The Earth Laughs in Flowers Local Artist and Therapist Uses Art to Heal from Trauma

Local artist Joy Redstone is no stranger to tragedy but has spent a lifetime using it to connect meaningfully with others. When she lost her husband unexpectedly 10 years ago to suicide, she turned to art to create solace and speak to the enormity of the loss. Joy had no formal training in art, having spent her career as a social worker and therapist. Joy is best known in Boulder for her work as Executive Director of Bridge House and Clinical Director of Naropa Community Counseling. Following a severe illness with Covid, Joy experienced health changes that have no longer allowed her to work in such demanding roles. She turned to art to make sense of her difficult childhood and her adult losses. She creates both assemblage art and digitally altered photography. Although she is self-taught, Joy has had 12 solo shows and been in 100+ group shows, 47 of which have been juried shows (local, regional and national.) She is a member of Next Gallery in Denver and a featured artist at Studio32Nobo in Boulder. 


In her artist statement, she says:

“The world’s beauty surrounds us. When our attention is given, even the ordinary can become transcendent and will fill our hearts. These photographs and assemblage pieces celebrate the loveliness of the ordinary, the flowers that fill our gardens and line our streets as well as the animals that are our faithful companions.

Does your heart hurt? At times, at least? The path of a human life always intersects loss. Inevitable loss of those we love the most, the relentless loss of our youth, but even the most forlorn person can become whole again. The most meaningful path that I have found to personal healing has been through the vehicle of art. Art has drawn my eyes, heart, and spirit to the everyday beauty of the prosaic.

The antidote of loss is all around you. Press your palms to the red Colorado earth. Lift your eyes to the cobalt sky. In that pause, allow the ordinary, piercing beauty of our companions to guide your home to yourself.”


In addition to the opening, scheduled for Friday, March 8, 5-10 pm at Next Gallery. On Saturday, March 9, 10-12 pm at Next Gallery (6501 W. Colfax, Lakewood), Joy will lead a workshop entitled, The Earth Laughs in Flowers: Using the Arts to Heal Grief . The workshop is free, and Joy will use her training as a therapist to give a presentation first and lead an art making activity for participants. Materials will be provided.

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