For the last ten years the Gardiner Museum and the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic have partnered to offer an engaging series of Art Therapy groups for women who have experienced violence. Since 2003, clients of the Schlifer Clinic have worked with a professional artist (Susan Low-Beer) and an art therapist (Suzanne Thomson) in the Museum’s clay studios to sculpt their trauma narratives in clay, transforming their pain and reconnecting with their resilience and strength. This partnership was established by former Director of Education, Diane Wolfe. In 2013 these Art Therapy groups will culminate in a landmark exhibition, Transformation by Fire, designed to raise public awareness about violence against women in a sensitive, informed and compelling way, and to provide accessible and inspiring real life role models for anyone who has either experienced or witnessed violence.
Transformation by Fire will take place from February 7 to April 28, 2013 in the George R. Gardiner Exhibition gallery, a large beautiful space (3,500 square feet) usually dedicated to the work of historically significant ceramic art and/or critically acclaimed artists. Coordinated by Rachel Gotlieb, Senior Curator, Gardiner Museum, with the clinical guidance of Lynne Jenkins, Director of Counselling Services at the Schlifer Clinic, the exhibition will be supported by a full schedule of programs (workshops, lectures, tours, and films) that provide greater understanding about the issue of violence against women.