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Volume 24, Number 6 — June 2017

Highlands Community Services Purchases Local Art, Partners with Arts Depot

Highlands Community Services clients recently participated in a Terra Cotta Angels workshop led by Sara Reese, standing, at The Arts Depot in Abingdon, Va.
Highlands Community Services clients recently participated in a Terra Cotta Angels workshop led by Sara Reese, standing, at The Arts Depot in Abingdon, Va.

December 28, 2008

Highlands Community Services (HCS) is a human services agency serving the mental health, mental retardation, and substance abuse populations in Bristol and Washington County, Va.

Local Art & Photographs


For its new Center for Behavioral Health in Abingdon, Va., HCS has purchased paintings, photographs, ceramics and weavings by local artists, including landscapes by Bill Deel, watercolors by Carole Blevins, fantasy illustrations by Charles Vess, weaving by John Gunther, photography by Ivan Scott and Lynne Harty, and pieces on linen by Gibby Waitzkin. Additional artists represented include Jarata, Howard Alexander, John Sauers, Jennifer Baker, Laura Ann Sorrell, Thelma Blake, Elizabeth Scroggin, Kristi Taylor, Anne Hardin, Greg Arens and Romagean Personne. In addition, HCS commissioned a graphic designer to develop recovery stories into illustrated artworks, which are hanging in group therapy rooms.

Previously, HCS issued a call for entries for a Recovery Art Gallery. The directors wanted only art that was encouraging and uplifting — depicting recovery, not symptoms, and preferred that the work be representational and not abstract. In the end, HCS opted to turn a hallway into a gallery of photographs of clients and employees.

For more information, call Marsha Miller at 276-669-4732 or e-mail mmiller@highlandscsb.org.

Arts Depot Partnership

In 2008, the Arts Depot in Abingdon, Va. began offering monthly classes for HCS clients. Classes and supplies are funded through both agencies and are free for participants.

Each month features a different subject, teacher or medium. Classes have focused on measurement and drawing, linear perspective, collage techniques, pastels, and pottery. A counselor from HCS is present and a volunteer helper assists with distributing supplies and encouragement.

HCS art students live independently in the community or in adult living facilities. They all have a keen interest in art, and range in age from 20-60. The participants expressed satisfaction with the classes and appreciation of the direction they received from the teachers. As a result, these classes will continue in 2009.