May 2023

“Scar Art” class empowers cancers survivors to use art as a tool for emotional healing

The Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation, a Rhode Island Nonprofit, based in Pawtucket, Rhode Island is partnering with Sprout CoWorking in Providence to exhibit a healing arts program, called ScART for the month of May at Sprout CoWorking, 166 Valley Street, in Providence.

ScART enables cancer survivors to tell their stories and share their cancer journeys through painting which requires no artistic ability. “Emotional healing from surgical scars vary from one cancer survivor to the next and talking about it often feels taboo,” explained ScART Founder Lisa McKenzie. “ScART provides survivors the opportunity to gather and talk with other survivors, and hopefully help view their scars with a new lens.”

McKenzie connected with the Foundation last summer, and its executive director, Maria Gemma Corcelli knew this program was a way to help survivors connect with other survivors, but also to help caregivers heal their emotional scars. “There is great healing in validation of one’s feelings,” said Gemma Corcelli. “So often the focus is on the cancer patient, and we forget that family members are emotionally affected by their loved one’s cancer diagnosis.”

The ScART program was first exhibited last October at the Passport to Survivorship Expo, one of three events that happen at the Foundation’s annual Flames of Hope: A Celebration of Life™ Weekend, and more recently at Art & Soul Gifts, in Cranston, in March. The opening night for the exhibit at Sprout CoWorking is Thursday, May 18, 2023, from 5PM to 8PM and is in conjunction with Gallery Night Providence. Sprout is also a stop on the trolley, and the exhibit is free and open to the public.

“We are excited about our partnership with Sprout and bringing this important exhibit to the public”, said Gemma Corcelli. “We look forward to having these art pieces displayed in the gallery for everyone to enjoy.”

Established in 2004, the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation is a private nonprofit committed to helping people touched by cancer heal mind, body and spirit. Located in Pawtucket, their mission is to celebrate and nurture life in our local community before, during and after a cancer diagnosis by providing education, access to wellness resources and support programs to all those touched by cancer. Gloria Gemma is funded solely by the generosity of private and business donors, grants and corporate sponsorships, and 88-percent of all monies raised goes directly to the free holistic programs and support services it provides.

Also for May, The Gallery will be showing ceramic vessels for sale by artist Rick Martell.

A Brief History of Raku

Raku began in the latter half of the 16th century in Japan. The original Japanese pieces were tea bowls and the potters worked exclusively to produce vessels for the tea ceremony. In 1909 British potter Bernard Leach went to Japan and apprenticed with Ogata Kenzen VI. This was unprecedented for a Westerner. Leach brought these techniques back to the United Kingdom, and it spread to the United States. The process has taken on many new methods since that time.

The Process

Pots are formed by hand or wheel, bisque fired, glazed, put into a small kiln, and when the glaze is soft and glossy, they are pulled from the kiln with tongs. Traditionally, they were put right into water to cool. Westerners added another step. When the pots are pulled from the kiln, they get put into a sealed container “garbage can” with combustible materials such as leaves or sawdust. They are let to sit for a while. Then the pieces are put into water to cool. This process produces a very distinct glazing and lets the potter have intimate involvement with pieces from start to finish.

Prudence Pottery Raku Workshop

Ceramicist Rick Martell offers workshops on Raku method in his studio on Prudence Island where he has most recently been firing pieces used in the tea ceremony, including flower vases, water jars, and tea bowls.

Sprout CoWorking offers a professional workspace alternative where individuals and teams grow, network and flourish together. Our flexible coworking center provides 24/7 access to workspace & wifi, private office rentals, meeting/zoom rooms, an event venue and art galleries open to the public. Students and teachers can take advantage of a discounted membership rate.” Sprout CoWorking is located in the Rising Sun Mills Apartments, 166 Valley Street, Building, Building 6M, Suite 103, Providence.

Contact: [email protected] for all inquiries or to schedule a viewing appointment.