Thanks for visiting!

This project is now in update mode. Check back regularly to see how things are progressing.

Art on the Brain

Raised toward our $5,000 Goal
64 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on April 30, at 11:59 PM EDT
Project Owners


May 01, 2018

BIG THANKS to the 64 donors from nine states coast to coast who helped us surpass our original and stretch goals for this campaign, raising a total of $8,151 for Art on the Brain! We are touched and thrilled that this initiative has received such widespread and enthusiastic support, and look forward to developing and expanding the program with these funds. Although this Buckeye Funder campaign is no longer active, anyone wishing to further support the initiative may do so here (and designate Art on the Brain in the special instructions box).


Thank you again!

"An uplifting experience"

April 24, 2018

News alert! Tune in to this week’s Wellness Wednesday episode of WOSU’s All Sides with Ann Fisher, which will feature Art on the Brain facilitator and founder Tracie McCambridge from the Wexner Center. The conversation will air live at 11:20 am EST (online or at 89.7 FM) on Wednesday, April 25, and will re-air this evening at 9:20 pm.


Meanwhile, we talked recently with Eric and Debbie Freece, who have participated in four sessions of Art on the Brain. After Eric, a former schoolteacher, suffered a stroke five years ago, his wife Debbie (a retired nurse) sought out community programs, including Art on the Brain, to help them both navigate the healing process. Eric says Art on the Brain “opened up pathways in my brain that had long been closed because of the stroke....The artwork was so stimulating.” Debbie notes that the activities “are not only intellectually stimulating, but also physical....[The program] incorporates collage, painting, and drawing as part of a whole-body experience.” In accompanying Eric to Art on the Brain, Debbie has met other caregivers, while also finding her own creative inspiration, adding bright colors to the quilts she makes: “Coming here and seeing the art…It’s opened a new world.”


Over the years, Eric has begun to regain some memory, especially when it comes to recognizing his fellow participants: “I may not remember the particulars of the situation I saw them in, but I know I’ve seen them.” He has continued to draw on his time as an elementary schoolteacher in journaling and writing about his experience. As part of Art on the Brain, Eric wrote a poem inspired by the Wex exhibition Leap Before You Look (focused on Black Mountain College), which he has generously shared with us (see below).


Debbie said that as “avid OSU alumni, we are just so proud that our University has this program and has taken a step in this direction.”


We thank Eric and Debbie again for sharing their thoughts and reflections on Art on the Brain. Thanks also to all the donors who have enabled us to reach and surpass our initial goals, and who are helping now as we strive for our new stretch goal of $8,000. We deeply appreciate your support!



Top: Art on the Brain participants Debbie & Eric Freece

Middle: Eric’s poem inspired by the Wex’s Leap Before You Look exhibition on Black Mountain College

Bottom left: Debbie’s quilting before (top) and after (bottom) participating in Art on the Brain

Bottom right: Some drawings from their Art on the Brain journals (including “blind drawings,” where participants sketch pieces on view in the galleries without looking at their papers).

"Transformative for everyone"

April 20, 2018

While Art on the Brain primarily focuses on visual art in the Wex galleries, dancers and musicians are occasionally brought in to perform short works just for the participants. These sessions include discussions and other related activities meant to spark mindfulness, idea-sharing, and self-expression. We spoke recently with local dancers/choreographers Nico Garlando and Sarah Hixon, and members of local chamber music ensemble Chamber Brews (violinist Devin Copfer, violist Rachael Keplin, and cellist Elisabeth Jeremica) to get their take on Art on the Brain. (See images below.)


Chamber Brews performed a mix of classical and contemporary music during a session, and noted that participants reacted in a variety of ways to the different selections (for some, it was an intense sensory experience). Keplin said the process of playing for and hearing from participants was “mutually beneficial.” Copfer noted simply, “It makes me question everything.” Jeremica said she was surprised “how visceral the sensation” would be for participants. Copfer pointed out that “we don’t always think about like the visual part of what we’re doing….We are interacting visually with the audience as much as we are interacting auditorily and also in mood and emotion.” She remarked that "what becomes important is that you’re communicating."


Dancer Hixon appreciated the community aspect of Art on the Brain, and also its effort to effect change: “I like to make work for other people, and hopefully they can feel safe and comfortable and still be challenged and still get something out of it.” And dancer Garlando pointed to the program as an opportunity for “actual, integrated mindfulness” and reflected that “creative action changes brains.” She also noted that Art on the Brain was “so transformative for everyone involved,” with its idea of creating a “space for healing” and an “environment of acceptance.”


Hixon summarized her experience with the reflection, “I think it’s great that there’s a program that’s trying to use art as a way for people in various situations to begin to learn to deal with the things in their lives that they have to….That’s what art is for.”


And one more note: We’re hoping to reach a new stretch goal of $8,000 by the end of April! Additional funds that come in will help us expand this program to new demographics, while also giving us more resources to better serve participants in all iterations, including additional fees for artists and co-facilitators, additional supplies, and additional costs for transportation and parking that allow for greater accessibility. Thank you to all of our generous donors so far!


Below, clockwise from top left: Chamber Brews members Devin Copfer, Elisabeth Jeremica, and Rachael Keplin; dancer Nico Garlando; dancer and choreographer Sarah Hixon; Chamber Brews performing for military veterans as part of Art on the Brain (l–r: facilitator Tracie McCambridge, Devin Copfer, Liz Fisher, Nancy Nehring, Elisabeth Jeremica)

Above and beyond

April 16, 2018

Big thanks to the nearly 50 donors so far who have helped us exceed our goal already! We are thrilled by this outpouring of support from the community and beyond, including donors from seven states across the country. With two weeks left before the campaign ends (it closes at midnight April 30), we’re now pursuing a stretch goal of $6,500. Additional funds raised will be used for honoraria for additional Art on the Brain co-facilitators and performing artists as the suite of programs continues to expand. Please help us spread the word about this new goal, and thanks again!

A participant stirs the pot

April 09, 2018

Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has donated to the Buckeye Funder for Art on the Brain so far! We are so excited and grateful to have received so much support in the first week of the campaign.


Last week, we met with John Skaggs, a local chef (and food enthusiast) who is also a repeat participant in Art on the Brain. In speaking about the program, John related much of the experience to his knowledge of food: the “flavors” and “textures” of artwork; the multi-sensory experience of engaging with art; the similar creative impulses among cooking, gardening, and artmaking; and even the ability to use fresh herbs in the artwork he created during an Art on the Brain session!


“The journeys that I go on…become ingredients for me,” he said, and are part of a “continual education.” His “favorite part of all… is being able to create some kind of art,” and to “encourage the imagination and creativity.” When asked why he had come back for more after his first round of Art on the Brain, John said that he wanted “to further understanding and knowledge,” emphasizing that “being a part of this [program] with other people…is therapeutic for me.”


At Art on the Brain, he says, “I feel welcome. There’s not a welcome mat out front; however, that’s how I feel and that’s what I see. It's like grandma's kitchen.”


Thanks again to John, and to all of the donors and supporters helping to make Art on the Brain possible!


Photos below

Top: Art on the Brain participant John Skaggs poses for a photo after our chat at the Wex

Middle: John’s work on a painting in Art on the Brain incorporating fresh herbs

Bottom: Art on the Brain encourages sharing and personal storytelling, which develops a sense of community among the group. This is one of John’s program journal pages, which includes a drawing of a fellow participant’s favorite treat: sugar pie.


Choose a giving level



Approximately 5.3 million Americans are currently living with traumatic brain injury (TBI), according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Art on the Brain challenges minds and enhances participants’ quality of life following TBI.



The number of women in prison in Ohio increased 10-fold between 1974 and 2014. A new iteration of Art on the Brain will seek to create a sense of community, provide a positive outlet, and foster reintegration for the growing demographic of post-incarcerated women.



An estimated 24.4 million Americans—8% of the population—have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at any given time. One iteration of Art on the Brain is specifically for military veterans, many of whom are living with PTSD. “For me, it’s about being around people I am comfortable with, and expanding my level of community,” noted one participant.



Drug/opioid overdose rate in Ohio was 35.9 per 100,000 in 2016 (compared to 19.1 per 100K in the U.S.), a nine-fold growth since 1999. Our new iteration of Art on the Brain for post-incarcerated women—many of whom have suffered from addictions—seeks to offer a new community, encourage self-expression, and even, perhaps, to aid in helping them avoid behaviors that led to imprisonment.



Ohio Prisons Director Gary Mohr says that more than 55% of incarcerated women in the state are imprisoned for drug offenses. The Wex program offers a safe and welcoming place for women, after they’re released, to reflect and discuss their ideas about art (and life) with women who often share and can empathize with their experiences.



70% of adults in the U.S. have experienced some type of physical or emotional trauma in their lives. The entire Art on the Brain suite fosters resilience, creative thinking, and a positive outlet for this “hidden” demographic.



Traumatic brain injuries are responsible for 282,000 hospitalizations (and 2.5 million emergency room) visits in the U.S. each year. After people have moved out of the acute stages of TBI, Art on the Brain can help them reintegrate, socialize, express themselves, stretch their minds, and learn with others.

Our Crowdfunding Groups