The LPCA is proud to shine a light on mental health awareness through art
This exhibit features the abstract art of Sheila Pritchard, poetry of Barbara Rand Ryan and masks created by military veterans at St. Joseph's.
Sheila Drinnan Williams Pritchard (1942-2005) was the daughter of a Scottish WW2 refugee and a midwestern American merchant marine. She was born in 1942 in Virginia, married another artist, William Howard Pritchard in the late 50s, and died in 2005 in southeastern Pennsylvania at the home of a friend. She loved to read and study, annotate her reading, garden, forage and cook. She lived most of her adult life in Baltimore, Maryland, where, with her husband, she raised a family and painted the works presented in this show.
The abstract style came to Sheila in the later part of her life, after her husband died as the result of the untimely death of her husband. She started making what she called "grief paintings" after that terrible day in 1986. These paintings represented a revolution in her style, from lifelike, symbolic, representative works to entirely abstract expressions of feeling. Concurrently, her kidneys failed, and she spent the last 19 years of her life balancing her growing medical needs with her compulsion to make art. In that time, she completed her bachelors' degree at the Maryland Institute College of Art (Summa Cum Laude) and a masters degree at Towson State University in Baltimore.
Sheila did not have an agent and was not represented in any way. Due, perhaps, to an ongoing struggle with mental health issues, she was a true outsider and a prolific artist. Her art helped her to process her world and communicate her innermost feelings as life unfolded. She worked mostly in oils but also completed scores of collages, sculptures, watercolors and textile art.
These works are in the artist's daughter's private collection and are not for sale. The earlier, representative painted works, sculptures, watercolors and textile pieces are in several private collections in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and elsewhere.
Barbara Rand Ryan
The death of a loved one by suicide often leaves those left behind wracked with guilt and grief that seems to be without end. On May 21, 2012, Barbara Rand Ryan's husband Dennis Martin Ryan, 57, died by suicide turning her life upside down. She then left their home in Clifton Park returning to Lake Placid where she grew up to be with her family, friends, and beloved Adirondack Mountains. She started writing poems as a means of giving voice to her anger, pain, sorrow, and questions – poems that helped her chart a path to living a full life again. Her seventy-seven poems are presented in chronological order taking the reader through her darkest moments to finding a measure of peace. The LPCA is proud to display a number of these poems included in her book, A Path to Healing: Journeying Forward After a Loss. This book of poems will be on sale in Gallery @ LPCA. A percentage of the sale price will be used to support Out of Darkness and other initiatives aimed at reducing suicide. This is the first time the book will be made available to the general public.
Veteran's Services at St. Joseph's
Participants have been creating masks as a means of expressing how they feel, it gives a face to the pain that they are confronting and supports their process of healing through helping them take control of their lives, express their deepest emotions, and the invisible wounds of military service. The masks are be created in a weekly workshop led by Naj Wikoff, the founder of Creative Healing Connections, and a co-founder of the National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military.