Friday, December 19, 2014

2014: An Amazing Year for Spectrum ArtWorks

It has been an amazing year for Spectrum ArtWorks. 2014 has brought positive changes to the program as well as a new Program Coordinator. So, with that in mind, here is a break down of the program. It describes the components of the program, a summary of outcomes from 2014, and what we have planned so far for 2015...
Wallace R. White - An Italian Lady and the Artist Sparrow Wearing a Beret
What is RESOURCE’S Spectrum Artworks program?

Spectrum ArtWorks, a program of RESOURCE, is a multifaceted studio space that provides artists living with mental illness the opportunity to practice and strengthen their visual arts skills and artist related goals.

The program has two components of membership:

1.    The Core Group:

§  12 professional artists actively using the space to create new work and publicly break down stigmas related to mental illness.

§  Spectrum Artworks hosts an alumni program for non-active Core Group artists who can continue to use the studio and receive support.

2.    Open Studio:

§  Members of the Lighthouse use the studio space to create art and socialize with other artists.

Let’s break this down:

What impact does Spectrum ArtWorks have on our mission and community?

Ø  Spectrum ArtWorks promotes opportunities for members to become involved in the larger arts community by various methods including assisting members in finding group and individual exhibition opportunities, writing artist statements, resumes, biographies, and grant proposals.

Ø  The studio space is used as a place where artists can come together and connect with other artists. It is also an outlet to create new work. Annually, the Core Group prepares a group exhibition intended to exhibit in community spaces.

Ø  Open studio hours provide greater access to Spectrum ArtWorks’ services by engaging with the larger Lighthouse member base. Spectrum ArtWorks’ open studio hours have attracted individuals living with mental illness that wouldn’t normally access CSP services.  

2014 outcomes:

Ø  A highlight of 2014 was our Holiday Sale on December 5, 2014. It was a major success!  In combined sales, artists sold almost $4,200 worth of artwork. 

Ø  Lighthouse Art Group attendance has shown that there is demand for more open studio time.

Ø  We welcomed four new ArtWorks Core Group members.

Ø  We created an alumni program for Spectrum ArtWorks Core Group members that wish to take a non-active membership (members who take this position have been with the Spectrum ArtWorks Core Group for three years or more).

Ø  We partnered with Hennepin Theatre Trust to exhibit two Spectrum ArtWorks alumni artists
Our 2014 Holiday Sale was a tremendous success!
 Goals for 2015:

·         Procentive Log-In Project

(Winter 2015)

Ø  Procentive will feature artwork from the Core Group on a rotating basis as a way to increase awareness across their entire network of providers.

Ø  The goal is to encourage artists with a mental health diagnosis to participate beyond the Spectrum ArtWorks client and community base.

·          “Impossible Things” – Spectrum ArtWorks Core Group Exhibition (more news to come)

(Spring/Summer 2015)

Ø  Core Group artists thematically engage with the impossible by exploring imagination.

Ø  The exhibition will open May 2015 at the Nicollet Café in Minneapolis.

·         Partnership with Minneapolis College of Art and Design

(Spring 2015)

Ø  Spectrum ArtWorks will host a Teaching Artist Internship opportunity for MCAD undergraduate students interested in becoming a teaching artist.

Ø  Interested students will have a particular goal to work with artists with disabilities.

Ø  2 Teaching Artist Interns will start in January – May 2015 to directly assist with lesson development (based upon member needs) and assist Core Group Artist members at practicing and strengthening skills.

·         “What’s Left: Lives Touched by Suicide”

(Fall 2015)

·         Spectrum ArtWorks is being commissioned by John Bauer, the curator of “What’s Left,” a multi-media art exhibit featuring the works, which depict the pain and suffering left behind from suicide to produce one piece for the traveling art show.

·         Christi Furnas, Spectrum ArtWorks Peer Support Specialist will lead the project.

·         Core Group artists will collaborate to produce one piece for the traveling art show.

·         Photovoice

(Fall 2015)

·         Spectrum ArtWorks will plan, organize, and execute a public exhibition of Photovoice, a recovery-based participatory project that elicits personal storytelling through images.

·         Spectrum ArtWorks will partner with RESOURCE’S community support programs to develop content for the exhibit.

·         Spectrum ArtWorks will partner with a community location to exhibit artwork.

·         Extend open studio hours

Ø  Lighthouse members have shown that they want to use the studio. Members use the open studio hours to create new artwork. They also have access to art workshops and activites as well as art supplies and peer support.

Ø  We often have 15-20 members participating in art group at one time!

·         Continue to partner with other arts-related galleries, programs, and organizations

Ø  To help members gain larger access to the local arts community by organizing art-based activities and opportunities outside of the studio space.

For further information on programming, to purchase artwork, or make a contribution, please contact Jes Reyes, Spectrum ArtWorks’ Arts Specialist at (612) 752-8282 or
Cecile Bellamy sold Building Community, a massive beauty of meaning and hope, at the Holiday Sale!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Eckleburg Interviews Artist and Spectrum ArtWorks Peer Support Specialist Christi Furnas

Artist Christi Furnas was recently interviewed by The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review, an online and print literary and arts journal housed at The Johns Hopkins University. This interview provides background on Christi's artistic work as well as her position as a Peer Support Specialist at Spectrum ArtWorks.

 Here is a snippet from the interview. She describes her role at Spectrum ArtWorks:

In March 2011, I was hired on as staff. I support 12 people who are working to survive as professional artists. I help them apply for shows, and keep up portfolios along with other things. There is great talent in the group and I have learned a lot. Another aspect of my job is to help facilitate open studio time. This is when any member of the Lighthouse can utilize the studio and art supplies. This is not art therapy although it is an excellent time for people to be creative in a comfortable setting. 
I have a unique roll because I get to support peeps as an equal. I don’t see it happen where I work, but in a great number of situations people with mental illness are patronized or not listened to. It’s difficult to value yourself when no one else seems to value who you are or what you say. I have the opportunity through art making to connect with people. It is important to hear stories from people and be able to share experiences. The other day I compared auditory hallucination stories with an artist in the program. Then I discussed which colors to use in their painting. I feel extremely fortunate to work in the arts at a place I can be open about my illness.
Please take some time to read it here. The interview is thoughtful and insightful.

On another note: Christi recently won the People's Choice Award at the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (NEMAA) Fall Fine Arts Show. What an achievement! You can find more info on NEMAA and their annual exhibition here.

James and Christi in the studio

Friday, September 19, 2014

Inside the Studio: Spectrum ArtWorks Stays Busy as the Season Changes

Fall is right around the corner and Spectrum ArtWorks continues to stay busy. Artists submitted artwork for Artability and are excited to show at The Great Hall in St. Paul on October 24 and 25th. It is an important event arranged by People Incorporated, and we hope to see you there! In addition to this, Spectrum ArtWorks is planning a winter art sale and also planning out exhibitions for 2015.

Kandace at work on "The White Buffalo"

Pictured above is Kandace. She joined Spectrum ArtWorks this summer. About a month ago she started on "The White Buffalo." She states she was inspired to create a work that spoke to Native American culture. She wanted to incorporate the four directional colors, too, which are red, black, white, and yellow. She feels these two components of "The White Buffalo" have complimented each other well. "I have enjoyed working on this one, because I am seeing a style emerge in my work, a common thread in my technique," she says. "I focus on one small piece at a time, with short brush strokes." Kandace also says that she decided not to create this work using a grid system. She ended up experimenting with free hand. Overall, she has expressed feeling satisfied with her work.

James working on one of his many watercolor pieces

The art studio has continued to be a space where the group produces excellent work. James, shown above, creates watercolor paintings regularly. You can see more of his work here on Spectrum ArtWorks' Flickr page.

Artists THIA, James, and Kandace focused on projects during studio hours last week. THIA has taken a liking to Art Deco patterns and has started on an amazing stained glass piece. You can see it here on Spectrum ArtWorks' Facebook page!

Stay tuned for further updates! The winter art sale is scheduled for December 5, so mark your calendars!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Spectrum ArtWorks Welcomes New Program Coordinator!

Greetings everyone! We are excited to announce that Spectrum ArtWorks has a new program coordinator, Jes Reyes! Taking over as Arts Specialist for Spectrum ArtWorks - we welcome her with great warmth and enthusiasm. We are happy to share that she brings with her a rich background and involvement in the arts as well as a great deal of compassion for the work of Spectrum ArtWorks artists and their mission. 

About Jes:

Jes Reyes is excited to join the Spectrum ArtWorks program. She comes to the program from the NWCSP, a drop-in program in Crystal, Minnesota. While there she worked with adults with serious and persistent mental illness. She helped initiate various art projects at the CSP, including Photovoice and Picture Us. She also has been involved in the Twin Cities arts community as a curator of pop-up exhibits with Altered Esthetics, a non-profit arts organization and gallery. Jes is a filmmaker and photographer. Her photo "The Eyes" will be exhibiting at Glam Doll Donuts in Minneapolis in September as part of a group exhibition. She is about to finish her Master's degree in Liberal Studies from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. You can find out more about her by following her blogs: or

Please join us in our excitement welcoming Jes to Spectrum ArtWorks!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

New artwork by Wallace at the Riverview Café, Minneapolis, MN

Wallace at Como Park Conservatory, Saint Paul, MN
Greetings everyone! We'd like to introduce you to Spectrum ArtWorks artist, Wallace White. Wallace is one of the newest members of the Spectrum ArtWorks program; joining us early last year. Wallace lives and breathes art; he's a true artist! He draws and paints everyday. He enjoys painting luminous landscapes and personal portraits of those he knows. You will never find him without sketchbook and pen in hand!
 A recent drawing made by Wallace in the Spectrum ArtWorks studio
This evening, Wednesday, April 9th, at the Riverview Café is an opening reception featuring new work by Wallace. Recently, the Spectrum ArtWorks artists enjoyed an afternoon at Como Park Conservatory - soaking in the warmth as well as the fresh, vibrant colors of the gardens. It was a long and cold winter this year in Minnesota and it is not surprising that Wallace was greatly inspired by the rich and beautiful flowers and plant-life. This inspiration in captured in much of Wallace's new work that can be viewed on display at the Riverview Café.

Wallace sketching at Como Park Conservatory
Wallace is a veteran in the local arts community; having exhibited his work throughout the years at many local coffee shops, cafés and galleries. Wallace has been a participating artist in the annual Lola Art Crawl events in the Longfellow neighborhood. More recently, Wallace's work has been exhibited at the Fireroast Café and now at the Riverview. 
Beauty by the Lake - acrylic on canvas by Wallace White
The title of Wallace's new show at the Riverview Café is: Roses with Gold Linings/ Clouds with Silver Linings
This show features a collection of paintings and drawings by Wallace, as well as many new works. The opening is this evening, April 9th, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at the Riverview Café.
The Riverview Café is located at:
3753 42nd Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN
Wallace's work will by on display through the month of April.
Here is a link to the Riverview Café:
THANK YOU for the support!
As always- Spectrum ArtWorks invites you to learn more about the program and the work of each individual artist. Art is always for sale and appointments can be made to stop by the studio by contacting Arts Coordinator, Megan Andersen -
We thank you dearly for supporting the Spectrum ArtWorks program! Please continue to stay informed and show your support for Spectrum ArtWorks.
You can follow us on facebook:
Continue to view and read our blog, as well as view lovely art on flickr:
And, Spectrum ArtWorks is now on Twitter!! Check us out!
For more information or questions about Spectrum ArtWorks please contact Megan Andersen at or (612)752-8282.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Congratulations to VSA Minnesota Emerging Artists Grant Recipient Christi Furnas!

Spectrum ArtWorks artist and Peer Support Specialist, Christi Furnas, pictured above in her Minneapolis studio.

Greetings! We are excited to share the great news that Spectrum ArtWorks artist and Peer Support Specialist, Christi Furnas, has been awarded an emerging artists grant from VSA Minnesota. Christi is one of seven Minnesota artists to be awarded a grant of $1,500 by VSA Minnesota. The 18th annual competitive grant, funded by the Jerome Foundation, recognizes excellence by emerging Minnesota artists with disabilities and encourages them to complete new work.
About Christi:
Christi Furnas is a Minneapolis based oil painter who has been showing and selling art in the Twin Cities for nearly twenty years. Born in Kansas, Christi moved to the Twin Cities as a teenager. She studied painting and drawing at the Atelier LeSeuer in Excelsior, MN. 
Christi considers herself a Figurative Expressionist, working with both oil and pen and ink, and is most excited looking at the work of the early German Expressionists. She has shown her art at venues such as: Rosalux Gallery, Soo Visual Arts Center, Augsburg College and The Warren.
In 2011, Christi was awarded a Creative Community Leadership Institute Fellowship, where she studied community organizing through the arts. During the last year, Christi has worked closely with VSA Minnesota; working on several community art-making projects, including the Minnesota Disability Mural Project.
Christi has been featured for her work as an artist and an activist in articles of publications such as: The Advocate and Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Follow this link to read The Art of Healing - an article published in the Star Tribune
featuring Christi Furnas:

Follow this link to read Forty Under 40 - an article published in The Advocate
featuring Christi Furnas:

Christi also has an artist page on Facebook. Follow this link to "like" and "share" her page:

Another great photo of Christi - taken in her Minneapolis studio.

A little bit more about Christi:
Christi has been a member of The Spectrum ArtWorks program for nearly 10 years. She is the first member of the program to be considered and hired as a staff member. As a Peer Support Specialist, Christi works directly with the Program Coordinator and with the artists in the program. She also teaches and facilitates regular open studio sessions for other artists connected with the Lighthouse Community Support Program, a program of RESOURCE, Inc. Her work with the artists and her presence in the studio has been invaluable. Christi's influence in the program is strong. She is dedicated to Spectrum ArtWorks' mission to educate the public and break down stigma associated with mental illness. She works tenaciously to inspire others to do the same. Christi is undoubtedly the heart of the program and a main reason Spectrum ArtWorks continues to be a successful and contributing program in our community.

If you have inquiries for Christi, she can be contacted at:

As always- Spectrum ArtWorks invites you to learn more about the program and the work of each individual artist. Art is always for sale and appointments can be made to stop by the studio by contacting Arts Coordinator, Megan Andersen -
We thank you dearly for supporting the Spectrum ArtWorks program! Please continue to stay informed and show your support for Spectrum ArtWorks.
You can follow us on facebook:
Continue to view and read our blog, as well as view lovely art on flickr:
And, Spectrum ArtWorks is now on Twitter!! Check us out!
For more information or questions about Spectrum ArtWorks please contact Megan Andersen at or (612)752-8282.