Arts, Dining & Entertainment

Art of a different color: works of compassion

Sunday, Aug. 7 at 1 p.m.—BRANDON—Compass Music and Arts Center will host an opening reception Sunday, Aug. 7 from 1 to 3 p.m. for an unusual exhibit that opens Friday, Aug. 5, titled The Effects of Birdsong on Shifting Strata: Paintings and Poems by Tom Merwin and the artists of the Forty-Seven Main Street Group. The exhibit will display until Aug. 27.

The exhibit combines visual arts with poetry and showcases the outcomes of a distinctive collaboration between Merwin and community individuals facing various mental health challenges. Well known Castleton artist Tom Merwin established the group known as the Artists of the Forty-Seven Main Street Group, offering them the use of his own studio to paint in an environment described by Vincent Van Gogh as a “universal and healing communion of art.”

Merwin has a passion: supporting people who have mental health issues. Merwin recognizes the therapeutic, as well as the creative, power of art as an expressive tool and knows that the creative arts can open ourselves to inner depths of expression and imagery. The finished work can then often act as a strong communication tool for the rest of the world. In this spirit the group will present their thought-provoking paintings and poems in this exhibit.

Merwin stated that “we hope to mirror your reflection with ours on the surface of poetry and painting.”

FortySeven Main Street, Inc., is a state-licensed “therapeutic community residence,” located at 706 Main St., Castleton, that provides men with psychiatric disorders opportunities to live meaningful lives. The Compass Music and Arts Center is located in Park Village at 333 Jones Dr., Brandon, Vt. (Park Village used to be the Brandon Training School, located off Arnold District Rd., 1.5 miles north of downtown Brandon).

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