Helping America's most vulnerable.

‘Refuge,’ a new exhibit featuring the work of Volunteers of America Northern Nevada / ReStart clients, to help kick off 2011 Artown festival with July 1 opening reception

(Reno, Nevada) – A longtime destination for those seeking help with mental illness, as well as those combating chronic homelessness, Volunteers of America Northern Nevada/ReStart will add the role of fine-art gallery when it hosts “Refuge,” an exhibition of client-created drawings and paintings, during Reno’s 2011 Artown festival.

The show, which opens July 1 at ReStart’s offices on the Community Assistance Campus, 335 Record St. Suite 155, has been made possible by a grant from the Dermody Properties Foundation, which funded 17 weeks of arts classes taught by members of VSA Nevada.

The opening reception, which will feature refreshments and original, client-composed music, is free, though a $5 donation is suggested.

“We originally entitled this exhibit ‘Refuge,’ as we envisioned providing a safe and supportive space for clients to express themselves artistically,” said Volunteers of America Northern Nevada Vice President Rachelle Pellissier, who serves as executive director for ReStart’s Reno programs. “This theme of refuge has taken on a double meaning as reflected in the subject matter of our clients’ work – wildlife and natural landscapes. By arranging their artwork around the premises of ReStart, we hope to offer the public a unique perspective on the world of these atypical artists, and perhaps challenge some common misconceptions of the homeless within our community.”

The small- and large-format works – all on paper – include such drawing and painting media as charcoal, conte crayons, pastels and acrylics.

“Refuge” will continue through July 30, with weekly Wednesday showings set for 5-7 p.m. July 30’s closing reception will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tax-deductible donations to fund Volunteers of America/ReStart programs will be accepted.

For more information, please call 775.324.2622 ext. 130, or 775.322.7143.

Since its formal organization in 1991, ReStart’s mission has been to provide professional mental-health services to homeless individuals, and to fill needed gaps in the homeless-services delivery system.

Today, ReStart assists some 300 clients through its mental-health support, representative payee service, permanent long-term housing and Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing programs.

Established in 1911, the Greater Sacramento & Northern Nevada office of Volunteers of America is one of the largest providers of social services in the region, operating more than 40 programs dedicated to ending homelessness, supporting the most vulnerable populations and transforming communities for the better.

Its ministry of service supports and empowers America’s most vulnerable groups, including at-risk youth, seniors, homeless individuals and families, people with disabilities, and those recovering from addictions.

For more information about Volunteers of America/ReStart, go online at www.volunteersofamerica-nv.org.

The Volunteers of America/ReStart presentation of “Refuge” during the month of July 2011 is part of the 16th annual Artown festival.

The month-long summer arts festival features more than 400 events produced by more than 100 cultural organizations and businesses in locations citywide, with major funding provided by the City of Reno.

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Media contacts:

Rachelle Pellissier, ReStart Executive Director and Volunteers of America Regional Director/VP

775.324.2622 ext. 101; rpellissier@restartreno.org

Sandy Isham, Volunteers of America Community Relations Officer

775.322.7143 (office); 775.560.7888 (cell); sisham@voa-nv.org - See more at: http://www.voa-ncnn.org/In-The-Media/Northern-Nevada/Media-Releases/Refuge-a-new-exhibit-featuring-the-work-of-Volunteers-of-America-Northern-Nevada-ReStart-client.html#sthash.6n0GuqLC.dpuf