Tim Lefens: 2005 AHN Awardee

The Arts & Healing Network is delighted to present Tim Lefens with the 2005 AHN Award for his groundbreaking work with individuals who, as he describes, "have never walked, rarely if ever spoken, and have little or no practical use of their fingers. Because of their silence they have been overlooked."

To help empower them, Lefens founded Artistic Realization Technologies (A.R.T.), a New Jersey-based nonprofit creating tools and techniques that allow for the uncompromised creative self-expression of those with the most severe physical challenges. These techniques include laser-guided painting along with other techniques that bring exacting control.

The impact has been immense. As Lefens explains, "Healing takes place that clinicians never dreamed of. I've seen it everywhere we've goneÖa silent, despondent, vegetative child, then - with their realizing their full creative power - BOOM! alive with joy. That's healing."

Lefens has secured top notch exhibitions for these artists, and has written a wonderful, spirited account of them in his award-winning book, Flying Colors. He is currently working to expand the use of A.R.T. techniques across the nation. As Danny Hobson, Director of the Arts and Healing Network, says, "I am deeply impressed by Lefens' passionate commitment to these artists whom society so often leaves behind."

Upon receiving the 2005 AHN Award, Tim Lefens wrote the following:

"Receiving the Arts & Healing Network Award has been a source of serious refreshment for me. To have such an organization recognize the breakthrough nature of the work A.R.T. does refuels the spontaneous sense of promise with which A.R.T. was founded. Receiving the recognition of the Arts & Healing Network and all the fresh linkages it is already providing is as full of fresh, exciting promise as if stepping into a wider yet uncharted terrain with wider vistas appearing.

There is pleasure and satisfaction in the lesson that if you hang in there, hang onto the purity of your vision, you will, in time, find allies who will reinforce your source of inspiration and imbue you afresh with promise. Receiving such support and validation allows the past battle weariness to fall away while the immediate future is luminous with possibilities, in my case the chance to bring the power of A.R.T. to the West Coast. The healing power of our program has been so remarkable it has taken a decade for the 'disabilities' world to absorb what is now possible. Itís a paradigm shift of the first order, and we have felt like scouts making our way through the underbrush for years. But now with the Arts and Healing Network award, beautiful things are about to happen. So if you're out there with your good mission, unleashing the healing power of art, hang in there. Perseverance will win the day."

Click here to learn more about Tim Lefens and Artistic Realization Technologies (A.R.T.).

Click here to purchase Tim Lefens award-winning book, Flying Colors.

Listen to Tim Lefens speak about his work by using this audio player below:

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