“Creating Recovery” showcases works of CooperRiis community

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, November 22, 2016

It’s been said that our inner work is the hardest work we’ll ever do. The path toward achieving balance, empowerment, emotional and mental well being in our lives can be slow, difficult, uneven – full of ups and downs, peaks and valleys.

Just up the road from Tryon in Mill Spring, is the CooperRiis healing community, an almost 100-acre farm where residents participate in a comprehensive recovery program that helps navigate this often challenging internal terrain by addressing the whole person – mind, body, spirit and heart.

Within the first month at CooperRiis, residents are coached to create a person-centered plan, which serves as a road map for the core goals and accomplishments they wish to achieve. By connecting to a sense of purpose through community work and responsibility for one another, with an emphasis on physical and spiritual well being, residents come to recognize that mental health recovery is not a cliché but is real and attainable.

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Located within the CooperRiis community is the art barn/woodshop, a large well-appointed facility that provides shared space, tools and materials for painting and drawing, printmaking, making pottery, dying textiles, precision woodworking, photography, vision board collage, sculpture and music. The main artistic focus is centered on individual empowerment and residents are invited to explore any medium with which to express themselves. Local artists are also welcomed and encouraged to take advantage of volunteer opportunities at CooperRiis and often conduct specialty workshops and classes.

Around the farm each day, residents choose to be a part of community work and service crews like the kitchen crew, which is guided by trained chefs, or horticultural therapy in the five-acre organic garden which supplies a good percentage of the fresh vegetables for the kitchen. Other CWS crews include the woodshop which builds furniture, prepares firewood and builds musical instruments such as Native American wooden flutes and African drums. There is also a farm animal team which tends to egg laying hens, wool producing sheep, alpacas, and dairy goats as well as the campus crew which beautifies the facilities.

From these life skills and group tasks, residents develop accountability to each other while learning practical knowledge combined with new passions and creative outlets. Often, with their new skill sets and talents they have honed, residents move on with a greater sense of purpose and lead more fulfilling lives as members of larger communities.

Please join us, Saturday, Dec. 10, for an opening reception at Upstairs Artspace in Tryon from 5-9 p.m. as the CooperRiis healing community celebrates our 2016 exhibition, “Creating Recovery.”

– article submitted by Vaughn Loeffler