art of healing
Partridge to present work
at Village Lights Bookstore
is headed to Afghanistan
to assist in art therapy
(November 2009) For many people, the autumn
months are a time of eager preparations. Some people begin to try out
new recipes for Thanksgiving, while others look to get in some early
by Lela Jane Bradshaw
artist Debi Partridges painting
allows for a more opaque look with
strong colors than might be expected
from a watercolor picture.
Madison, Ind., artist Debi Partridge is in full swing
getting ready for the next few weeks, but her plans dont involve
addressing cards or selecting a turkey. Instead, she is learning the
proper etiquette for having tea with an Afghanistan village elder and
packing art supplies to inspire children of a war-torn region. Partridge,
in association with Women of Hope, will spend two weeks this November
performing art therapy with women and children in Afghanistan.
I started really feeling pulled. I asked God if this was the time
I go to Afghanistan, Partridge says of her decision.
It is a journey Partridge, 52, is uniquely qualified for. A veteran
of 33 mission trips, including work in war-torn Serbia, she is well
versed in the art of travel in service to a greater cause. Ive
done a lot of workshops and disaster training, she explains of
her studies in the use of art as a healing tool.
This new adventure is only one of the many doors that have recently
begun to open for Partridge. She is presently working on two books,
I Can Dance Alone which focuses on finding healing after
divorce, and an untitled work on her journey to Afghanistan that centers
around women and the changes in their lives. Partridge is also presenting
an art show, New Art, New Beginnings, from Nov. 13 through
Dec. 8 at the Village Lights Bookstore, 118 W. Main St., Madison. The
opening event for the display will run 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Nov. 13 with
the artist speaking at 7 p.m. The show will include approximately 15
watercolor paintings that will also be for sale.
Were really excited about her meeting with the public,
says Anne Vestuto, who co-owns the Village Lights with her husband,
Nathan Montoya. We think it will open a lot of discussion.
Vestuto highlights the social aspect of Partridges
work. Weve never met an artist like her in Madison,
Partridge believes this is an important moment for Afghanistan, noting
that the children are just now going back to school. She
explains how the Taliban took away all the art, literature, music,
cinema, anything that would encourage creativity. If you were found
with those items, you were usually killed, had your hands cut off, or
were thrown in prison.
She is looking forward to inspiring the children she will work with
not only to paint and draw, but also to look toward education as a way
to a better future. Usually when I do my art, I try and talk about
hope with children, Partridge says. Now that they are in
school, I can talk about education.
In one of the villages she will visit, the school tuition is 10 mud
bricks that will be used in building the classroom. One activity she
has planned is to work with the children to make the bricks and then
decorate them with glass and ceramic tiles to create mosaics. She reflects
on the impact the Afghanistan turmoil has had on the children,
Theyve been robbed of time you can never ask
for time back.
Partridge herself has been painting since she was a child. My
parents encouraged me, she says with a smile, remembering her
early days spent painting on paper bags and scrap paper. I figured
out my own technique of layering kind of a dry brush technique.
Her style of painting allows for a more opaque look with strong colors
than might be expected from a watercolor picture. Since many of her
paintings feature Indiana artifacts, birds and antiques, she takes special
care to ensure accuracy.
I do a lot of research making it correct, she explains.
Partridge describes her current work as clean and simple, like
my life now.
For more information, call (812) 265-1800
or visit: www.villagelightsbooks.com.
Back to November 2009