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Artists for Trauma host workshops in Louisville this month to promote healing

A woman sits behind a canvas. She's painting on it, holding a brush. There is art on the wall behind her.
Stephanie Wolf
Painting is one of the focuses of the workshops that Artists for Trauma is hosting in Louisville later this month.

Artists for Trauma, an arts organization that uses art as a tool for healing, is coming to Louisville. The California-based arts organization is offering workshops focusing on sculpture, painting and collage, spoken word and music.

Laura Sharpe survived a helicopter crash in 2008 that killed three of the six passengers. She was in a coma for four weeks and had more than 40 broken bones. She turned to art for healing, which led her to create Artists for Trauma.

Sharpe’s partner, Eddie Donaldson, grew up in Louisville. He creates art under the name Guerilla One. Sharpe said he played a key role in bringing Artists for Trauma to his hometown.

The organization first came to Louisville to help organize Shepard Fairey’s Muhammad Ali mural at the Chestnut Street Family YMCA.

Sharpe said she hopes the workshops provide participants with a sense of community. They are titled “Where Wood Meets Wonder.” All workshops have a wood theme, so visual arts workshops will be using wood scraps and Braille paper. The music workshops will use wooden instruments.

“What we hope is that different people from around the community come together for discovery, and fun, and an opportunity to play,” she said.

Each workshop participant can choose to allow their work to be viewed at the Louisville Slugger Museum.

“It was a great opportunity to empower the various individuals that their art will be displayed in public and just to show what they're capable of,” Sharpe said. “We hope that this brings them a sense of pride.”

Andrew Soliday is the marketing director of Hillerich & Bradsby Co., which provides the space for the workshops. He hopes the workshops bring people from different areas of Louisville together.

“I just love this idea that these different workshops are gonna allow people of really any skill set. You don't need to be an expert in one form of art over another, to be a part of this,” Soliday said. “This is a community event, bringing people together and having that shared experience.”

It’s a free event for all ages and abilities. The workshop series is on Sunday, Aug. 27, from 12-4 p.m. at The Skybox on the third floor of Louisville Slugger Factory.

People can RSVP by emailing info@artistsfortrauma.org.