Art therapist’s studio in one word: Metamorphosis | PostIndependent.com
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Art therapist’s studio in one word: Metamorphosis

Ryan Graff

Most of the time people shouldn’t use a bumper sticker as a sole statement to the world. One person who one simple bumper sticker certainly can’t define is Sheri Gaynor. Two bumper stickers, however, come pretty close. Gaynor owns Metamorphosis, an art studio on Main Street in Carbondale. Discreetly, in the lower corner of the front window, are two stickers. One reads, “Art saves lives”; the other, “Well-behaved women rarely make history.”There probably isn’t another pair of bumper stickers in the world that gives so much insight into Gaynor, a licensed clinical social worker who uses her skills as a therapist and as an artist to do “expressive art therapy.” She works one-on-one with folks to help them express themselves. “(Expressive art therapy) allows people to work around the verbal aspect of themselves and express themselves,” she said. Gaynor opened Metamorphosis only about a month ago, but the idea of an expressive arts studio has grown in Gaynor over the last 15 years through a series of events – from meeting a boy named Tony with an inoperable brain tumor, to working with troubled youth in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.Gaynor saw the healing power of art in the boys she met and knew she’d combine art and therapy eventually. It took 15 years, 9/11, and a year’s sabbatical in a recreational vehicle with her husband, but Gaynor finally has her studio and practice. For Metamorphosis’ first show, Gaynor and nine students studied Frida Kahlo, then created art with her in mind. Frida was a famous Mexican artist, as well-known for her incredible hardships and indomitable spirit as her art. Kahlo, born in 1907, contracted polio at age 5, and then almost died in a bus accident at 18. After the accident, she endured 32 surgeries, but continued to make art through all of it, Gaynor said.”Most women relate to her, not just because she was a survivor, but because no one was going to put her down,” she said. “It’s just a really inspiring story, just speaking to the determination that’s inside all of us.” “We will be showing our inner Frida,” Gaynor said, joking about the “FridaMania” she and her students are putting on from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday. Metamorphosis, though open to anyone, clearly has a feminine feel. It is painted in gentle colors, decorated with pretty couches and chairs and separated by partitions to create intimate spaces.Gaynor’s heard from countless women, “Oh my God, it’s so great to be here.” “We need a place to let our hair down,” she said. “It’s cool to be with people who literally speak your language.”Gaynor has even started hosting “Hen House Nights” once a month, as a time for women to get together and relax or get rowdy. After all, “Wild women rarely get the blues.” Or so says the bumper sticker on the back of Gaynor’s PT Cruiser. After all, “Wild women rarely get the blues.” Or so says the bumper sticker on the back of Gaynor’s PT Cruiser.


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