Performance Art Event At Oakland Museum Of California

The Art Health Fair, an upcoming event at the Oakland Museum of California, occupies the space between performance art and psychotherapy.

heal the mind art bandaidVisitors to the Fair can receive a variety of humorous and personal "health services"
offered by five East Bay artists: Donna Keiko Ozawa, Peter E. V. Allen, Lynne-Rachel Altman, Indigo Som and Reneé Gertler. The event takes place at the museum on Friday, Nov. 7, 2003, from 6 to 9 p.m. and again on Saturday, Dec. 13, 2003, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Art Health Fair was organized by Donna Keiko Ozawa, an Oakland sculptor and installation artist who is the fall 2003 Artist in Residence at the Oakland Museum of California.

The event is an outgrowth of Ozawa's ongoing project Crank Therapy, whose mission is to fight FADS, Fasciculate Art Deficiency Syndrome, a scourge that the artist says has beset society "as a result of alienation from and the lack of value assigned to art in American culture today."

As Doctor Crank, Ozawa "treats" visitors with "therapeutic devices"--interactive sculpture she has created "to remind people that art can address our personal needs and help us heal from our daily struggles."

Through Crank Therapy, visitors also can receive personalized sculptural treatmentsheal the spirit art band aid--free or low-cost small crank-operated toys that Ozawa designs for them in "therapy sessions" through her BINGO-based divination system. To expand on Crank Therapy's motto "Art is a vitamin!" the Art Health Fair will provide museum-goers with a menu of services created by the artist and her colleagues.

* Doctor Box (Peter E. V. Allen) will provide diagnostics and treatments using wall-mounted storage boxes lined with acoustic ceiling tile into which viewers speak, shout or whisper prescribed words or written directions.

* Doctor Diagram (Indigo Som) will diagram sentences and draw Venn diagrams for clients to help them gain insight into themselves and their lives, a therapy that the "doctor" says is particularly useful for couples and families.

* Doctor of Anxiety (Reneé Gertler), will measure anxiety in the visitor and create a sculptural healing object made of soft materials that the client can take home to wear or use as a catalyst for the contemplation of remaining calm.

* Doctor Boo-Boo (Lynne-Rachel Altman) will find out what is hurting and then assist the client in creating a customized band-aid for any booboo, physical or otherwise.

heal the heart art band aid by Altman" The main goal of the Art Health Fair," says Ozawa, "is to offer healing and generosity through humor, imagination and interaction with contemporary artists. We want to show viewers how art can be a part of their everyday lives."

This program is funded by the MetLife Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation, the Sydney and Sally Hyman Endowment for Art Education, and the
Reuben and Muriel Savin Foundation. Art materials have been supplied by the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse.

The Oakland Museum of California is devoted to the environment, history and art of the state.