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Paint Release is an interactive form of art therapy that uses a canvas to capture trapped energies. Mental/emotional blocks are transferred from the psyche into a unique painting during a safe, comfortable one-on-one session where I mix/fling/chuck paint and shake/stomp/slap the canvas. Releasees keep the painting afterward as a symbol of what they freed.

An anonymous excerpt from the one-on-one for this release:

"It was a dark age. I didn’t fit in from the start.

There was a yearly hazing ritual where the upperclassmen made the freshmen run from one end of the bus to the other and would beat you up to prevent you from touching the school bus door. It was very neanderthal.

The day they chose to do that to my bus, I refused to go along with it. I told them I wasn’t going to do it. The first kid who went was elbowed in the face and got blood on his shirt. If they gave me 24 hours notice, I think I could have gone through with it, but it was a moment of are you in or are you out? and I chose out.

The other freshman weren't happy about it. The bus wound up in trouble for doing the freshman runs, and it’s because I went to the Dean the next day and said, “what the fuck is going on? The kids are really angry at me for not participating.”

It blew over after a few weeks, but my reputation was damaged. I spent the first 10 years of my life in a small school with 15 other kids. We all knew each other. I never went through a reinvention the way most people did in middle school. I liked who I was in middle school and I liked my friends… we were nerds.

When I got to high school, it was foreign and strange. I didn’t fit in. I joined the speech and debate team. I wasn't quick on my feet. It became a place where people substituted the physical aggression that normal people get out in sports… with tonal aggression, which is probably more damaging in the long run.

A sense of outsiderness stuck with me.

Memories are capable of turning back on themselves or disappearing and reappearing in a way that’s not part of a grand narrative and doesn't follow linear time. Sometimes an event happens that reaches back into your past and reveals something that used to be dormant.

My memories of high school and the bus run keep flaring up because recently, I fell in love.

I’m trying to learn to trust her and I want to be trustworthy to her. I want to be able to trust her because trust is something that’s been absent in most of my relationships and friendships.

I’m looking into the past and trying to grab different things—how did this experience shape my mistrust? How can I change the situation I'm in by being trustworthy or trustful?"

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