.”

Andrus said she focused on the fact that each human has creativity within them, and set out to unlock that creativity in the 14 students that took her course this semester. While many people wouldn’t admit to their own creativity, Andrus said it always comes out in everyday life.

“Think about everyday activities where we express things artistically,” said Andrus. “How you set your table, do your make up, how you dress, all that stuff is art behavior. That’s in us from when humans first walked the Earth.”

Andrus said that in current life, that creativity often needs to be drawn out, which is why she likes providing the materials and means for people to discover it inside themselves. Times of stress are often the times where it’s most important to call on those skills.

And when people do let go, they’re often treated to spectacular accomplishments. Andrus said that it was amazing to see her students let go of any inhibitions, letting themselves create.

“It’s amazing to see it, but when people let go of their inner critic, open up, and allow that creative urge to come out, they make really beautiful work,” said Andrus. “It’s a chance to give control back to the person, not so they can control what comes out, but so they can master materials that will allow them to express intuition and spontaneity.”

The name of Andrus’ class this year was “In a World Turned Upside Down, Permission to Play, Explore, Experiment, Discover and Grow through Art,” fully embracing allowing people to operate as stress free as possible. The Fall semester class focused on the appearance of the circle in the human experience, trying to help people understand it from the basic shape, to the solar system, and so much more. The spring class focused on “making marks,” both from early humans making art, to how people do it still in modern culture.

“We began with a PowerPoint on mark-making in human experience from prehistoric to modern times, exploring why we humans engage in this kind of visual self-expression,” said Andrus. “From the urge to ‘make your mark’ by running a finger through a foggy window or dusty car fender, to doodling, to marking self for different social/cultural purposes, to making marks as the beginning of a drawing, etc.”

The Brocton Art Discovery program, hosted out of the Tri-Parish Church, continues to run yearly, with classes sizes still limited to maintain social distancing. For the first time, there will be an opening reception for the gallery, allowing the participants to show their works to the public. The ceremony will run from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Monday at 41 E. Main St. Refreshments will be available and the artists will be on hand to discuss their work.


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