Give Grief a Voice Gallery Tour Update

As we enter our third season of the Give Grief a Voice Gallery Tour, we want to take a moment to celebrate the progress we have made, our generous sponsors, and the efforts of our team in making this tour possible. The gallery tour showcases reproductions of the art created in our Give Grief a Voice program.

The Give Grief a Voice Gallery Tour began in April 2022, with the idea of furthering our mission to revolutionize grief culture from its tradition of silence and solitude. By hanging reproductions of the priceless pieces made for bereaved parents, we aimed to spread awareness of our work and open the conversation of grief to a wider community. With the efforts of Amanda Drews, Kelly Tilford, Julie Schneider, Amy Drews, Dianna Fontes, and Kristen Oshyn, the Give Grief a Voice Gallery Tour made its first stop in August 2022 at the Northeast Community Center in Portland, OR, followed by a stay at The Historic Alberta House in September.

By early 2023, the gallery tour began to hit its stride, with three libraries in the Portland area featuring our art. Our first stop of the year in February at the Wilsonville Public Library was featured in the Wilsonville Spokesman. Our March stop at the West Linn Public Library included a virtual panel discussion, and our June stop at the Brookwood Public Library was celebrated with an opening reception and live discussion with our artists and writers where we were able to interact with local communities and put a face to our work. In August of 2023, we hung an ongoing exhibit at the Northwest Mothers Milk Bank. Around 10% of milk donors are bereaved mothers, and we are grateful to honor those mothers at an organization close to our hearts.

2024 saw more members join the Gallery Tour team, including Abraham Schroeder, Jessica Johns, Vanessa Smith, Emilia Kirstein, Janice Kirstein, and Sarah Schaff. With their efforts, Buzzy’s was able to hang its first exhibition in Washington state at the EvergreenHealth Medical Center in February, which will remain in place through July 2024. Buzzy’s Bees also gained the opportunity to hang at the Metropolitan Performing Arts Center from March 15th – March 30th as a companion to the play Next to Normal, which deals heavily in the topics of child loss and mental health. On March 17th, Amanda and a psychiatrist will be featured in The Talk Back panel discussion following the 2PM showing, where they will field questions about the real life impact of the play’s content.

As we continue to move into 2024, we look forward to continuing our tour and opening the conversation around grief and child loss. We would like to extend a huge thank you to the Satterberg Foundation for their generous grant that made this year’s tour possible, as well as to all of the venues that have welcomed us thus far. We would also like to thank our Gallery Tour team for their hard work. From finding venues to hanging art on the walls, we appreciate all the labor and love you put into this project. Importantly, we would like to thank everyone who has come to our exhibitions to see the art. Though conversations around grief are difficult, and often uncomfortable, we appreciate your willingness to challenge your ideas and open your hearts. We hope you’ll continue to follow our journey.