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Art as Healing

A local artist's journey turning cut paper into healing

Cultivating her natural ability for creativity and introspection from a young age, artist Katie Mai-Fusco has made a career out of her unique craft, cutting paper, healing herself and others in the process. 

 Mai-Fusco first began to layer paper on her otherwise 2-D creations while pursuing an art degree at the University of Northern Colorado. “The art of cutting paper really connected to my methodical mind, and over the years, has become my method of healing,” she explains. It has been a primary goal throughout her career to incorporate healing modalities into her art, and Mai-Fusco’s first ever installation brought that passion to life. 

After living in Brooklyn, NY, to attend the Pratt Institute, Mai-Fusco says, “I needed to reconnect with nature.” After returning to Northern Colorado, she spent nearly every day by the Poudre River praying, meditating, recording the sounds of the water, and photographing the reflections in it -- all of which culminated into her first installation “Amity.”

At her second installation, titled “Her Accord,” Mai-Fusco experienced firsthand the healing power of her work. Mai-Fusco tells the story of an encounter she had with a gentleman in her installation who was sitting on a bench, weeping. As Mai-Fusco approached the gentleman, he shared with her his being diagnosed with cancer for the second time that day. He said, “I really needed this space today. It has been really healing.” 

Today, while still prioritizing installations and commissions, Mai-Fusco works at the Larimer County Boys and Girls Club as the Social-Emotional Learning Coordinator. In this role, Mai-Fusco hopes to incorporate Art Therapy practices to “heal kids in the same way it did for me as a kid.” Soon, Mai-Fusco’s work will be on display for all to see at the Children's Museum in Denver. Mai-Fusco’s career has painted a clear picture of Art as Healing and will undoubtedly continue to do so for years to come.

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