Thursday, May 22, 2014

Relax, Talk, Create

Impeerium Peer Specialist Terri Sartoris (left) chats with the other participants in the Creative Expressions Group at ROTA Gallery.

© 2014 Luke T. Bush


A sunny Thursday afternoon.  Folding tables and chairs are hauled out from the ROTA Gallery storage room and then are set up in the center of the main floor.  As participants sit down group coordinator Terri Sartoris wheels out a large black cabinet -- the Art-A-Tron 5000 -- its shelves filled with creative materials and tools.

Today’s project is taking a blank sheet, taping down areas on the paper with tape to form sections.  Then paint is applied, wet brushes giving each section its own color, individuality.

The participants chat.   Calm creativity.   Pizza slices are distributed in honor of one person’s birthday.

Every week the Impeerium Creative Expressions Group meets to let people share, artistically and personally.   Impeerium Peer Network is a local group dedicated to eliminating the stigma still associated with mental illness.  Program Coordinator Amy Belair explains: “We have the desire to be seen as an organization that has fun events for everyone and just happens to also work with people with mental illness.”

For more information on the Creative Expressions Group you can contact Peer Specialist Terri Sartoris at or 518-324-6250 ext:12.  General info about Impeerium:  Amy Belair, or (518) 324-6250.  Office address: 14 Healey Ave, Suite E, Plattsburgh, NY.

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