BROOKINGS – A new joint exhibit by painter Jennifer Moser and sculptor James Wakeman opens July 24 at the Brookings Arts Council. 

The exhibit features acrylics, watercolors and sculpture and will be on display until August 16. An opening reception is set for 4:30-6:30 p.m. July 25, with an artist talk at 5 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. There is no admission charge.

In the exhibit Healing Through Art, Moser and Wakeman draw the connection to the aid of art as a contributing factor to personal recovery from trauma. Both artists used art in their healing process as a personal therapy aiding them in their recoveries.

Moser is an artist based in Brookings. Born and raised in Draper, she attests her love and knowledge of art to Virginia Louder, a local artist who her parents hired to teach Moser to make up for the fact that art was not offered at the local school. 

Moser went on to attend South Dakota State University for art education, graduating summa cum laude in 2012. She currently inspires artists at Medary Elementary, where she was named Teacher of the Year in 2014. 

Moser finds that she is inspired by Scandinavian design, nature and water: she fell in love with painting because of the fluidity of the medium. 

On Sept. 2, 2016, Moser was involved in a head-on collision resulting in a three-month hospital stay. As a result of the accident, she required multiple surgeries and intensive rehabilitation on all her limbs but her drawing arm. Creating her art became a personal therapy for her, and maintaining her artistic identity contributed to the healing process. 

Wakeman is a sculptor who works in stone – specifically alabaster and marble. He started his artistic journey with sketching shortly after having a disabling accident 15 years ago. 

His interest in sculptural work began after a friend jokingly suggested he should carve one of those first sketches. After the initial project, he began self-instruction and refined his technique with help from a local sculptor. As he grew within his craft, he began selling work in shows and galleries in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

The Healing Through Art exhibit will provide visitors with an inside look at the power of art in the healing process and how important finding an outlet for personal emotional recovery is to overall recovery.

The Brookings Arts Council is located at 524 Fourth St. in downtown Brookings and is open Tuesdays through Friday, noon-5 p.m., and Saturdays 9 a.m.-noon. For more information, call 692-4177 or email at

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