Collective exhibit celebrates healing through art

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published January 22, 2014

 Shelly Tyshka, executive director of Paint a Miracle, poses with art created at the Paint a Miracle studio, titled “Rite of Passage Dolls,” that will be displayed at Belian Art Center in Troy next month as part of a collective art exhibit.

Shelly Tyshka, executive director of Paint a Miracle, poses with art created at the Paint a Miracle studio, titled “Rite of Passage Dolls,” that will be displayed at Belian Art Center in Troy next month as part of a collective art exhibit.

Photo by Donna Agusti

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Many who come together to create art at Paint a Miracle in Rochester have been coming to the studio for 10 years, and some come five or six times a week.

A lot of those artists have experienced challenges in their lives, such as brain injuries, cerebral palsy, depression or autism.

Shelly Tyshka, executive director of Paint a Miracle, explained that her father, Dale Propson, a Rochester-area dentist, started the studio after he was hit by a drunken driver, suffered a traumatic brain injury and lost most of his eyesight. He discovered painting as a means to heal and opened an art studio specially designed for those who face challenges similar to his own.

“We’ve had a number of exhibitions,” Tyshka said. “This is the first time a group worked on a collaborative piece together.”

Belian Art Center in Troy will host Paint a Miracle’s “Reciprocity: the Individual and the Collective,” which is the result of Paint a Miracle’s new visiting artist program.

The four separate projects, “We are All Connected,” “Self-Portraits in Blue,” “Inner Child Collages,” and “Rite of Passage” feature individual pieces in a collective setting. 

Carol Cameron, visiting artist at Paint a Miracle, explained in a prepared statement that through the “We Are All Connected” exhibit, each artist’s individuality comes through “an emotionally charged dance of color movement and expression.”

“These self-portraits exhibit a feeling of authenticity as each artist expresses how they view themselves for all to see. Whenever someone got stuck, there was always a solution with our group in mind,” she said. “They not only bring their depth of experience to the table, but also their nonjudgmental support of each other.”

“We are All Connected” is a model of how a diverse group of people can work together, expressing both individuality and unity in a nonjudgmental and supportive setting,” Cameron said. “It doesn’t get much better than that.”

“It’s been such a treat to start the visiting artist program and offer the artists substantial exposure, and introduce artists in the community to who we are and what we do,” Tyshka said.

“We’re happy to give the artists a place to exhibit their work,” said Isabel Belian, of Belian Art Center.

“Reciprocity” will be at Belian Art Center, 5980 Rochester, from Feb. 8-Feb. 28. There is an opening reception from 5-9 p.m. Feb. 8. Belian Art Center is free and open to the public noon-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

For information on Paint a Miracle, call (248) 652-2702.

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