Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Closing Reception for HomeFront / ArtSpace exhibit “Healing through Art”

Closing Reception for HomeFront / ArtSpace exhibit Healing through Art

WHEN: August 28, 2 – 3 p.m. Healing in Nature may be seen through August 31, from 10 until 5 each workday.
WHERE: Celebrating HomeFront’s vibrant artists in D&R Greenway’s 1900 Barn, One Preservation Place, off Rosedale Road, Princeton
ADMISSION: Reception is free; but please rsvp@drgreenway.org to attend.

This partnership showcases artwork created by homeless people benefiting from unique services at Ewing’s HomeFront Family Campus. Their strong arts program results in work of remarkable liveliness, power, and exceptional diversity. HomeFront provides calming influences in their ArtSpace setting. Their healing garden conveys not only fresh air, but also the beauty and solace of nature itself; as does D&R Greenway’s Meredith’s Garden of Inspiration. Quotes from HomeFront participants include “I see greatness in us all—a song of joy and pride.” And “Motivated to do better, a new life might appear.”     

“With this exhibit, we want to illustrate the importance that nature plays in healing everyone, everywhere,” declares D&R Greenway President & CEO Linda Mead. “D&R Greenway’s work to preserve open space is diverse: We preserve land benefiting everyone in the community—from our Capital City Farm that grows healthy, local food in Trenton to the well-loved community parks we have created in Hopewell, Lawrence and Princeton. Again and again, we hear about the healing power of nature from people who enjoy our trails, our parks and our open spaces in suburban and urban communities. .”  www.drgreenway.org

“At our HomeFront Family Campus in Ewing, we house as many as 38 families in crisis on any given night,” says HomeFront Executive Director Connie Mercer.  “Due to their tumultuous lives and the added stress of their arrival—children frightened, parents in despair—HomeFront’s ability to provide calming influences throughout their stay can play a huge role in emotional healing. A small, contemplative garden at the family campus is the perfect place for parents and their children to take a much-needed break and seek the fresh air, the beauty and the solace that only nature provides. And no one knows how true this is more than our wonderful friends at D&R Greenway, promoting this very kind of healing through nature and land preservation for so many years. “In order to attract butterflies we expect to be planting native plants. ArtSpace will be creating tile walking stones for the garden, and a portion of the sale of the artwork on view at D&R Greenway will go toward this endeavor.”

Just like D&R Greenway’s Meredith’s Garden of Inspiration, HomeFront’s healing garden has a theme: butterflies. Butterflies are symbols of hope and transformation into a new life. “The garden is in the planning stages. We’re working with Master Gardeners of Mercer County,” says ArtSpace/Sewing Space Founding Director Ruthann Traylor. Local landscape architect Bay Weber has volunteered her services to develop a detailed plan with winding pathways and calming elements including thoughtfully placed benches, fragrant plantings, gentle wind spinners, sculptural art and mosaic tiles. 

“A mutual benefactor, Wade Martin, brought local nonprofits together a few years ago to encourage partnerships,” Mead says. “Much has grown from that, including D&R Greenway’s partnership with the Princeton YWCA and our Healing Trails tour that will be available this fall. This latest partnership with HomeFront celebrates our mutual goal to create places where people from all walks of life can enjoy the beauty and healing power of being outdoors in nature.”

Since 1991, HomeFront has helped homeless families to build lives of self-respect, stability and independence by using a comprehensive and holistic approach to ending homelessness in Central New Jersey. Addressing the material needs for shelter, food and clothing, HomeFront has established effective programs to help parents develop educational, vocational and life skills while also opening the world and its possibilities to their children.

HomeFront also believes that for a full and rich life, one that truly breaks through the cycle of poverty, you need more than a roof over your head, food for your belly and a paycheck. The human spirit needs nourishment—the power of life’s richness that gives meaning to our day-to-day lives.

One way this is achieved is through ArtSpace—the studio is at the heart of the new HomeFront Family Campus, welcoming visitors to look around, join in and pick up a paint brush. In this non-threatening, non-judgmental environment, with a caring staff and a team of volunteers to prompt and guide them, clients are reminded of their goals and dreams; discover content that is personal, real, and truthful; and foster a sense of joy, creativity and exuberance. Through this innovative therapeutic art program, the creative process becomes a tangible tool for self-expression, critical thinking and problem-solving that can transform the lives of the artists.

D&R GREENWAY LAND TRUST IS IN ITS 29TH YEAR of preserving and protecting natural lands, farmlands and open spaces throughout central and southern New Jersey. Through continuous preservation and stewardship -- caring for land and easements to ensure they remain protected and ecologically healthy in perpetuity—D&R Greenway nurtures a healthier and more diverse environment for people and wild species in seven counties. Accredited by the national Land Trust Accreditation Commission, D&R Greenway’s mission is to preserve and care for land and inspire a conservation ethic, now and for the future. Since its founding in 1989, D&R Greenway has permanently preserved more than 20,000 acres, an area 20 times the size of New York City’s Central Park, including 30 miles of trails open to the public. The Johnson Education Center, a circa 1900 restored barn at One Preservation Place, Princeton, is D&R Greenway’s home. Through programs, art exhibits and related lectures, D&R Greenway inspires greater public commitment to safeguarding land.