The Mechanicsville Local
Wednesday, October 22, 1997
BY ROB CROSBY
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