“One day, I picked up a paintbrush. And my world changed. I had found a way to express things that were too complicated, painful and overwhelming to put into words. Whatever I do, I tend to do obsessively, and soon enough I was about to put up an art show with 70 of my paintings on display. I didn’t expect much turnout, but hundreds of people showed up to see what I had done all this time, to know that I was still alive, still vital.”
– Gutless & Grateful (Amy Oestreicher, 2012)
Published 2:12 pm, Thursday, January 6, 2011
On January 9th 2011, I officially put on my very first art show at the Westport Women’s Club. It was so exciting and we got a wonderful turnout. It just went by way too quickly.
Coming into the world for the first time…
This show had tremendous significance for me, because after being so isolated for years in the midst of my medical trauma, I had never before put out anything I had created to the public. The outside world had heard about “what happened to me” from the news, friends, etc. but nobody had ever heard anything from my own experience. I was frightened – I didn’t know if I would be judged, or if people would understand. The art I created in the hospitals was made of whatever was in my heart at the time. It was raw, honest, and a portrait of whoever this ordeal had made me.
View a slideshow of the gallery here:
I had no idea how connected people would feel to my pieces – the universal feelings of doubt, uncertainty, fear, faith, hope and gratitude.
When I came home that night, I suddenly started hysterically crying. I was so overwhelmed by the hundreds of people who had showed up to see what was in my heart in such a terrible time. I was more supported than I ever could have dreamed.