Art and recovery often go hand in hand, as a number of artists have traditionally plied their trades with therapeutic intentions in mind. And when the owners of Zeber-Martell Clay Studio and Art Gallery were looking for a tie-in to American Craft Week (Oct. 9 through 17), recovery became a prominent theme.
“We wanted to do something different that would reach out to the community,” says Michael Martell, who co-owns the studio on 43 Furnace St. with his wife Claudia Zeber-Martell. “We thought to use the simple coffee mug as a symbol of healing by creating Mugs for Recovery: Sharing the Journey Through Clay, which turned into a two-month series of free workshops for those recovering from addiction.”
Participants from such social service agencies as Community Health Center, the Oriana House Turning Point Program and Community Support Services have been hard at work in the studio with the clay artists and owners, hand-stamping words and symbols that represented the participants’ recovery from addiction. The mugs will be auctioned off Oct. 9, from 5 to 8 p.m., where the public may bid on the more than 40 handcrafted mugs.
Some mugs are truly functional, while others are sculptural, but all reflect the positive impact of recovery and illustrate that craft creates healing.
The mugs will remain on view in the gallery from Oct.9 through 17 to celebrate American Craft Week, whose theme this year is “Craft Creates…” Martell says he and Claudia Zeber-Martell followed that ellipses up with the word “Healing.”
“For us, we have always believed that things made by hand offer a shared experience between the the maker and the user,” he adds. “A simple object like a mug or a bowl can forge connections.”
Each mug, Martell says, is different and based on the individual’s recovery experience. “Each participant has provided a short written description of what the mug means to them and those will also be displayed with each mug for the viewer to read.”
The money raised will go directly to support the programming of Rock and Recovery, produced locally by publicly supported radio station 91.3 The Summit FM. “91.3 the Summit is really very much community based and quite simply they have reached out to a listening segment that might feel disenfranchised and created a positive listening experience,” says Martell. “The money from the silent auction goes directly to support their efforts since the station depends on public to support their programming.”
The mugs will be on display during Zeber-Martell’s normal gallery hours through Oct. 17. For more information, call (330) 253-3808 or email [email protected].