Low Plaza

Columbia Community to Celebrate Healing Art from Harlem Hospital's Horizon Art Studio on Feb. 21

By Lauren Marshall

"Remember September 11," brings color to contemplation on the meaning of the World Trade Center disaster for Orville Anderson.

The vibrant work of the child-artists of Harlem Hospital's Horizon Art Studio is proof that art heals. On Thursday, February 21, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. in the Low Library Rotunda, Columbia faculty, staff and students are invited to join exhibiting artists at a reception celebrating their accomplishments and work.

The exhibition "Triumphant Artists," on view now through March 4, is a tribute to children of Central Harlem, aged 5 to 18, who suffer physical and emotional challenges. The exhibit includes work from this year's artists, whose paintings reflect an inner struggle with the meaning of the World Trade Center disaster, and past artists, who learned to use art as a means to overcome their serious injuries and illnesses.

"You can see from the sheer power of each painting how important it is for children to express themselves, to explore what they are going through and in the process relieve their pain," said Allison Simpson, artist-educator who directs the program. "With art leaving the public school systems, it is imperative that we provide a place where children can channel their energies positively and allow them to express their voices."

The Harlem Horizon Art Studio, now in its 13th year, has offered more than 3,900 children with a safe haven and outlet for expression and healing through creativity. Some are hospital patients recovering from chronic illnesses, such as AIDS and sickle cell anemia or learning to cope with the pain of debilitating injuries. The program also provides safe after school programs for neighborhood and outpatient children.

Louis Donaldson, age 31, painted "Light to the Truth" in Harlem Hospital over 13 years ago during his one year recovery after a gunshot wound.

The work produced by these child-artists has been exhibited broadly in New York City art galleries, including Ricco Maresca Gallery. Proceeds from the paintings, which sell for $20 to thousands of dollars, go in support the studio and the artist. The program is part of the Injury Prevention Program of Harlem Hospital.

The "Triumphant Artists" exhibition is sponsored by the Columbia University Office of Public Affairs in celebration of Black History Month. The Harlem Horizon Art Studio is supported in part by Columbia Community Service, which distributes funds donated by Columbia faculty and staff to community service programs in the neighborhoods surrounding the university. The exhibition is open to the public Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Published: Feb 20, 2002
Last modified:Sep 18, 2002

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