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'Scripture Through Many Eyes' at the Biedenharn Museum and Gardens

Biedenharn Christmas Decorations
Biedenharn Museum and Gardens
Biedenharn Christmas Decorations

The Biedenharn Musem in Monroe is hosting an exhibit of nearly 70 local artists. The exhibit is entitled Scripture Through Many Eyes. The artists names were drawn and paired with biblical passages. They were asked to interpret the passages and turn them into art.

This exhibition is part of the agency's Art Is Medicine special initiative, an integrated health care, evidence-based prevention, communications, and treatment strategy to help serve persons with mental health, addictive disorders, and developmental disabilities.

"Scripture through Many Eyes" is a temporary art exhibit that provides additional related educational and mental health programs, featuring more than 40 local artists of diverse ethnic and spiritual backgrounds who will paint their interpretation of Biblical stories. The exhibit is also an extension of NEDHSA's Faith Partnership Initiative to educate, equip, and provide resources to faith leaders to address substance abuse, prevention, support, and recovery needs in their congregations.

NEDHSA Executive Director Dr. Monteic A. Sizer said, "we believe there is medicine in creative expression, and the arts can help a person come alive in ways traditional treatment options can't."

"We intend to help create an environment where dreams are realized, families are strong, bodies are healthy, community institutions are thriving, and spirits are renewed," Dr. Sizer said.

According to the Americans for the Arts, 69 percent of the United States population believe the arts "lift me up beyond everyday experiences," 73 percent feel the arts give them "pure pleasure to experience and participate in," and 81 percent say the arts are a "positive experience in a troubled world."

Biedenharn Museum & Gardens Director Ralph Calhoun said, "whether it's the harmonies of music, the rhythm of dance, or the creation of visual masterpieces, art can ease stress, bring calmness, and add a touch of tranquility to our daily lives."

"Whether immersing ourselves in a song or expressing our feelings while doodling with colored pencils, creating and observing art can guide us in exploring and understanding our emotions," Calhoun said. "The Scripture Through Many Eyes exhibit showcases visual art alongside the artists' explanations of their interpretations, offering a glimpse into the spiritual emotions and creativity that find life through the various media used."

NEDHSA's experience partnering with museums throughout Northeast Louisiana includes the Union Museum of History & Art and the Northeast Louisiana Delta African American Heritage Museum, and the agency has partnered with the Ruston Artisans.

Dr. Sizer added that the agency "intends to help make Northeast Louisiana a regional creative hub, a preferred destination that will generate much-needed regional economic development, diversity, job creation, and more."

"We must do different things to educate, engage, and inspire the public. We're helping people in our region to understand addiction and mental health issues with this innovative prevention approach," Dr. Sizer said.

Ralph Calhoun from the Biedenharn Museum and Dylan Jung from the Northeast Delta Human Services Authority talk about the exhibit and the 'Art is Therapy' program that encourages mental health.