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NY Art House Sketchbook Project 2012

By Tiffany Joy Villahermosa
Visual Artist & Community Arts Educator

Tiffany Joy Villahermosa

What are your fears and tears?  What makes you cry tears of joy or perhaps tears of sadness? Why? These are questions Toronto based visual artist, Tiffany Joy Villahermosa asked those in her life to share. 

  “It's easier to share our strengths with friends or close ones but perhaps challenging to share our vulnerabilities with others. Could it be fear of embarrassment, judgment or maybe much pain is attributed to our fears and tears. The goal of my project is to have a deeper understanding of those in my life and for those who do share their fears and tears, an opportunity of self-reflection and perhaps a sense of comfort reading others’ vulnerabilities who may mirror our own. May it be possible in understanding others’ vulnerabilities, our own may shed? Maybe our own judgments of others softened? A possibility perhaps….”
This meaningful project bore from her participation in the Sketchbook Project 2012 World Tour.  The Sketchbook Project is organized by Art House, (www.arthousecoop.com) an independent Brooklyn, New York based company that organizes global, collaborative art projects. Villahermosa is one of thousands of artists around the world who has completed their own sketchbook of images based on their chosen theme. Starting in Brooklyn, New York, last April 2012, the library of sketchbooks will continue to tour across North America for the remainder of the year. After the tour, all sketchbooks will enter into the permanent collection of the Brooklyn Art Library, (103A N. 3rd Street, Brooklyn, New York) available for the public to view.
As you open Villahermosa’s 5” x 7” sketchbook, you are met with such vibrant and bold colours within all her twenty watercolour paintings.  Every page represents the fears and tears of those who openly shared what lay in their hearts. You may recognize the soft and hard edged letters of the words inspired from everyone’s thoughts, beautifully abstracted within the white design of each painting.  Villahermosa then wrote, word for word, the fears and tears offered; one’s fear of failure, a father’s pain for the attempted suicide of his daughter, a shattered heart, a woman’s pain of her molestation, to name a few.  Some chose to remain anonymous, others shared their first names or their initials.

Villahermosa found herself in tears many nights in her studio, as she channeled these feelings through her art unto these pages.  Humbled by everyone’s transparent hearts, Tiffany never anticipated how this project would touch her soul so deeply.  “Everyone who shared their fears and tears committed time for self-reflection and trusted me with these raw emotions from the heart. Words cannot express my gratitude.”  Many have shared with Tiffany how cathartic this has been for them to articulate their thoughts and feelings, knowing it would be shared with the world. 
She affirms, “It solidified the importance for me to branch this project to give others an opportunity to liberate and celebrate themselves, by sharing their own fears and tears”.  As a result, she created a tumblr account, www.shareyourfearsandtears.tumblr.com , should others be inspired to share their own fears and tears.  Her goal is to create another body of work inspired from these thoughts and feelings. One may read the fears and tears from this sketchbook on this tumblr account.
During the opening of the tour in Brooklyn, Villahermosa was fortunate to experience the power of art, touching and connecting people so beautifully, as she observed others absorbing the fears and tears of those within the pages of her sketchbook.  She shared, “It was incredible to hear the compassion from those reading other’s vulnerabilities and to witness the meaningful conversations that spun from these collaborative creations. This project has been such a blessing in my life, as it restores the faith I have in the beauty of humanity, even in its’ vulnerabilities.”
The Sketchbook Project 2012 will be in Toronto, July 19, 2012 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m and July 20, 2012 to July 22, 2012 from 2:00p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West (www.gladstonehotel.com).
To view other creations of visual artist and community arts educator, Tiffany Joy Villahermosa, please visit www.tiffanyjoyvillahermosa.blogspot.com .

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