For years, Center for Hospice Care (CHC) and Hospice Foundation (HF) have been recognized as one of the most fiscally responsible hospices in the state and perhaps even the nation. The creation of an endowment – that is, a perpetual fund, or funds, that will guarantee annual income to maintain existing programs and allow for the creation of new ones – marks something of a departure for CHC, which has histoically relied upon annual fundraising efforts and third-party reimbursements to offset operating costs.
One such endowment is for the After Images art counseling program. For some people, expressing their grief through art provides a path to healing. Providing education and support to those who are grieving due to the death of someone in their lives is the mission of CHC's Life Transition Center; the After Images art bereavement counseling program offers participants a unique approach.
Those who take part in the program create their artwork alone in the program's studio space with the support of Dave Labrum, leader of the After Images program. As he noted, the studio is a place where they come to feel safe and are able to express their grief openly and honestly.
After participants move beyond their uncertainty in their ability to create art, they begin to experiment with materials such as oil paint sticks, pastels, and acrylic paints to create pieces that allow them to experience their emotions – often anger, guilt, sadness, and loneliness – in a new way, which eventually allows them to transcend their experience of grief.
The inaugural Journeys in Healing art show will be held early in 2017 to raise awareness of the After Images program and its endowment. The show will include a silent auction of artwork created in the program and donated by the artists. The pieces to be featured in the auction can be previewed online here. In addition, participants from the program will be on hand to share their journeys and discuss some of the pieces that they created. More details for this event will be available soon.