Trish Vernazza's book: Women, Art & Mental Illness (2006, WS Publishing, CA)
Women, Art & Mental Illness began as a belief in the hope and faith of the emotional and mental well being of the women I encountered, who were using art to process their personal struggles. As a visual artist since childhood I unconsciously crated images, sculptures and crafts all centered around the struggles and victories of the female existence. As I began listening and forming relationships with these women I realized my own voice as given it's early birth through the encouragement of my grandmother and her friends. I was their young protegeš as I listened and observed these women who would occupy themselves by sewing, knitting, embroidering, quilting, crocheting, painting and making handmade memory albums. Time would seem eternal. I was always included by given a box of crayons, fabric, needles or any other type of craft object, along with a quick lesson. Conversation flowed, letters would be written, candles lit and problems would be solved. It only seems natural that I would continue to create and listen.
Many of the images in my book will resonate as you read personal statements of seven women. You may be sure that there are many more similar stories. All of the women in this book voluntarily attended an intensive day treatment center, Berkeley Creative Living Center, in Berkeley, California, where they participate in open art studio , art therapy groups along with various verbal process groups. I formed valuable, honest and meaningful relationships with these women. My most precious moments are when I have had the privilege to observe their creative process, listen to their personal stories while experiencing a small part of their lives.
This soft covered, collated, book is self published with the assistance from a grant from Serpent Source Foundation for Women, San Francisco, CA. To receive a copy: ORDER BOOK HERE!