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Home of the Arts for Freedom program

“Building a Healthier Community through Personal and Professional Example”

Peer Recovery Art Project is our continuous campaign to end stigma, revitalize downtown areas, while implementing new strategies for an all-inclusive and, therefore, healthier community.

Volume 4

Issue 10


Peer Recovery Art Project had a birthday November 1, 2012. Oh, let me clarify! Our Arts for Freedom program is now one year old! We have stopped crawling, skipped learning to walk altogether, ran at top speed for a while, and now have settled into a long distance PRAP VOLUNTEERS AT NEW endurance super MODESTO ARCH UNVEILING, marathon. FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26 (L to R) Jennifer M., Pinky, John R.,

Oh, but alas, we are Randy, Scott and John not on this journey alone. Modesto’s finest organizations and clearly diverse populations from all segments of our community have joined us and we are getting stronger so the run is not so tiring. Yes, we have partnered with many. In fact, too many to name but I will try to give our readers an idea: Modesto Pride Festival, The Taste of Mc Henry Village, Modesto Museum Architectural Festival, Modesto High School, MJC, CSU Stanislaus students and faculty, the Latino community for Dia De Los Muertos at our gallery, our friends at Stanislaus Asian American Resources, International Festival, Modesto Arch Unveiling, Center for Human Services’ Hutton House, Stanislaus Boys and Girls Clubs Haunted House, Boy Scout Troop 13, and the list goes on and on. We are so pleased to find our gallery attractive to so many. Personally, as the program administra-

November 2012 tor, I am more than extremely proud that our staff and volunteers maintain the genuinely welcoming atmosphere that keeps folks coming back! If you have not been to Peer Recovery Art Project’s home at 1222 J Street in downtown Modesto, please stop in. You, too, will be amazed as you witness the community magic that unfolds inside our doors, right before your very eyes. ~ John Black, CEO

HUE CREW YOUTH PAINT HAUNTED HOUSE Peer Recovery Art Project’s youth group for ages 14 25, The Hue Crew, partnered with Boy Scout Troop 13 to paint a “Mad Scientist’s Lair” in the Boys and Girls Club of Stanislaus Haunted House. Kids could see a mad scientist mixing mysterious concoctions and were given a spider ring to take home. Other rooms in the familyfriendly haunted house aimed at kids ages 5 through 12, were a mummy’s tomb, the werewolf forest and a pumpkin decorating area.

Peer Recovery Art Project Renaissance


MJC ~ Creating & Learning about Art

Peer Recovery Art Project joined with its many Hispanic and other friends in celebrating Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead, Friday, November 2. A large crowd gathered inside the downtown gallery, refreshments were served and fokloric dancers performed outdoors.

MJC is proud to present students’ work at PEER RECOVERY ART PROJECT (rotating monthly)

The celebration, an important holiday in Mexico, focuses on gatherings of family and friends to remember and pray for

Professor Barr-Brayman will exhibit March 2 - 30, 2013

Continued Page 3, first column

Why is art important? Art is another means of helping people see and better understand the dynamics of our world and how human consciousness impacts it at every level. The world is open to integration and interpretation more than ever before and the effect that art has on us as individuals and as a society is now reaching beyond the borders of any given culture. Mass communication – via television, the Internet, and cinema - along with cultural syncretism and networking between nations and even continents, has enabled us as human beings to see beyond ourselves and our own boundaries. Professor Barr-Brayman’s painting class views images from around the world and in a context beyond a textbook. The images are designed to intrigue, inspire and engage in the possibilities through the study of symbolism, multi-cultural perspectives and the many layers of meaning within the visual dialog. Artists are myth makers and we participate with everyone else in the social construction of reality. Collectively we seek meaning. The complex matrices of beliefs, symbols, and words provide us with individuality and collectively with identity. **For more information: Deborahbrayman.html

MJC STUDENTS’ ART TOP by Katinka Van Dyk BOTTOM by Noemi Guzman


Elizabeth J. White of Easley, SC, found Peer Rcovery Art Project through our website. Elizabeth shared her bio and some samples of her art with us. Here are some excerpts from her email: “I was drawing before I could hold a Crayon. I don’t recall not wanting to create. I have never stopped. I guess some would say I am self taught. My uncle was a commercial artist. When he would come up from Georgia he would give me tips on drawing. One time it was how to draw a horse. The next time he came I had my first painting done of a horse, ready for his feedback. I was 10 and I still have the picture today. I keep it in my portfolio. I think it is important for an artist to keep something from their art - a focal point - it is so important. I am 51 now. I am still on my art frenzy, my little studio is full. Art has gotten me through times in my life when I thought I couldn’t make it. It has been my therapy, my reason so many times when in despair. I have painted on frying pans, styrofoam plates, cardboad and more. I am hoping one day to write a book for children that teaches life lessons and values, using my illustrations.

MJC student artists will begin to exhibit in the Peer Recovery Art Project gallery, 1222 J Street, Modesto, during November. Stop by and take a look.


November 2012


Arts for Freedom gallery’s newest Artist Susanne Herfurth is a Modesto native. Susanne was born deaf and did not get hearing aids or learn ASL until she was five. Consequently, she has always been a very visually oriented person and used drawing to express herself from early childhood.

GALLERY STAFF (L to R) Lucille, Richard, John, Barbara, Kevin and Nancy

DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS, continued from Page 2 those who have died. We honored our loved ones in ceremony. We learned that we were also facing death as something we all come to and embrace and do not fear the time that is ahead for us. Thank you my beautiful friends and family who shared your lives and family traditions with us on this special night.

When recently asked. “What was the first thing you ever won?” Suzanne replied, “A blue ribbon for an art project in the first grade. The prompt was something along the lines of ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ and at the time I was fascinated with babies, so I did a crayon drawing of myself as a nurse taking care of babies in the maternity ward at the hospital. The only reason I remember it so well is that my mom kept the drawing and ribbon for years. For all I know she still has it.” Susanne has been a mixed media artist almost from the beginning and makes many of her own materials. Other things she finds and re-purposes. Only one of the paintings on display at the gallery was executed on canvas; the others are either painted on wood, paper, or in the case of The Sea Serpent Reveals Herself on layered paper and cardboard in a resin matrix. The pieces on display are mostly from her World of Imagination series which is characterized by fantastic creatures and landscapes based in a variety of myths and the multi-cultural iconography of the collective unconscious. Susanne continues to grow as an artist and says that she intends to continue testing herself by experimenting with new techniques and materials. In the photo above Suzanne is working on a skeleton for the celebration of Dia de los Muertos.

Panoramic photo of the gallery interior by Jose Alvarez. Taken at October 18, 2012 Art Walk.


Peer Recovery Art Project Renaissance The BUILDING IMAGINATION CENTER, located in downtown Modesto, is an exhibit space for the visual arts, with a focus on contemporary visual art and the creation of new and original documentary films of and with the local community. The Center aims to create a vibrant activation of the streets through large scale indoor and outdoor video screenings; video training opportunities; and a new video arts presence in California’s Central Valley. HOURS:

Tues. – Sat. Noon to 7 p.m. 1009 J Street, Modesto, CA. 95354 Phone: 209. 524. 7451

For more info check out the website at:

Peer Recovery Art Project gallery, home of the ARTS FOR FREEDOM program is located at:

1222 J Street, Modesto CA

Email, call or text:

PEER RECOVERY ART PROJECT, INC. EXECUTIVE BOARD AND TEAM MEMBERS John Black, CEO, Arts for Freedom Administrator, Operations Manager Ken McCall, Chief Financial Officer Pacific Media Group Carol Jo Hargreaves, Corporate Secretary, Editor Jodi McClure, Bookkeeper Team Members: Michael Anderson, Art Director Betty Barnes, Arts for Freedom Program Coordinator, Fundraising, Special Projects Linda Hornsby-Black, Special Projects, CEO’s Assistant Omer Njajou, Statistical Support Keena Wells, Artist

You can donate on Facebook, too! 1209 McHenry Ave Modesto, CA (209) 522-1003 (209) 581-1695 Open Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; 3rd Thursday Art Walk nights, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Find us at the intersection of 13th and J Streets between the State Theatre and Crow Trading; right next door to the Camera Center.

Arts for Freedom is sponsored by Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors and Stanislaus Behavioral Health and Recovery Services

Send your TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATIONS to: Peer Recovery Art Project, Inc. PO Box 5354, Modesto, CA 95353 Drop us a line or send a request to be included on our list of supporters.


November 2012 edition final  
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