"One more of my many places to escape to. I can almost see a path around the giant hill. What other beauty might await?"
- Jackie Calabrese
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ACRYLIC ON CANVAS BOARD
24" x 18"
"Through my art I am able to transform darkness into beauty.”
Jackie lives with chronic depression and PTSD. She uses her art as a way to create peacefulness for herself and express her inner experience when words are not enough. Though she has been creating art for 30 years, Jackie never acknowledged her talent until recently joining art groups at Thresholds, a community-based mental health agency in Chicago.
Jackie reports that “being able to access these services has saved my life.” The art groups at Thresholds are one of the only places she feels truly safe and able to connect with others who she feels care about her. “Painting is a big release in my depression. It helps me to be more motivated in life, to feel less depressed or more peaceful. My past has been full of trauma. Art is a way to release a lot of that and find more peace within myself. It gives a place to think of that is beautiful instead of all the horror from the past."
Jackie often creates nature scenes from memory about calming places where she has felt happy or safe. She hopes that others can experience peacefulness through viewing her art. She says, “I want to make someone happy with my paintings or feel relaxed. It is my hope that if my art is hanging in someone’s home, that it can help them feel calm or reconnected to nature after a stressful day.”
ArtLifting empowers artists impacted by homelessness or disabilities through the celebration and sale of their artwork. Learn more here.