“The Alchemy of Grief” Invites Public to Reflect, Create & Heal 

Dec 28, 2021Arts & Culture, Press Release

PEG Center for Art & Activism Launches Next Community Art Project for February

“The Alchemy of Grief” Invites Public to Reflect, Create & Heal 

Murals created by Alex Brien of Elevated Thought incorporate the community art submitted to the PEG Center for Art & Activism’s “Lost and Found” project launched in 2021.

Newburyport, MA, December 21, 2021 – The PEG Center for Art & Activism recently revealed murals based on the 2021 “Lost & Found: Healing What Divides” community art project and announced its newest community art project for 2022. The murals, created by Alex Brien of Elevated Thought in Lawrence, MA, are drawn from individual art submissions that members of the greater Newburyport area made to describe their experiences during Covid 19 in 2021. They are currently on display in the windows of the PEG Center at 3 Harris Street in Newburyport.

“Alex did an extraordinary job of pulling elements together from the multi-media project that represent the range of emotions we shared during the pandemic. The two collages, which feature artwork from children and amateurs to professional artists, provide a snapshot of a transformative event in our collective lives,” said Paula Estey, Creative Director of the PEG Center for Art & Activism. “We are thrilled to have collaborated with Alex, who is the cofounder and Artistic Director at Elevated Thought, an arts and social justice organization renowned for its public art throughout Essex County.”

Funding for the murals was provided by the Essex County Community Foundation’s Creative County Initiative.

Based on the success of the “Lost and Found” project, Estey and her team of volunteers have announced the next community-wide art project entitled “The Alchemy of Grief.” People are encouraged to take a few pieces of fabric (the extra pieces are for experimenting) and make one square of art that expresses the many facets of grief.

“Grief is part of our lives. In the past two years, grief has become, for many of us, a constant companion. Loss, change, age, sickness, uncertainty—these are all ways in which grief can show up in us. We want to honor our personal and collective grief by airing it, expressing it, because expressing grief helps everyone on their journey. Through handwork, artwork, paint, ink or sewing, we invite you to express your ‘dirty laundry’ about your grief. Has it changed you? Has it been transformational?  Is it a poem or drawing? A scrap of fabric from your past? A song to your future? When we join voices, each voice is amplified,” explained Estey.

To participate in the project:  

  • Pick up project supplies starting on December20th, 2021.
  • Return your completed artwork by February 1st, 2022.
  • Pick Ups and Drop Offs: There will be a designated space at The PEG Center for Art and Activism at 3 Harris Street.
  • Questions: Call or text 978-376-4746 or email paula.estey@yahoo.com


The PEG Center for Art & Activism will be on a brief hiatus for the month of January. In February, the CAP Team of artists, including Tricia Jones and Heidi Newfell, will be installing your squares inside at The PEG Center—into a sea of waving laundry—to walk through, contemplate and be changed.

“No matter what your level of talent, we all have something important to say. When we reveal, we are healed. Please join us and express your emotions through art,” Estey urged.

About the PEG Center for Art & Activism

The mission of the PEG Center for Art & Activism, a nonprofit organization, is to provide our clients and visitors with the transcendent beauty of contemporary art and to be a catalyst for conscious change. We seek to elevate the quality of our community and lives through creative expression, engaging conversations, and committed action. We create and nurture programming to address human rights, social justice and the environment. Visit us at the Paula Estey Gallery, 3 Harris Street in Newburyport, MA or follow us at www.paulaesteygallery.com for events, special programs and more. Paula Estey can be reached at 978-376-4746 or paula.estey@yahoo.com.

Paula Estey 978-376-4746 / paula.estey@yahoo.com
Julie Cook 978-317-2030 / julie@cookbowe.com