The Meek Family, owners and operators of Naples’ oldest art gallery the Harmon-Meek Gallery, believe in supporting organizations in the community through their love of art. The family which consists of patriarch and gallery owner William and his wife Barbara and their daughters Juliana and Kristine who recently became co-owners and Assistant Directors, are community advocates and philanthropists who believe in the vital work being done at the David Lawrence Centers .

In addition to regularly supporting and attending our events for the past five years, the Meeks began raising money for at-risk youth and local children’s art programs through the Harmon-Meek Gallery Fund at the Southwest Florida Community Foundation. Funds are raised primarily though their Visionaries of the Visual Arts Award and Benefit Dinner now in its third year.

Through funds raised from their first dinner, The Meeks partnered with the David Lawrence Centers on the development of a unique, six month pilot art therapy program for at-risk children enrolled in the Community Action Team (CAT). The program known as Creative Expressions: Arts for Health and Wellness program provides children and adolescents the opportunity to visit, view, and discuss artwork created by professional artists within a gallery space, and be able to create their own artwork in an art studio. The children learn how artists’ express thoughts, feelings, and emotions through the use of line, shape, color, and pictorial metaphors, and practice these learned techniques for themselves. They then process and share their artwork with their DLC treatment team.

What began as a pilot is now beginning its third year and fifth session thanks to the Meek Family’s generosity and continued belief in our mission. The Meeks also host the children in their gallery and have provided them access to their artists who have spoken to them about their work. The Meeks have invested $17,000 to the program and the results have been profound.

Karen Buckner, Director of Children’s Community Services, states, “The Meeks contribution to the art therapy program is helping children resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight.”

Feb 01, 2016 | News

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