Spotlight: Artist Sierra Brundage - How art can heal and bring people together
When art meets people where they are, magical things can happen.
Even better: when art heals people in some of the most dark or unexpected places through music, dance, the written word or painting.
“My humanitarian trip to Costa Rica held many synchronicities and planted the seed of what would become my artistic path. I painted a mural in a neighborhood of tin houses and realized that art could be used as a tool to spread hope.”
"Art should speak for itself, but be louder than words." said Sierra Brundage, an accomplished artist and student at Colorado Mesa University. By giving ourselves the opportunity to physically interact with something—paper, paint, music, fabric, whatever it is—we release something that we didn’t even realize was knotted inside of us. “Overall, with my work I wish to reflect light in times of darkness. Common themes in my life and my art are this balancing act between tranquility and discomfort, control and chaos, isolation and escape.”
To get that much-needed escape, Brundage is helping to redefine what it means to be a creative artist—expanding the definition to be more inclusive of people and environmentally focused.
She became interested in the intersections of art in healing wounds of all kinds after losing several of her friends to suicide. Suicide awareness has become that message for her and the force that drives her paintings.
"The process of creation serves as a coping mechanism for me in my life, but the impact grows when I put my art out into the world. Carving and burning into raw wood is a visceral experience that releases tension and anxiety. While working with natural materials allows me to feel connected to the earth and my relationship with it.”
Sierra also designed the tree of life and keeping to her style, she includes many layers of messages within the image. “As you look at the tree, you will find semicolon leaves which exemplifies the loved ones that we have lost through suicide, remembering and honoring what they gave to the world,” she said. “It also symbolizes strength and flexibility that allows trees to withstand harsh conditions; they live on forever through their deep roots and the leaves they shed.”
Brundage is the artist behind the logo RoanYourBoat which symbolizes hope and perseverance, the idea that you can ride the waves that inevitably come in life. That below the chaos of the waves is a deep stillness that can be accessed. “There is hope for a future out in the middle of a space surrounded by an empty slate.” she said.
Recently, Brundage and two other artists displayed their work at the Art Gallery in downtown Grand Junction as part of their senior project. The show called Idiosyncratic (the term is often used to express eccentricity or peculiarity)—is, a “unique experience to have all the arts together, showing how we can marry different styles, mediums and schools of thought,” she said.
Brundage talks about how the mind, body and soul can heal through the meaning of her art. In addition, she dedicated the showing to her friends Roan W. McClain, Christian Casaus, and Aaron J. Herold.
Below are pictures of Sierra's art on displayed at the art show.