“Multiple Hearts” Artshow by Dr. Beth Allen

January 25, 2013

Solo show by artist and veterinarian, Dr. Beth Allen, about her personal journey with DID, runs through February in Batavia, NY.

Artist’s Solo Show is a Revealing Personal Journey

By Joanne Beck

Dr. Beth Allen has been fairly open about her life. Her first solo art exhibit furthers that by taking visitors on an intimate journey of her early years up to today.

“I’m happy, life is fulfilling and rewarding,” Allen said while setting up the exhibit Monday. “It’s a whole story, there’s poetry, sculpture, drawings, paintings, journals. There’s a start point and a path to follow.”

Allen has publicly talked about her past sexual abuse and the related psychological damage, disorders and trauma that she endured as a result. Her exhibit “Multiple Hearts” opened this week in the Main Gallery at the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council, 201 East Main St., Batavia.

The exhibition captures many moments of the hurt, anger and betrayal that Allen felt as she gradually went from patient to advocate for mental health issues.

Many of the self-portraits are not merely of Allen but some of the 23 different personalities she experienced while growing up. One shows a face with large green eyes and no mouth to illustrate how Allen’s mind and body were being controlled when she was told that she “deserved” what was happening to her.

Read the rest at the link: http://thedailynewsonline.com/lifestyles/article_cb5e665c-5c55-11e2-b8d2-001a4bcf887a.html

About the exhibition

She will be selling stacks of oversized, colorful postcards, framed photography and gratitude journals during the exhibit. She will donate 25 percent of her sale proceeds to MHA during the month of January and 25 percent to the Advocacy Center in February.

Dr. Beth Allen’s “Multiple Hearts” exhibit will run through Feb. 27 at GO-ART!, 201 East Main St., Batavia. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and by appointment.

An artists reception is scheduled from 4 to 6 p.m. Jan. 18.

Sue Gagne, assistant executive director of Mental Health Association in Genesee County, said that her agency is happy to support Allen’s exhibit by having staff at the reception.

“Our agency is supporting this venture; we really believe in what she does,” Gagne said. “She definitely brings a great perspective to our agency. We have benefitted from her experience as a volunteer and a leader. Beth has been a great partner in helping us bring awareness to the community by breaking down the stigma of mental illness.”

For more information about the exhibit, call (585) 343-9313.

Allen, 50, is a veterinarian who lives with her husband Mark in Elba. She has been a huge animal rights advocate and is also involved in Peaceful Genesee, Mental Health Association in Genesee County, Criminal Justice Day, Crossroads of Harmony and Justice For Children Advocacy Center.

She was a 2012 Fabulous Females Award recipient. Carol Grasso nominated Allen for her many attributes, but said she loves her most “because she is a survivor.”

Artist Dr. Beth Allen

Artist Dr. Beth Allen

Posted in Advocacy, Art, Media Coverage  |   0 Comments

Another Gifted Artist Who Has DID

December 9, 2011

Since I began this site I’ve discovered so many wonderfully talented artists, of all disciplines.  Eventually I’d like to create a special collection featuring samples of each artist’s work, a short bio, and contact information. I’ve put together the beginnings of a list, here, for a start.

Art in Paradise: Thicker Skin

Artist Lisa Foster crafts self-portraits that examine a difficult past.

Thursday, December 08, 2011 By James Heflin

Lisa Foster’s “A Willful Assembly”

The word “quilting” tends to bring up images of industrious grandmothers, so it’s probably not the first thing that comes to mind as a medium for a fine-art examination of childhood abuse. But for artist Lisa Foster, reproduction quilting fabrics have become central to her work examining that difficult subject.

I recently spoke with Foster as she hung her canvases for Fragments, Threads and Other Stories: Art Works by Anne Krauss, Susie Reiss and Lisa Foster at the Hosmer Gallery in Northampton’s Forbes Library. She told me that to her, quilting fabric was an extremely feminine, maybe even the most feminine, medium. At her blog, Foster says, “The fabrics soothe me and they soothe [the figures]. They cover their nakedness, heal some wounds, give them back some dignity. The fabrics are thicker skin.”

Though her art openly reflects her childhood abuse, she seems intent on creating work that is not dependent on knowing its context. She has succeeded. The human form may be a timeworn subject, but Foster’s canvases—which consist only of monochrome backgrounds and patchwork-filled figures—are captivating.

Read the rest of the article: http://www.valleyadvocate.com/article.cfm?aid=14389

Visit Lisa Foster’s website: www.lisaafoster.com/

Posted in Art, Personal Stories  |   0 Comments

And yet more Art, Art, Art…

February 24, 2011

Ray Caesar, the Canadian artist who turned down Madonna


From Saturday’s Globe and Mail

Ray Caesar requests that we meet at a Starbucks in Toronto’s PATH, a system of bland subterranean walkways beneath the city’s financial district, where a sea of people in dark suits creates an energy that is at once frenetic and mind-numbing.

He’s wearing a black turtleneck sweater. His eyes are soft, his smile is gentle. At 52, his hair is more salt than pepper. You might mistake him for a mid-level office hack grabbing a coffee on casual Friday.

Could this really be the artist behind the eerily beautiful, otherworldly and rather disturbing canvases (dames with spider legs, girls eating flies) hanging on the walls of such boldface buyers as shock rocker Marilyn Manson? The same guy who corresponds with Madonna? Who was recruited to work with fashion demigod Riccardo Tisci? Shouldn’t he look more like Edward Scissorhands? Or at least Karl Lagerfeld?

Don’t be fooled.

Ceasar acknowledges head-on just how complex he is. He’s chosen the seemingly uninspired venue for our meeting, he explains, because he’s “slightly agoraphobic,” and his anxiety about being outdoors is eased when he can sit down to sketch at various points along this vast web of underground corridors. He also struggles with dissociative identity disorder: more commonly known as multiple personality disorder. He also insists he was born a dog.

More at the link… http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/ray-caesar-the-canadian-artist-who-turned-down-madonna/article1886463/page1/

Detail from Calamity by Ray Caesar.

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Artwork by Shirley A. Mason, aka Sybil on view

February 23, 2011

Exhibit gives Lexington its first real look at artwork by ‘Sybil’

By Candace Chaney Contributing Arts Writer

For almost a quarter of a century, a simple home on Henry Clay Boulevard secretly housed a celebrity, unbeknownst to Lexingtonians.

Even friends and neighbors did not know the true identity of Shirley Mason until she died in 1998, when it was revealed that Mason was not just the quiet, pleasant lady next door who sold art out of her home and enjoyed gardening and prayer.

She was Sybil Dorsett, the subject of a 1973 book by Flora Rheta Schreiber and a 1976 TV movie, starring Sally Field, about Mason’s struggle with dissociative identity disorder.

Suffering cruel physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her mother, Mason coped by developing 16 distinct personalities, all which were successfully integrated after working with psychiatrist Cornelia Wilbur for more than a decade.

After Wilbur moved to Lexington to join the psychiatry faculty at the University of Kentucky, a healthy, integrated Mason followed, living the remainder of her days in peace.

Headley-Whitney Museum

Headley-Whitney Museum

Doves in Flight is part of the exhibit of work by Shirley A. Mason, aka Sybil.


The Hidden Art of Sybil & Her Other Selves: Shirley A. Mason

When: Through March 27. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Fri.; noon-5 p.m. Sat., Sun.

Where: Headley-Whitney Museum, 4435 Old Frankfort Pike

Admission: $10 adults, $7 ages 62 and older and students, free for ages 5 and youngerInfo: (859) 255-6653, Headley-whitney.org


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Comments Requested

July 20, 2010

The Diva thinks this short video is very strong in some ways, but she has issues with the beginning and setting which may make for a dramatic set-up but don’t help with stigmatizing perceptions. What do you think?

Posted in Art, Films  |   9 Comments