Art as Voice

“Art for me is the ability to express my true emotions. I especially appreciate the joy my art has brought to others.” — Kari Wagner

Kari has always liked art. She remembers fondly the various art kits her parents bought for her throughout her childhood. It wasn’t until she was 15 years old that she really learned more about art when she participated in an art therapy program at Courage Center located in Minneapolis, MN .

“Although my disability prevents me from using conventional ways to express myself, it hasemotions_03.jpg provided me with the courage to explore new areas of creativity I never even imagined.”

Her first art therapy project was to create an artist’s color-wheel based on her emotions. Using the primary and secondary colors of the spectrum, she assigned her emotions to the basic colors she knew. For Kari, the color yellow represented happiness while the color black represented fear. The color red represented anger to Kari while the color orange represented frustration.

emotions_01.jpgOnce Kari became better accustomed to her own color wheel of emotions, she created her artwork based on a combination of her emotions and her sense of creativity. Even today, you can see Kari’s emotions represented in her artwork.

Over the years, Kari’s art therapists–Darla Swenson, Anne Entrep-Hermann, and Danelle Griner–have guided her in creating her own style of art as a means of expressing her innermost feelings.

“Painting is truly a gift from God,” she says. “Although it is very difficult for me to paint, I know temotions_02.jpghat if I did not have this disability, I probably would not have discovered this gift. It’s really an honor for me to share this gift with others.”

Helping others find their voice

Kari is excited to help other people express themselves through the creative arts. She has established The Expressions of Faith Fund to make grants to organizations providing art therapy and other cultural programming to people with disabilities.

Please join Kari in this effort! All proceeds from the purchases of Kari’s artwork help The Expressions of Faith Fund provide these opportunities to more people with disabilities.