Sandra Eula Lee, Portable Pond.

Drexel's Pearlstein Gallery Offers Spring Exhibitions Centered on the Healing Properties of Art and Creative Works

Sandra Eula Lee, Seeds in a Wild Garden.

Sandra Eula Lee, Seeds in a Wild Garden.

The Leonard Pearlstein Gallery of Drexel University’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design will present two spring exhibitions that draw on nature, its calming properties and the creation of art as a form of medicine. “Sandra Eula Lee: The Walking Mountain” and “50 Years of Creative Arts Therapies” will go on display Tuesday, April 2 through Saturday, May 25 with an opening reception taking place on Thursday, April 11 from 5-7:30 p.m. 

Sandra Eula Lee: The Walking Mountain” brings together sculptural installations that reflect the artist’s interests in labor, migration and material histories. A Korean-American artist and daughter of immigrants, Lee’s exhibition centers on Portable Pond, a large installation referencing East Asian gardens, which traditionally provide a central reflective space to mirror the view. Other works complement the “pond” in mixed media materials drawn from the confluence of the constructed and natural environments.

Through Seeds in a Wild Garden, Lee reflects on living and working in Seoul and Beijing, where she observed mountains of building materials accumulated as buildings were demolished. Yet occupying spaces in between were impromptu gardens, created by neighborhood residents, signaling care and resilience.

Lee’s dimensional installations are accompanied by drawings from her expansive series The Walking Mountain. The drawings represent carefully arranged mounds of rocks and formations, inspired by the cairns Lee observed in the mountains of South Korea and the burial sites built in the landscape. The drawn and constructed forms mirror these different piles, representing simultaneous states of deterioration and becoming.

The title of this exhibition was inspired by a Japanese Buddhist sutra by Dogen Zenji. Translating this text, Lee reflects on matter and migration: “Mountains’ walking is just like humans’ walking. The mountain’s walk may appear different from a human’s but we know they walk because their heads are in the sky and their feet are in the water.” 

50 Years of Creative Arts Therapies celebrates the 50th anniversary of Drexel University’s Creative Arts Therapies Department in the College of Nursing and Health Professions. The program is the world’s first graduate program in arts therapy and a leader in clinical innovation and research in art therapy, music therapy and dance/movement therapy. This exhibition features a juried selection of artworks by creative art therapists, including paintings, works on paper, sculpture, and digital media. Live music, dance and movement arts and wellness programs will complement the visual art on view.

The department’s goals are to build a community of educators and learners, who engage in collaborative, interdisciplinary learning that advances clinical practice and knowledge in the creative arts therapies (CATs). Together, they seek to develop stewards who will identify, protect, and evaluate relevant traditions and indigenous bodies of knowledge to advance the mental, physical and social health of society.

Through this exhibition and community arts engagement events, the Creative Arts Therapies Department seeks to democratize and increase access to creative arts experiences as a universal human right.

Operating hours are Tuesday through Friday from 12 p.m. - 6 p.m. and Saturday 12 p.m. - 5 p.m. in the URBN Annex (3401 Filbert St.). Both exhibitions are free and open to the public. To learn more, visit: here.