FHR's Studio 35 brings creativity to East Gate Christian Academy

Published 03/26/2013

Arts program provides opportunity for FHR members to share Studio 35 with community

FHR Rehabilitation and Recovery Group Coordinator Therese Bernier instructs students during artistic projects

Fall River, MA – March 2013 – On a recent Monday, staff and persons served from FHR’s (Fellowship Health Resources) Studio 35 program joined 40 enthusiastic students from East Gate Christian Academy in an afternoon of art and creativity. Students ranging in age from 5 to 16 gathered around seven tables, each offering a unique artistic activity. Filling an open gymnasium, Studio 35 artists mentored students, creating an array of creative pieces ranging from watercolor paintings to vibrant mosaics.

Studio 35, an agency-wide healing arts program of FHR, enables individuals in recovery to further explore self-expression and creativity. By integrating the arts as a therapeutic approach, Studio 35 has positively impacted persons served, staff, and communities where FHR provides services.

“We are thrilled to be here at East Gate Christian Academy today, having FHR consumers share their artistic creativity with all of the students,” said Therese Bernier, FHR Rehabilitation and Recovery Group Coordinator. “You can tell by the excitement in the room that this is something that the students really look forward to.”

East Gate Christian Academy is a private school, serving students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. Located on Bay Street in Fall River, the Academy provides a rich educational experience focusing on building personal character. Made evident through the artwork displayed across hallways and in classrooms, emphasis is placed on expression through the arts.

With the support of FHR, Bernier has led art programs at the school for six years, bringing Studio 35 artists to assist in teaching creative classes. “Working hands on with others to create and share art is a great linkage to the community,” she explained. “It gives FHR the ability to share our programs and give back to Fall River, while at the same time, helping individuals with their recovery.”

Miko, a Studio 35 artist, worked diligently with six students in the creation of zentangle drawings. Zentangles are easy-to-learn, intricate pieces of art created through the collaboration of repetitively sketched patterns. As one student shared that he wanted to create a zentangle inside of the outline of a car he had drawn, Miko showed him different types of designs he could incorporate into his piece.

At another table, Studio 35 artist Angela helped students in creating mosaics. By cutting small squares out of pictures from magazines, students pasted clippings together to make colorful images that looked like stained glass. While assisting a kindergartener with artwork, Angela smiled and shared, “I enjoy coming here a lot. It feels good to give back and help people.”

FHR President and CEO Joe Dziobek added, “Giving consumers the opportunity to work with others in the community is essential in the recovery process. It allows them to understand that they are more than just their diagnosis, and share the art they have created with others.”

As the Studio 35 program continues to evolve and grow in Fall River, Bernier looks forward to continuing to bring FHR consumers with her to East Gate Christian Academy, as well as other organizations and events within the community.

To learn more about Studio 35 programs and community initiatives in Fall River, please contact Therese Bernier, FHR Rehabilitation and Recovery Group Coordinator at 508-674-8489.