Raleigh N.C. 1407 S. Bloodworth St.

Opening reception: Saturday August 3, 4:00-7:00pm, Artist Talk 5:00pm

Gallery Hours August 3- 31: Friday 3:00-7:00pm, Saturday and Sunday 1:00-4:00pm

Art Therapy Workshop with Natalia Torres Del Valle: Saturday August 3, 1:00-3:00pm UPDATE: Registration full, please email to be put on waitlist.

Yoga and Self-Care Workshop with Brye Senor: Friday August 9, 6:00-7:30pm UPDATE: Registration full, please email to be put on waitlist.

Art As Therapy/Therapy As Art by Julia Caston

Based in the values of creating dialogue, exchange and honoring inclusion Julia Caston created the drawings and collages in Art As Therapy/Therapy As Art as some of her most deeply personal work to date. Caston views her artistic practice as a way to become more human, to grow into the best version of herself, and to better understand how others are attempting to do the same. The versatile medium of drawing has been a source of comfort to Caston since childhood, used to express immediate thoughts and emotions throughout her day to day life, whether on a napkin with a ballpoint pen, or with more traditional materials in her studio. 

The series exhibited here was created with the specific intention of processing personal trauma. The work is a departure from Caston’s previous use of sculpture and performance to foster community, inclusivity, and communication. These past explorations focused primarily on the experience of the audience with the goal of creating connections among the participants that would not have been possible without the intervention of the performance experience. Art As Therapy/Therapy As Art deliberately turns the focus of the process inward, valuing the experiences the artist has previously attempted to provide for others. The choice to process pain through art making has resulted in healing and hope for the artist. The works that are the products of this process are intimate, playful, raw, and humorous. 

Caston’s artistic practice is deeply committed to the intention of connecting individuals through experiences of self-care, interaction, and joy. These intensely personal drawings were never intended to be kept private, as relics of the restorative process of letting go. Part of the process of healing is finding belonging within community. The exhibition is accompanied by workshops in art therapy and yoga, connecting her drawings to the social practice of her larger body of work.

By opening herself up to the vulnerability of publicly exhibiting her journey toward mental and emotional well being Caston has invited the viewer to join her in the process of healing. Art As Therapy/Therapy As Art intends to create a safe space for viewers to find reflections of their own experiences with trauma and growth. In this way, perhaps it is possible to heal together.

About the Brightwork Fellowship Program

The Brightwork Fellowship is a residency program located within Anchorlight that focuses on service, leadership, and professional development in the visual arts. The Fellowship provides opportunities to artists through exhibition, group critique, community engagement, and service learning experiences. Brightwork Fellows receive an individual studio as well as shared community work space in which to make their work uninterrupted for a period of one year. This combination of private and shared space fosters an environment of community support, the sharing of knowledge, discourse, and skill.