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Inside the Artist’s Studio: The Healing Hands of Art

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Inside the Artist’s Studio: The Healing Hands of Art

“Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” – Pablo Picasso.

This quote from famed artist, Pablo Picasso, alludes to the intrinsic value of art. Tyler Junior College (TJC) is embracing in the idea, with a new rotating art exhibit,“The Beauty of Art and Medicine.” With the belief that art has a direct connection to health, TJC invites guests to enjoy the talents of local East Texas artists, displayed on the Vernon & Amy Faulconer floor of the Robert M. Rogers Nursing & Health Sciences Building on the TJC main campus. From recent studies, art used as medicine can increase positive emotions, reduce anxiety and stress, and improve positive identity and medical outcomes.

“Art is unquestionably one of the purest and highest elements in human happiness. It trains the mind through the eye, and the eye through the mind. As the sun colors flowers, so does art color life.” – John Lubbock.

Artworks featured in the exhibition show a variety of approaches and help introduce some local artists to the spotlight. The exhibition is in collaboration with the Tyler Museum of Art, and has been thoughtfully installed by Derek Frazier. Selections in this inaugural exhibit include David Ackerson’s colorful blast acrylic painting “Post Tenebrus Lux,” Heather Crane’s collage titled “Old School,” and a mother-daughter collaborative named “Wisdom + Dreams,” by Cathy Krafve and Anna Krafve Pierce. The diptych (two panels) acrylic painting depicts the organic, half shapes of a flower and a butterfly resounding the connection between the subjects through the use of positive and negative space. Other works include Gaylon Dingler’s spontaneous, visually tactile, paper-mâché and acrylic, relief  sculptures “Moon Water” and “Red Hot.” The remaining artists showcased are: Dana W. Adams, Mike Bayham, Don Bristow, Doug Carter, Terry Fowler, Philipp Fürhofer, Kyle Ischy, Brian Stone, Ellie Taylor, Elaine Vorster, David Wallace, and Derrick White.

Pieces in the exhibition are available for purchase through collaboration with Valerosa Designs and Gallery.

Come take a stroll through this beautiful building and enrich your eyes and soul through your experience with the art while it is on display. “The arts empower. The arts help transform communities and, as I often say, the result can be a better child, a better town, a better nation and certainly a better world. Let’s champion our arts action heroes, emulate them and make our communities everything we want them to be,” states Robert L. Lynch, President, Americans for the Arts.

I believe there are also health benefits to collecting and living with handcrafted, unique art and not with mass produced, machine milled decorations from corporate, big box craft stores. When surrounding oneself with original art, it ultimately improves the quality of life. Owning original art can make you happy and give you positive feelings, as well as satisfaction in having something matchless and singular of which no other duplicate exist anywhere else in the entire world. Art can enhance the space in which it is displayed and make for a more aesthetic environment. The art you collect and display can be a healthy expression of your own individuality. Art reduces stress by increasing relaxation, gratification, and tranquility. I get fulfillment from visiting friends and collectors and seeing my art hanging on their walls and knowing my creations found a good home. Collectors often point out elements in the composition they have discovered, from years of living with the artwork, which I never intended. Art offers opportunities for social interaction reducing isolation and makes community spaces more aesthetic and interactive. Art is a great conversation piece. Buying local art helps the members of your own community.

I know that the art we have in our home is some of the most important objects we have for poignant, sentimental, and artistic reasons. My family and I are surrounded daily by art which feeds creativity, invokes fond memories, and constantly surprises us and there is no other home in the world with the same or even a similar interior look. A few selections of our growing art collection include a Randy Brodnax ceramic pot created in his signature style and beautifully formed and glazed. Brodnax was the community college art professor who changed my life. I found inspiration in his art appreciation class and decided to pursue a career in art. He was the first adult I met who loved what he did for a living and my goal became to mimic his way of life. We have several ceramic vases, mugs, and platters from Jake Allee, a friend, former colleague, and amazingly prolific creator. A colorful and exquisite painting by Barbara Holland complements our living room. I first met Barbara in 1992 when she and I both received awards at an exhibition. She placed second and I got third. Years later, while applying for a teaching position at TJC, I learned they hired Barbara Holland instead of me. Good choice but I thought “who is this short, British woman who keeps beating me at everything?” Things worked out and I landed the job a year later and fortunately had the pleasure of working with Barbara for eight years before she retired. Other artists in our collection are Mason Buchanan, Sean Cagle, Brianna Clark, Amber Draschil, Justin Edwards, Christie Funk, Dave Funk, Charles and John Hancock, Daniel Hays, Paul Jones, Cacy Legnion, Philana Oliphant, Jim Pace, Heather Rey, Chris Stewart, Josh Tamez, Kelsey White, and Gregory Zeorlin with recent acquisitions by Willow Lanchester and Erick Rodriguez. Each and every one of these artists’ creations means something significant. Their art enhances our life, makes us think, appreciate and feel a stronger connection to the human condition. Having these art pieces and these people in my life adds to my health, mental wellness and warms my heart. Oh, I almost forgot, we also have the largest collection of original Derrick White paintings in the entire world.

Don’t hesitate to stop by the gallery at 108 E. Eighth Street, Tyler, Monday-Friday, 10am-4pm, and Saturdays 10am-3pm.

For more information call Valerosa Gallery at (903)504-5249 or email,




Tyler Museum of Art Creativity Camps Begin

Tyler Museum of Art Creativity Camps 2018

9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. M-F * Ages 6-12 * $40 per day/$175 per week

TMA World Tour 2018      June 25-29

We’ll expand the visual arts to include music and performance. In addition to our visual art activities, our young artists will make musical instruments, learn a song, and play a mini-concert at the end of the week.

Upside-down and Backward      July 9-13

Everything looks different from a fresh perspective. Drawing underwater, painting with spaghetti, there’s no telling what will happen when we change the way we make art. This camp is all about real creativity, and our young artists will help us brainstorm up new, exciting projects all week long.

Beachcombers’ Paradise     July 16-20

Love the seashore but hate sunburns and foot-scorching sand? Come explore marine environments through art! Biology, art and fun merge into one great experience as we learn about the weird, wonderful world of sea life and environments, and express our new knowledge through art.

5 Days Away from Rose City   July 23-27

Some of the country’s greatest artists call the Lone Star State home. We will explore the geographical regions of Texas and the artists who gain inspiration in them, ending up right here in East Texas.


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6×6@110 Continues at Gallery Main Street


Skip the line, purchase tickets in advance HERE.
Purchase VIP tickets HERE.

The annual 6×6@110 is an art fundraising project to benefit Gallery Main Street in Downtown Tyler, Texas. The gallery is a City of Tyler facility operated with the cooperation of the Downtown Tyler Arts Coalition, an all-volunteer group of artists who schedule and jury fine arts exhibits and organize projects. All of the net proceeds of 6×6@110 will go to support those activities.

The annual 6×6@110 fundraising project will be held June 6th at 6pm. Each piece will be sold for $20, with all proceeds going to help fund the City of Tyler Main Street Department, which operates Gallery Main Street.

The name “6×6@110” reflects the fact that all artwork sold in the show will be 6”x6”, and will be shown at Gallery Main Street at 110 W. Erwin, Downtown Tyler.

For more info on this project go to, call (903)593-6905, or follow the Downtown Tyler Facebook Page.

The 2017 6×6@110 featured over 1000 works by hundreds of participants. The project earned the distinction of receiving the Best Promotional Event award from the Texas Downtown Association.

First Solo Show Opening

Help celebrate the opening of Gallery Main Street’s first fine art solo artist exhibit on Saturday, May 12th, 5:30-8pm. This free event will feature the opportunity to meet the artist and be among the first to see and purchase pieces from the exhibit. The exhibit will run through June 4th.

The jury will select the top three groups of submittals and then additional information and show descriptions will be submitted. The jury will review all additional information and will announce the solo artist on April 28th.

Other Upcoming Exhibits

Remaining shows this year are:

  • Solo Show #1 – Opening May 12th
  • “6x6x10” – Deadline June 1st, opening June 6th
  • Solo Show #2 – Deadline June 17th, opening July 14th
  • “Assemblies” – Deadline July 29th, opening August 11th
  • “Alternate Perspective” – Deadline September 30th, opening October 13th
  • Holiday Market – Deadline November 25th, opening December 8th

You can enter your art at For more info call (903)593-6905 or go to

Gallery Main Street features a new exhibit of original art approximately every eight weeks. Each exhibit opens with a Saturday evening reception that features music, an opportunity to meet the artists, refreshments, and more. The Opening Receptions are free and open to the public.


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Art Events Warming Up For Summer


Events & Classes

June 16th (11am-11:30pm) June 17th (11am-4pm) – Junebug Art and Music Festival – Calling all artists! Junebug is an annual community Art and Music festival with an afternoon farmers market. This event encompasses art in its many forms. There will be teachers of weaving and soap making, along with hands on pottery wheel demonstrations. Attendees’ senses will be engulfed by the sights, sound, smell, and feel of all that is to be offered at this very unique art event in a very quaint little artsy community. The show will offer up a stage filled with eclectic musicians, bands, and songwriters. Saturday there will be a community Farmers Market where locals can sell their organic and/or locally sourced products. Vendor and artist applications are available at The family-friendly festival, which is located in the tiny art enclave of Ben Wheeler,TX, highlights the work of artists, musicians, and artisans from the Lone Star state. Headquartered on the three-acre park-like property surrounding the FORGE (a local restaurant, bar, and music venue), the festival will give attendees an opportunity to witness the creative process through “live art” displays as well as the chance to actively join in the process. For more information email

June 22nd (7-9pm) – Paperbark Studio Pop Up will be held at Strada Caffe, 302 E. Front St., Tyler. Come join us for a pop-up art show featuring Paperbark Studio as well as craft beer, wine, and small plates, espresso bar and pastry case. Come enjoy a wonderful summer evening of local art!

June 26th (6-8pm) – Kids Canvas Paint Party – Tyler Parks and Recreation is hosting a Kids Paint Party at the Glass Recreation Center for children ages 7-12 years old. For more information, please visit

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