Timberline Knolls Art Exhibit Offers Glimpse into Recovery Process
Residents use art therapy to tell their stories of abuse and addiction.
At a distance, the intriguing artwork in a new exhibit at the Lemont Center for the Arts has an eclectic, upbeat vibe. Come closer and the pieces pack a wallop with intense stories of trauma and addiction, pain and anger.
“Honesty” is a multimedia exhibit by residents of Timberline Knolls in Lemont, a residential treatment center for women and girls who are overcoming addiction, eating disorders and/or trauma. The exhibit will be at the arts center until Sept. 25.
While rage and hurt pierce some of the work, many show a journey to recovery with themes of self-acceptance and hope.
The theme of “honesty” is vital to Timberline residents because it is the first step in a 12-step recovery process, said Melissa Rocchi, program development coordinator and manager of expressive therapies at Timberline Knolls.
Rocchi said that sometimes there are no words for residents to use to say what they are feeling.
“This is an opportunity to express the feelings” in a different way, she said.
To engage a resident in an art session, a therapist might say, “You seem kind of tearful lately.What image could you use to express your sadness?"
For the audience, knowing the background of the artwork makes each piece even more meaningful.
“Aesthetically, there are some amazing pieces,” Rocchi said. “What an amazing experience to share with the community. It’s educational, emotional and spiritual, even.”
The exhibit has two interactive components. Visitors are invited to use color markers and make a creative contribution to two painted mannequins.
In another area, visitors are asked to fill out answers to questions about honesty and feelings. The answers, which remain anonymous, join others posted on a wall.
The Lemont Center for the Arts serves as the village's Art & Culture Commission headquarters. It offers classes and workshops and presents exhibits.
"Honesty" is the last exhibit of six hosted by the arts center in its inaugural year, said Mona Parry, chairwoman of the Art & Culture Commission and artistic director of the Lemont Center for the Arts.
The Lemont Center for the Arts, 1243 State St. is open from noon to 4 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.