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Painting a bright future!

Updated: Feb 29

Mark’s passion for music, art will be on display during annual Olean Center Art Show       


Participants in the Art Therapy Program are preparing a number of works for the annual Olean Center Art Show at the Westerly Public Library Hoxie Gallery in April, but one young artist in particular is especially engaged.


Mark, a freshman at Westerly High School, will have a few pieces in the show, including a large-scale comic book that he’s creating with his younger brother Dominic and their uncle Loren, who serves as their support professional. Mark will also display portraits of his favorite musicians, according to Phebe Campsey, the Westerly artist who leads the Olean Center Art Therapy Programs.


“We’re working on storyboards for the comic book now, taking their concepts and bringing them to life that way before they create the finished product,” Campsey said.


Mark is also looking forward to helping install the show as he did last year.


“His level of confidence has grown so I’m nurturing that interest with him,” Campsey said. “He helped hang the show last year and he took pride in having a role in organizing the show. He’s really coming into his own and feeling more confident.”   


That’s a change that his aunts, with whom he lives, acknowledged as well.


“He was hesitant to try the art program at first, but now he loves it,” said his aunts, Karie and Rachel Freemer. “It puts him in a great place. He’s very excited about the art show and he talks about it every day.”


Mark sometimes uses art to express his emotions, calling one piece ‘Anxiety,’ and using blue, black, gray and purple. Another piece, painted in bright colors, is called ‘Keep Going and Let the Light Shine In.’


Mark clearly is creative. When the Center had temporarily run out of canvas, he took one of his paintings from home and created a new piece from it by painting over and enhancing the existing artwork.


“He can’t wait for the art show,” Karie said.


This year’s Olean Center Art Show at the Hoxie Gallery will run from April 2 to April 26, with an opening reception and “Meet the Artists” event scheduled for April 3, from 5-7 p.m.

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