Dodson, Curator presented
June 17, 2006
Life's Drama, Blues II by Jerome Lawrence (Painting,
2006, 48" x 36")
The Episcopal Church of the Holy Comforter
- Atlanta, GA
I studied art at Georgia State University where during
my senior year I developed schizophrenia. While in recovery
years later I happened upon an art class which was sponsored
by The Work of Our Hands and The Georgia Mental Health
Consumer Network. The class was held at The Episcopal
Church of the Holy Comforter.
Working with clay and painting on canvas brought back
the feeling that I could actually be somebody. That
I could possibly support myself doing something I loved.
Like a letter I was enveloped by the love and compassion
of all church parishioners. As I grew in Christ I recovered
quickly. The Episcopal Church and many mental health
organizations collaborated with Habitat for Humanity
to build me a home. Before moving into the home I went
into the hospital for a permanent colostomy operation.
While there I received visits and flowers from church
friends and family. When I saw the white flowers on
my window sill against the brilliant blue sky (the kind
of sky you only get during the summer just after the
sun has gone down) they reminded me of stars and I said
to myself, “You gave me the universe when you
gave me flowers.” I felt what it was like to be
a part of a community that thought more of me than I
did at the time.
When I got out of the hospital I couldn’t wait
to paint (and I wanted to paint large) but few people
could get canvases to me and certainly not large ones.
Tom Smith from St. Martins in the Field Church and School
got a truck and brought me a large canvas. I proceeded
to paint the picture in my minds eye of white flowers
blending into the stars of a blue sky. I donated the
painting to St. Martins in the Field with the inscription:
You gave me the universe when you gave me flowers.