The Search for Meaning Art Exhibition proudly presents the artworks of artists who are in the ACRS Behavioral Health Art Therapy program. The goal of this program is to help individuals with mental health issues improve their cognitive ability while promoting an individual’s creative process. The program provides the opportunities for individuals to express feelings through art as non-verbal communication.
Learn more about the ACRS Behavioral Health Art Therapy Program as featured on King 5 News.
See below for examples of these unique works to be featured at the 2018 Search for Meaning Art Exhibition.
At the first glance, Tawn’s works remind audiences of an abstract expressionist artist who emphasizes basic geometrical shapes and strikingly complementary colors for self- expression. However, if you examine his enormous works of soft pastel over the past three years, his works are far beyond one’s boundary revealed in a colorful and happy representation of the artist’s surroundings. Images of bottles of water, playgrounds with benches, balls, houses, buses, helicopters, elephants and smiling face figures have been repetitively captured through his arts. Tawn can be seen drawing either in ACRS art studio or ACRS Café Hope area with a smile on his face. His works always bring joy and energetic surprise to audiences who like contemporary art.
Thanh Tran did not have any art background before he joined ACRS wellness program three years ago. He paints with the hope of curing his chronic headache. After three years, Tran’s art has become some of the most well-received within ACRS. He finds a therapeutic way to cope by “painting my headache away,” the artist shares. His distinctive style is the celebration of beauty of nature. Tran uses acrylic to paint up to ten layers to create depths for his works. He asks questions as needed to perfect his technique and to achieve his desirable colors. Tran has developed a passion for art as well as artistic skills that reflect beautiful works of flowers, trees, landscape, seascape and especially, waterfalls. One of his signature themes is called “Hoa Mai”, where he depicts Vietnamese traditional flowers that usually bloom during Tet, a Vietnamese Lunar New Year that would “symbolize good luck and prosperity.”
Tuong Le’s art works are startling because of the combination of thick acrylic texture, complimentary color contrast and pure forms that represents his favorite animals. From dinosaurs, bugs, roosters, mice, cats, rats, fish, turtles, dragons and butterflies, the artist paints them all. His visible thick brush strokes capture the essence of subjects that engage the audience’s eye. The thick and vibrant paints create a three dimensional effect that one would not resist to touch when looking at his impressive artworks.
Yi is one of very few artists of the program that uses torn paper technique collage as her main technique. She uses low-end scrap materials like newspapers and color papers. Bit by bit, she fills in shapes to add texture and then uses water color onto backgrounds as a final touch. This technique allows her works to appear whimsical and delicate. The artist’s favorite subject matters are landscapes and cityscapes, inspired from art books and magazines. No matter where her inspiration comes from, Yi‘s art is creative and labor intensive. She has given each piece of artwork her best attention as well as her passion.
Evan carries his sketchbooks and a box of color markers with him everywhere he goes. He draws whenever he can and proudly shows his works to share to anybody who is interested. His color choices are vibrant and provocative. His shapes are simple and strong. His composition is opened up to put his objects out of the edge, which allows further interpretation from audiences. Evan’s amazing portfolio includes scenes of big cities, traveling, events that he researches from the internet, newspapers or inspiration from other’s traveling stories. Each masterpiece visually transforms the reality into his distinctive capricious style which leaves audiences with happy surprises and an urge to look for more.
Pratna’s sophisticated, delicately rendered acrylic composition creates an ever-expanding fantasy world where fragments of his homeland, Cambodia and fantasy are intertwined and transformed. Pratna’s works invite audiences to step in his wonderful space filled with beautiful colors to represent four season of the year. Each art work takes at least five weeks to finish with painstakingly executed pointillist style that has been well-received by others.
Homan is one of the longest attending artists in art group thus far. He is a productive, dedicated artist whose drawings on paper reflect a fascination with fantasy. The intricately rendered landscapes and interiors are built through figures, portraits of his friends and animals that are spaced, creating a sense of tranquility and quietness in his works. Hon man draws images from his personal experience and opinion of the world and its cultural icons to create a symbolic place where order and emotion combine to create a world of make-believe.
Sombath is one of the newer artists whose skills were ignited in art group as she explored her creativity. Her abilities to capture light and texture of people, animals and landscapes through color mixing of acrylic paint takes viewers into a world where possibilities are endless. When looking at Sombath’s works, a sense of intimacy surfaces as she takes the audience along on a rollercoaster of emotions.
Michael joined the ACRS art program in 2015. He presents a strong art background in Chinese calligraphy. Skillfully using Chinese ink and brushes, Mr. Wang poetically paints Chinese traditional images like flowers, butterflies and bamboo over rice papers. Mr. Wang is a humble artist who smiles shyly and bows whenever he receives compliments from others. Mr. Wang has expanded his skill to depict landscapes mostly using blue as a dominant element. His new developing style of art transcends audiences into a world where poems and nature dance in synchronized movements.
Aaron’s art could remind audiences of children’s playgrounds. He always comes to art class prepared with images and cartoon characters he would like to draw for a day. He uses markers to render images of animals, superheroes and other characters from his favorite books and comics to interact with others in a whimsical way. Finishing off his piece with thin and thick strokes of soft pastel in the background also imitates the act of intuitive playing. Leaving a lot of space is important in his works which allows audiences to collaboratively and creatively fill in with their own imagination.