Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Arts.Advocacy+Wellness: "Turn Your Pain into Art"

Art that Heals and Transforms the Soul:
a meeting with Artist and Healing Survivor - Osvaldo Perdomo

My motto for life is: "Turn Your Pain into Art," whether it's physical, emotional, or mental pain I believe it can go through a healing transformation by actively using the creative arts to heal the soul.  I feel, as an HIV positive individual, who has suffered emotional abuse and depression, that I'm living proof of this notion of "Art and its Healing Power."  Art (visual, performance, literary, and design) has the personal power to heal us internally and externally.  It has the possibility to heal beyond the personal and individual, extending to larger socio-cultural and social-political dynamics.  Let me not exclude the creative and artistic powers of cooking and sewing.  These too are powerful creative acts that can heal and transform the soul.  Heal through your Pain and
Turn it into Art.


I recently attended a powerful art exhibit, hosted by Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) and the Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation - "Art & AIDS: Living for the Moment."  Overly pumped to grab a great transformative story to share with FutureForward and A.A+W fans, I invited my good friend Nathan SEVEN Scott to cover this event with me.  

Truthfully, I knew it would be a moving event, however, I didn't expect to meet so many brave souls.  One brave soul in particular, was Osvaldo Perdomo.  Osvaldo, fearlessly shared his journey to becoming the artist that he is today. HIV positive and never having drawn nor technically trained in art, his collection consisted of original hand painted portraits that were developed out of the weekly therapeutic art classes as part of GMHC's Volunteer Work and Wellness Center.  The painting reflected his journey of healing emotionally and physically while living with HIV.  There were over 130 works of art, all displayed by artists who are living with HIV/AIDS.  The body of work was stunning and it was powerful to witness the effects of artistic transformation for the artists, personally, and the spectators at the exhibit.  The exhibition humbly provided the powerful engagement of destigmatizing people living with HIV/AIDS, it also showed
its transcending transformative powers to the larger socio-political dynamics.

So grateful for this experience, and grateful for having met Mr. Osvlado Perdomo, and hearing his story.  Thanks to GMHC, the Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation, and a special thanks to Osvaldo, who also was the co-curator of this event.  Now how powerful is that!

Thanks for reading on this A.A+Wsome Wednesday.  
More to follow next Wednesday.
Now tune into Torya and Her Notes on Ubuntu

and for up to date information on my works and my journey with FlagBoy
follow me at: or facebook:  Cornelius Jones Jr.

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