For the last ten years the Gardiner Museum and the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic have partnered to offer an engaging series of therapeutic clay workshops for women who have experienced intimate 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. From February 7 to April 28, 2013 these workshops 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.
Just 12 women participate in each clay workshop. It is essential to limit the size to ensure that the experience is truly therapeutic. As interest in the program has consistently increased over the course of the last decade the Museum is seeking support to maintain this annual program and to allow more women to give shape to their experience, find their strength, and rebuild healthy lives free from abuse.
The cost of supporting a workshop is $5,000. This includes fees for facilitators, studio time, firing, and all materials.