'A way that they can stay well and keep well': Artists in recovery invite you to see their artwork
BETHLEHEM, Pa. — An intricately painted, picture-like self-portrait stands on an easel in the meeting room at Recovery Partnership in Bethlehem.
The subject in the piece is Doug Reinford, a client of Recovery Partnership who suffers from bipolar disorder and hand tremors.
- The monthly Artists in Recovery Art Exhibit has seen a drop in attendance since the coronavirus pandemic
- The Bethlehem non-profit offers mental health services
- The July show is free from noon to 2 p.m. July 7 at Recovery Partnership, 70 W. North St., Suite101, Bethlehem
“I didn't know I could paint,” Reinford, of Quakertown, said, talking about how he got his start in art. "I was in special art in elementary school and did a lot of drawing and some painting, but I didn't start painting till I was 31.”
Reinford’s art is among works on display at Friday’s Artists in Recovery Art Exhibit through Recovery Partnership, a Bethlehem non-profit that offers mental health services to people in the Lehigh Valley.
"We have a consumer satisfaction team service, which is family members or peers who go out and do satisfaction surveys for other providers to see how well services are working or what they need to do to improve them,” Angela Lender, the organization's office manager, said.
"People who use art as a way of healing from mental health problems, it's just a way that they can stay well and keep well."Angela Lender, Recovery Partnership office manager
“We have a peer line for Lehigh County and Northampton County.”
'Good opportunity ... to give back and purchase artwork'
Lender not only works for Recovery Partnership, but is an artist participating in the show.
"People who use art as a way of healing from mental health problems, it's just a way that they can stay well and keep well,” she said.
However, Lender said she’s seen a drop off in attendance to the Friday afternoon shows since the pandemic struck.
She said she’s trying to do what she can to spread the word about the event to get more people back in the door.
“It's a really good opportunity for providers to give back and purchase artwork and have a great conversation piece of how art can be a great coping skill in your mental health and wellness."Angela Lender, Recovery Partnership office manager
“It's a really good opportunity for providers to give back and purchase artwork and have a great conversation piece of how art can be a great coping skill in your mental health and wellness,” Lender said.
Their most recent show is set for from noon to 2 p.m. today, July 7, at the office at 70 W. North St., Suite101, Bethlehem.
The artists said they hope more people will come to view and possibly buy their creations.
"The artists will be here," Lender said. "We do interactive artwork together, people could come in and create with us, you can watch artists create, just collaborate and network.”
'It's my Zen area'
She said it’s an opportunity for others in the community to show support for those in recovery, such as Reinford, who spends weeks perfecting his paintings.
“It's certainly my passion and it's my Zen area,” he said.
"If you can find the correct support systems, coping skills like art and music, you can push through and have a wonderful life."Angela Lender, Recovery Partnership
“It could be anybody at any time who goes through something horrible, and it changes your life forever, but if you can find the correct support systems, coping skills like art and music, you can push through and have a wonderful life."
The art ranges in price from as low as $5 up to a couple hundred dollars for the more extravagant pieces.
The art exhibit is free and open to the public every first Friday of the month.