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  Healing Through Art Banner  

The Mechanicsville Local

Wednesday, October 22, 1997


Display aims to heal through art

Healing your body, mind and soul is the focus on an art display the Richmond International Airport under the direction of Mechanicsville resident Michael H. Brown.

Unlike depictions of the typical fare offered by facilities such as RIC, this show isn't about aesthetic beauty–it is about exorcising the artist's demons and healing, he said. It is symbolic art, said Brown, a licensed professional counselor and human resources consultant. "Symbolic art is inner-oriented," Browns aid. "[Typical] art is outer-oriented."

The display, which also includes poetry and tells a story, was created by clients of Brown, who fofers therapy to people by seeking their problems through interpretations of their drawings.

Brown also contributed a few pieces. "The exhibition does what it's supposed to do," Brown said. "It's supposed to heal the mind, heart and soul [for the artists]."

The exhibit is being displayed through June and is incorporated with the airport's construction projects.

Brown was asked by airport officials to come up with a display that would be created on temporary berriers blocking the new construction. He had thought to get professional artists to create an exhibition, but he said noen of them were interested–mainly because they didn't want it destroyed once the construction was complete. So, Brown enlisted the help of his clients.

"I spent about 40 full hours getting it up here," he said. Brown said that symbolic art focuses mainly on the "mandala"–which means "circle"in the Sanskrit language. Symbols are drawn in a circular frame, he said, and is used as a process of self-expression.

Brown has 22 years experience in interpreting people's mandala artwork–and he is always on the money when he finds what his clients' problems are through their art.

"People tend to no open up through talking, but they will–consciously or sub-consciously–through symbolic art."

Brown, who is married to an artist, said that the clients do not need any artist talent, just he willingness to try. He will be discussing symbolic art at the Mechanicsville Library on October 27 from 7 to 8 p.m.




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