If the final Casper Art Walk had one theme this month, it would be this: art brings healing.

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This is true regardless of the medium, whether it's with paintings, with music, with portrait - even with quilts.

Take, for instance, Yong Hui Torske and her exhibition at ART 321. When Torske's husband, Irvin, passed away, she chose to express her feelings - the good and the bad - by creating various quilts, each of which told a different story about her journey through her grief.

"During the months he was in the hospital, she felt surrounded by the beasts of his illnesses, the traumatic environment of the ICU, the constant emotional shifts between hope and despair that fluctuated with hourly updates, and persistent fear and worry," her exhibits description read. "However, she found moments peace by appreciating the tiny bits of beauty around her: a photo of tulips that reminded Irvin of their garden and discussing their hope that he would see them again in the spring; a lone rooftop Christmas tree someone decorated and they referred to as 'their Christmas tree;' a Monet exhibit; the Denver Botanical Gardens and its Christmas lights display; many beautiful sunrises and sunsets that they watched together from the hospital window, a peaceful painting at the hospice."

And so on.

When the worst thing in the world happens, we're faced with a choice - we can either ignore it and run away, putting up every barrier that we can to keep our pain as far away as possible, or we can face it head on. The lucky ones among us are able to channel their pain and create art. That's what Torske did and the result was something...breathtaking.

But hers wasn't the only example of healing through art.

Sarah Derrico is a realtor who also happens to be a phenomenal artist in her own right. She was selling her portraits as part of the Artist's Alley happening even further downtown and one of her portraits in particular showcased a woman who was absolutely healing from an unknown pain.

"This woman has been through a very trying period," Derrico said. "This [portrait] actually came out of the end of the COVID scene, so it was just a drawing of people being in surrender."

Derrico said the portrait represented humanity as a whole, and she believes that, after the last few years, all of us could use a little healing.

"It's therapeutic," she said. "I mean, just the textures and the colors - whether you're using black and white or whether you're using bright, vibrant colors - there is healing through that. And then it's also healing for the person observing it, you know?"

And, really, isn't that the point of art? To impact both the artist and the audience? That's exactly what happened on Thursday, whether it was at Art 321, David Street Station, in the Old Yellowstone District, or somewhere else entirely. Whether it was students of VIBES playing covers of Gotye, or a hometown legend showing off his vast car collection, Thursday proved that art can be anything that makes you feel, anything that brings you peace, anything that brings you healing.

September Casper Art Walk

If the final Casper Art Walk had one theme this month, it would be this: art brings healing.

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