Surviving a near-fatal auto accident deepened the realism in the work of Buena Park artist Carol Goldmark. Her renderings of flowers, previously painted in full bloom as a metaphor for beauty, now are depicted across the floral lifespan -- newly formed clenched buds to withering limp petals. "The accident lifted the veil," says Goldmark, whose work is part of "Art Heals, Art Works," an exhibit that begins Aug. 4 at the Fullerton Museum Center, 301 N. Pomona Ave.
Using art as a healing tool to recover from trauma is the common theme in works by the 16 artists from Los Angeles and Orange counties. The artists are survivors of various traumas, from cancer to rape to spousal abuse. The curator, Janice DeLoof, dedicated the exhibit to her son, who took his own life. The exhibit was shown last year at Los Angeles' Eye Five Gallery and earlier this year in Rancho Palos Verdes.
Goldmark is a drawing teacher at Fullerton College. Her works' titles borrow themes from Psalms and Isiah, such as "Man is as the flowers of the field." Her work evolved after spending three months in UCI Medical Center's intensive care unit. "The meaning became very clear to me," she says. "It was about life and death."
As part of the exhibit, on Sept. 21 the museum will host a reading of poetry about healing and a discussion about trauma survival skills.