Community Mental Health staff, June 2012.

This week is the final chance to see the exhibit “Words & Afterwards: Moving from Violence to Healing” at (SCENE) Metrospace of East Lansing, 110 Charles Street. Gallery hours continue Thursday 2pm to 5pm, Friday and Saturday 2pm to 6pm, and Sunday 12pm to 4pm. Admission is free.

The experience of putting together this exhibit — making the artwork, collaborating with artists and community members — has been inspiring. One of my hopes throughout this project was to see the exhibit inspire others as well. This inspiration clearly stands out as I reflect upon group visits to the gallery.


CMH staff visit.

Staff from Community Mental Health came to the exhibit to explore the use of collage with adults with developmental disabilities. Individuals from Red Cedar Friends Meeting (Religious Society of Friends) viewed the artwork and shared a silent circle in closing the visit. And before the exhibit is taken down, volunteers from SACI — the Sexual Assault Crisis Intervention team, a student organization that works with the Sexual Assault Programat Michigan State University — will come to discuss a future art project of its own.


Ruth Borgelt at workshop with teens at REACH, March 2012.

It’s good news that the book art from the exhibit will become available on this web site soon after the exhibit’s closing! Ongoing access to the inspiring work by community members and artists was another goal in this project’s vision. The digitizing of collages was made possible thanks to the technical assistance of Ruth Borgelt, grant project manager with the Peace Education Center of Greater Lansing.

For those who found inspiration in Words & Afterwards, your reflections and stories are valued. If you would like to share a word of your own, you are invited to send it for publishing here on the web site, including anonymous guests; just email me at MelissaHasbrook Also, comments to existing posts are available for your use. So stay tuned for more from Words & Afterwards!

A series about how this community-arts collaboration shaped from idea into action now is available! The new page “The Origins of Words & Afterwards,” provides links to these posts published on my direct blog Dey of the Phoenix. (There are separate subscriptions for each blog, though they share a domain name.)

April 9, 2012, with activists Sandra Cade (left) and Ann Francis (right), both members of the Peace Education Center, using Mod Podge on collages. Photo by MDH.

As project coordinator, it’s my hope that these stories deepen Greater Lansing’s understanding about how Words & Afterwardsevolved into a compelling art exhibit. And more back stories are in the works! Please stay tuned for forthcoming additions.

We also have more pictures available! Check out the new Flickr album from our group session that transformed collages into book art. Thanks to Ruth Borgelt of the Peace Education Center for contributing to this documentation.

Also, tomorrow is Thursday, which means that (SCENE) Metrospace begins its gallery hours for the week: Thursdays, 2-5pm; Fridays and Saturdays, 2-6pm; and Sundays, 12-4pm. Groups able to visit outside of normal gallery hours are invited to contact me about an alternate possibility: MelissaHasbrook; 517.897.5833.

More thanks goes out to REACH Studio Art Center, artist Jen Loforese, and Ruth Borgelt of the Peace Education Center for documenting the Words & Afterwards workshops at REACH’s Teen Open Studio! The images are collected on Flickr through this album. The sessions took place March 1 and 8, with 18 teens, volunteers, and staff. Jen Loforese and I co-led the workshops, which were collectively designed by us alongside artist Gail Trapp-Bohner.

Photo by Jen Loforese

Photo from REACH Studio Art Center