Where the Art Is
Area Galleries Find New Homes in Unconventional Spaces
By Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 14, 2008
Don't expect that nagging cough to clear up after a single visit to the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery. The kind of energy you'll find emanating from the walls here is more about achieving a less easily defined wholeness than about finding miracle cures, says Shanti Norris, executive director of the Smith Farm Center for Healing and the Arts, a support organization for people with cancer and their caregivers. Its six-month-old exhibition space, part of a burgeoning U Street gallery district, is a tranquil place, with a vertical garden of succulents in one corner and amoeba-like ceiling panels in slate blue that evoke the sky.
What healing art means, Norris says, is not that you'll find art about cancer or even necessarily art by artists with cancer. Rather, you'll find art that in some way touches upon the broader theme of human suffering. That's something that Norris thinks everyone, even the physically well, can relate to. "We are all the walking wounded," she says.