Art of the Burn Community
Everyone’s healing journey is different, and we were astounded at the array of powerful art our community has created.
Thank you to everyone who trusted us with your art.
“To Hold Your Hand Again”
Gina M. Espinoza
You take my hand in yours
Within your grasp I close my eyes and feel a strength that makes me feel safe
A comfort that takes away my fears
A warmth that lights up my soul
Looking at our hands intertwined I see how protected I am
In a split second that's all taken away from me
Suddenly I'm forced to see someone that's become helpless against the tragedies of life
Minute by minute grasping onto the hope that I will once again get to hold you
Yet, looking at your wrapped hands, I prepare myself for a future without you in it
Today those hands look different
Even the way my hand joins yours is compromised
Some days it's like doing a puzzle, trying different pieces until the right one fits
The fire tried to take away the best of both of us
But, instead, it gave us what we never knew we wanted or needed
This journey has taken us to places we never imagined
Though some are good
Some are bad
And some are even heartbreaking
I still have that strong hand to hold onto
Richard Zeroski used to draw before his burn injury, but amputations and nerve damage in his hands have made it difficult for him to create art. He hasn’t given up, using art to distract himself from the pain. He drew this piece after his accident.
Sarah McKeown created this piece using photos of her skin grafts over the first year after her burn.
Chris and Holly Gage share their story of survival with Scar Warrior Jewelry. Holly replicated a portion of Chris’s scars, artfully capturing his story in silver. The process honored Chris’s journey in a crafted jewelry piece, and now they are doing the same for others. Many of their pieces combine the gem and stone cabochons that Chris has cut and polished in his art therapy with Holly’s silver designs. Chris and Holly hope to share these very personal creations with the burn community to help them tell their stories with hope, strength, and pride. Learn more about workshops and custom orders here.
I wonder at the journeys, the heartbreaks and smiles-through-tears that have been shared over a steaming mug of coffee. The sips nursed carefully amidst a jumbled mix of grief and questioning. As if all of life’s mystery could be assembled in some cohesive circular pattern from which we derive satisfying answers…
I watch the mother’s eyes seeking something from me underneath the chatter. To be heard. Understood. To relinquish a piece of the burden. And all the while we jump from history to the future and back to the here and now of a daughter’s suffering. As if the caretakers don’t need any focus, only sacrifice…
I witness hands wrapped around ceramic, clinging tightly and then letting go, the cup clanking and teetering back into place. Settling. Warmed by a small seed of hope. By a smile that says hang in there. It won’t ever be the same. But it can be good again. Some day…
Donna Karas enjoys painting because it takes her away from whatever she is being challenged by.
Submissions by Peter Chmielewski.
Antonie Donte painted a piece of Caliyah Ross alongside Frozen characters, Elsa and Anna. Caliyah is a five year old burn survivor who promotes self love on her Youtube channel, Pretty Thoro.
Nasia Houvarda is a burn survivor and an artist. She has an entire collection on birch trees that is completely focused on her journey as a burn survivor. View more of her art here.