FHR enriches New Bedford’s art community

Published 02/13/2013

FHR’s Studio 35 showcases artistic talents at the Green Bean coffee shop

New Bedford, MA – February 2013 – At the Green Bean, art is hung over tables, displaying local creative talent. During the months of January and February, this trendy neighborhood coffee shop hosted an especially inspirational collection of artwork. Located on 740 Purchase Street, the Green Bean shared pieces created by FHR's (Fellowship Health Resources) Studio 35 artists in recovery.

Studio 35 is a healing arts program of FHR. Through this program, individuals recovering from mental illness and addictive disorders are able to further explore self-expression and creativity. By including the arts in recovery, Studio 35 has positively impacted persons served, staff, and communities in all seven states where FHR provides services. Opportunities to work with local businesses, like the Green Bean, create a strong connection to the New Bedford community’s thriving art scene.

The Green Bean, home to a variety of smoothies, sandwiches, and coffee drinks, was an opportune spot for Studio 35 artists to showcase their work. In his recent article, "Local art venues are abundant and diverse," written about the New Bedford arts scene, Don Wilkinson further describes this location. "The Green Bean shop at Union and Pleasant always has artwork hanging on the walls. As is appropriate for the place and customer base, the art is often raw, unpretentious, and playful."

Studio 35 Artistic Leader Caroline Gates explains that oftentimes, artwork created by Studio 35 artists fits into this creative category. "The rawness in self-expression allows for creative freedom that gives the viewer a powerful experience and represents art created in the Studio 35 program."

Displaying Studio 35 artwork also helps to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, bridging FHR and Studio 35 to the New Bedford community. "These art exhibits have given FHR an opportunity to make a name for itself, spreading the word about what we do right here in New Bedford," added Jennifer Lima, FHR Rehab and Recovery Group Program Coordinator.

As Studio 35 continues to evolve and expand, FHR looks forward to joining forces with individuals and local organizations interested in sharing their expertise or public platform with the FHR community. "Having support from local businesses like the Green Bean outside of the mental health field shows a commonality in art appreciation,” said Chris Rego, FHR Employment Specialist. “This community involvement is crucial, and further enables FHR and Studio 35 to help individuals with their recovery.”