On Saturday, August 19th, the Arts as Healing Foundation held their sixth annual gala “This is what healing looks like” at the Duane Reed Gallery in the Central West End. Artists and guests mingled in the gallery viewing works of art available for sale or donation to a local hospital. Guests also had the opportunity to buy raffle tickets for a chance to win one of several pieces raffled off at the end of the evening.

Artist Mary Louise Walker’s watercolor painting “Go…Be As The Butterfly” was one of many pieces on display for the event. Through her battle with cancer, butterflies became her symbol of hope, and she said that her involvement with the Foundation “increased my healing both physically and spiritually.”

Duane Reed, owner and founder of the gallery, welcomed everyone to the event, and then introduced Vicki Friedman, Arts as Healing Foundation’s Executive Director. Vicki spoke about the Foundation’s mission “To bring the therapeutic benefits of art to those touched by cancer and other chronic illnesses.” Dr. John DiPersio, the Deputy Director of Siteman Cancer Center gave the keynote. Throughout the event, guests enjoyed drinks and appetizers as well as dinner provided by Café Napoli.

Arts as Healing Foundation is a St. Louis-based non-profit organization that offers cancer patients and those with chronic illnesses an opportunity for creative expression by providing free art lessons and a variety of other artistic activities. The AAH program has been enriching the lives of patients since its founding in 2005. For more information, visit artsashealing.org

Photos by Christina Kling-Garrett