Perseverance: An Artist’s Journey Through Darkness
May 18 – June 30, 2017
“This show is my visual interpretation of surviving a deep depression, working through it and emerging from it,” says Tammy Updegrove, artist and creator of the exhibit Perseverance: An Artist’s Journey Through Darkness.
“Life is full of tough times,” Updegrove says. “Sickness, abuse, grief, physical and mental pain. So many things we cannot control.”
Through the use of collage, mixed mediums, photography, mosaic, and acrylic paint, Updegrove tells a story that begins in a dark depressive state, travels along the path of self-forgiveness and mindfulness, and ends at a destination of a new, whole, and healthy body and mind.
“Each piece is a part of my journey,” Updegrove explains. This journey began in September 2014 with dark, large scale pieces. These pieces were created in a holistic manner: “Throwing paint, dripping and splatting techniques, and immersing myself into the paint. Using the feel, smell, and sound of the paint splashing the canvas, watching the colors mix, were part of my escape from stress and worry.”
Throughout the exhibit, Updegrove showcases many pieces conquering negative self-talk. These pieces of positivity were created with pen and ink, colored pencils, charcoal, graphite, acrylic paint, and mixed mediums to create detailed, gentle reminders of love and self-care.
“Some of my work, like the acrylic painting of my feet stuck in the sand, was created to remind me to stay connected to the earth. It was a time when I felt a real loss and disconnect with people,” Updegrove says. “When I glance at it, I remember the feel of the warm sand on my feet. Grounding myself to the real world helped me to keep going until connections with people were healthy and safe.”
Perseverance will feature interactive components that Updegrove hopes to provide a safe, non-judgmental zone for observers to try their hand at art projects of their own.
“My cause is to share some coping skills that worked for me, with the hope of helping someone else,” Updegrove explains. “I strongly feel that as a human race we need to have a healthy outlet to express ourselves. Anyone can benefit from using art as a coping skill.”
The exhibit runs from May 18 – June 30, 2017 at the Yocum Institute for Arts Education, 1100 Belmont Avenue, Wyomissing, PA 19610. The opening reception for the exhibit will run 5:00 – 7:00 PM on May 18.