Throughout the year, the ArtWorks community meets a Young Artist from one of our programs who has used the creative and performing arts to help them cope with their illness.
Haley is a 19 year old warrior who uses her love of music as an inspiration for her art. She draws and paints with her favorite art medium being oil paint because she “likes the depth of color it creates”. Inspired by her father, who is also an artist, she shares that “Art has always been a way for me to express myself. I think it is the most effective and productive way to channel emotions.”
Title: Soaring with Newfound Wings
“This piece symbolizes how true freedom feels. Free of pain, suffering, and sadness.”
Since 2011, Haley has been part of the ArtWorks Express Yourself New Jersey shows and is from Montclair, NJ. Now at 19 years old, what motivates Haley most is her love of music. Haley says “I’ll hear a song I like, and it just speaks to me and inspires me to make a visual representation of the song”. Her piece in the 2014 Express Yourself show is titled “Ophelia” and the description reads “I created this piece after being inspired by the song Ophelia by Natalie Merchant. It is about the many emotions, feelings, and strengths people have; some which they may not even know about.”
Visits to the hospital are a consistent part of Haley’s life but she has made the choice to celebrate her talent and get tremendous joy working with the art therapy team to create while she is both in and out of the hospital. Haley would like others to know that “everything in life has a purpose, every good or bad thing in our lives happen for a reason and makes us stronger.” The ArtWorks team has gotten strength from getting to work with Haley and to be able to showcase her amazing artistry. Haley calls art the “purest form of self-expression that not only serves as release for the artist but has the power to impact others.” Young artists, like Haley, are the agents of change at ArtWorks and we are humbled to be able to see the beautiful impact Haley is making to brighten our world.
“I created this piece after being inspired by the song Ophelia by Natalie Merchant. It is about the many emotions, feelings, and strengths people have; some which they may not even know about.”