Abstract Art as Therapy: Clara Berta Captures Emotions

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Clara Berta’s Solo Exhibit called Abstraction at Barsndall Gallery Theatre in Hollywood, California was a huge success.

There were several reviews of Berta’s abstract art show:

Robe Roberson

“The four seasons balancing on the walls like clouds shifting forms the longer I looked… Though not her aim, I found what I needed – a bit of myself in all of them.”

Roberson is not the first to draw such profound inspiration from the abstract creations of Clara Berta. Admirers of the L.A.-based Hungarian artist are constantly offering their testimonies of how Berta’s work speaks not only to aesthetic, but also to emotion.

Liz Kelly:
“From wood panels to collages, her abstract work can be contrasting, thought-provoking and uplifting… Berta’s color harmonies can lend an emotional dimension to many spaces that is magical.”

Celebrated for “capturing the vulnerability in all of us,” the complex, emotional connection admirers declare they encounter in Berta’s abstract art creations is precisely what the mixed media artist says she is trying to achieve with her art. Berta believes art can offer therapeutic relief from the challenges and stress people face in their daily lives – a belief she came to adopt through personal experience:

“The loss of my husband was very painful for me’… I had to figure out: ‘what was I was going to do alone?’” Berta confessed. “I had to find ways to let go, cry and be with my feelings. I focused most of my attention and energy on spending more time in my studio and allowing my feelings to be a part of my paintings.  I could see that my art touched people and I realized that it’s the love and healing I put into my work that they felt.”

More than a dozen exhibitions around the country have featured Berta’s work. Disney even selected her art for use in its film You Again. When Berta isn’t exhibiting, she is introducing art as therapy to others. The artist hosts weekly lessons at her home studio in L.A., encouraging her students to use artistic expression as a means for overcoming personal challenges.

Abstract Art Opening Barnsdall Park Gallery 2010
Art Opening Barnsdall Park Gallery 2010

“I like to watch my students unleash parts of them they never knew existed… when they tap into their creative side, it opens up doors in their relationships,” Berta divulged when named Amy Applebaum’s Entrepreneur of the Month. “They connect with their bodies in ways they hadn’t thought of, and it opens up the mind, allowing for new thoughts, ideas and beliefs.”

The Hungarian instructor also reaches out to local organizations and has donated several works to Dreams on Canvas, Midnight Mission – a homeless advocacy organization in LA, the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society and Fostering Imagination.

Ultimately, Berta is hoping to share one basic message through both her art and her instruction:

“Life is what we make it.  Beauty can be found in most everything. Example: my car broke down and I found a torn tire next to a freeway. Now, it’s a piece of art. You can create from nothing and then make something out of it. That’s what makes it beautiful.”

To read Liz Kelly’s complete review of Clara Berta’s Abstraction art solo show for Examiner.com.

Thanks to Laura McNamara for her assistance with this article.