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The Healing Power of Art: An interactive art exhibit offering film, art and healing

Tuesday, March 11
Screening of "The Guys"
Chase Park Plaza, 212 N. Kingshighway
Free, all ages, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, March 12
Art and Healing Workshop
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand
Free, all ages, 6:30 p.m.

Attendance: 40 movie screening, 15 discussion following the film, 4 art workshop

After 9/11 an entire nation struggled to piece back together what was shattered on that day. In New York, each community offered up its own unique skills and talents. For the first time, art, poetry and theater seemed to offer little comfort but ultimately they would prove to become the voice of those left behind. "The Guys" is part of that voice. In this powerfully moving and unexpectedly humorous film, a New York City journalist (Sigourney Weaver) is called upon to help a fire captain (Anthony LaPaglia) write a series of eulogies for the men he lost at the World Trade Center. As the fireman begins to open up and work through his grief, the two form an unexpected bond, and we rediscover the quiet heroism that informs all of our daily lives.

The film's strength is the unique way it takes an immense tragedy and brings it to a basic human element — people comforting one another and finding strength and healing in these bonds. In that vein, the March 11 screening of "The Guys" will focus on art and its power to heal those in the community. Several St. Louis artists, including Andy Magee, Lon Brauer and Suzanne Chism, will have their powerful and touching work on display in the lobby of the Chase Park Plaza prior to the 7 p.m. screening of the film. Following the film, a discussion on Art and Healing will be held. Amanda Doyle, editor of The Commonspace, will host this important discussion, which includes art therapist Carol Lark, Barbara Decker Franklin of the St. Louis Art Museum, former residents of New York who were there during 9/11 and several artists. Audience questions and participation are encouraged.

After the March 11 screening of "The Guys," the 9/11 artwork will be on display at The Commonspace. On March 12 at 6:30 p.m., Carol Lark will host an art and healing workshop. The workshop will provide a unique opportunity for the community to respond in their own creative way to the art and film they viewed the night before. This call and response from the community will become part of the exhibit at The Commonspace.

Tickets to the March 11 screening of "The Guys" can be picked up at The Commonspace or by e-mailing elizabethvega@hotmail.com. This event is sponsored by Focus Features, Metropolis St. Louis and The Commonspace. For additional information please call Elizabeth Vega at 314-727-6984.