The Art and Craft of Serena Blossom Appel

About the Artist


“Art to me is an expression of the soul. It is a universal communication device by which one can convey all that cannot be put into words or sounds. At the same time, it works as a tool for integrating and transforming personal experience by bringing it into contact with inner Source.

“I was born into a creative family. My father, a student at the Art Institute of Chicago during Leon Golub’s time, was my first teacher; I learned performance and a love of playing or listening to music from my mother.

“Things may have been terribly cultured around my house, but life has not always been the easiest for me. I found that from an early age, I was drawn to creative expression such as drawing, painting, movement or creative ritual/altar building as a way to work through my own thoughts and feelings, communicate with others, and heal the parts of self that hurt. This contemplation & expression continues today, as does my devotion to and enjoyment of helping others learn how creativity can help them too.

“My influences include: Traditional interpretations of Feminism, studies in shamanism, mysticism and the use of symbols and myth, Goddess studies, folk art from many different cultures, Reiki energy healing, Peace Punk and the ‘zine movement, Surrealism, artists of the Abstract Expressionist movement, the decorative arts, Carl Jung, the works of the Existentialists, women of the Beat Generation, rave parties, SF & Bizarro literary genres, and psychic messages from my cat.”


Awards, Memberships & Recognitions

-Exhibition of paintings in Art of Art Therapist shows at Portland area venues, including Marylhurst University’s Streff Gallery, and the 100th Monkey Studio.

-Current Member, Marylhurst University Alumni Association

-Awarded merit scholarship, 2006-07, Marylhurst University, Marylhurst, OR

-Member in good standing 2001-2006, The Irradiated Poets, Portland, OR

-Dean’s List, 1994-1995, Columbia College, Chicago, IL.

-Included in several undergraduate student exhibitions 1991-93, including a 1993 Columbia College public art & design exhibition at Harold Washington Library.

Community Art Experience

-Oct. 2009-June 2010 Adult Addictions Therapist at Lifeworks NW, including art therapy with the Womens Intensive Outpatient program in downtown Portland, OR.

March 2008-April 2009 Art therapist on contract teaching groups & classes at 100th Monkey Studio, Portland, OR. Periodic volunteer experience assisting with art therapy groups for adults, teens & children.

-October 2009 Presented an interactive workshop on creative altar building at Esozone Mutant Un-Conference, The Watershed, Portland, OR

-July 2009 Hosted “Art & Craft Garage Sale”, featuring visual art, crafts & jewelry by a variety of artists, Secret Hideout Studio.

-July 2009 Launched private/small group art studio, art therapy, & healing arts space, “Secret Hideout Studio”, SE Portland, OR

-September 2008 Co-facilitated a womens’ art therapy group; volunteered with individual clients at the Y Counseling Center, Portland, OR

-November 2008Led interactive workshop, “Resiliency & Art Therapy”, @ Creative Arts Therapies day, Marylhurst University, OR

July 2008Led interactive workshop on art therapy @ EMRG+N+SEE festival, Salem, OR

-September 2006 Began internship at Providence ElderPlace, Portland, OR offering weekly long-term art therapy services to frail elders at a day center location.

-September 2005 Fieldwork at Serendipity Center, Portland, OR: Led group art activities for at-risk youth, ages 8-18, in an alternative school setting.

-2003-04 Facilitated monthly art and healing workshops for women & girls at Full Circle Temple, Portland, OR


-February 2015 “Pancakes & Booze”, Hawthorne Theater, Portland, OR

-December 2014 The “Big 500 Show”, People’s Art of Portland, Portland OR

-November 2010 “Facing Fear”, Launch Pad Gallery, Portland, OR

-February 2010 “Love Show” Olympic Mills Gallery, Portland, OR

-October 2009 “Family” show, Launch Pad Gallery, Portland, OR

-July 2009 3rd Anniversary Show, Waypost Coffee, Portland, OR

-July 2009 “Gender” show, 100th Monkey Gallery, Portland, OR

-February 2009 “The Love Show”, Olympic Mills, Portland, OR

-November 2008 Orycon Art Show, Portland Sheraton, Portland, OR

-October 2008 “Dreams” show, Launch Pad Gallery, Portland, OR

-June 2008 “The Toy Art Show”, The Watershed, Portland, OR

-June 2008 “Conversations with Source: Painting, Mixed Media & Surface Design”, Solo show, Portland Coffee House, SE Broadway; Portland, OR. Sold 2 paintings from this show.

-Jul. 2007 Display & sale of work at OM Tradition Arts grand opening event, Portland, OR

-Feb 2007 Solo show, Space Monkey Coffee, Portland, OR

-Nov. 2006 Consigned visual art pieces to Space Monkey Coffee, Portland, OR

-Nov. 2006 Display & sale of work at the Providence ElderPlace Laurelhurst Holiday Craft Fair, Portland, OR

-Oct. 2006 Painting displayed in art auction event, “Diversion”, Portland, OR

-March-Sept. 2006 Paintings displayed at Do! Rad Cuts & Color, Portland OR

-Jan-Feb. 2006 “3-D Jazz” painting exhibition @ Muse Art and Design, Portland, OR

-Oct. 2005 Included in 2-person show, In Other Words Women’s Books & Resources, Portland, OR

-Jun. 2005 Portland Art Center open group show, The Galleria, Portland, OR

-1996-1998 Sold handmade jewelry through stores in Chicago, England and Amsterdam. Created custom designed jewelry for individual private clients.

-1988-1997 Sold line of handmade jewelry through stores, galleries & art events in Chicago Metro area, including Joy Horwich Gallery, Chicago, IL

Publications of Note:

June 2006 Art work published in “The Fence” independent magazine Vol. 7, Cheryl Dobinson, Ed., Toronto, ON

-April 2006 Cover design & poetry published in the Irradiated Poets anthology, “Elephants of Style 3”, Irradiated Poets, Portland, OR

-February 2003 Chapbook, “Uncircumcised Rants” went on sale @ Powell’s Books, Portland, OR


-2004-2007 MA Art Therapy Counseling, Marylhurst University, OR

-1993-1995 BA/fine arts concentration, Columbia College, Chicago IL

-1991-1993 Alumnus, School of the Art Institute, Chicago IL

-1990 Early college courses, School of the Art Institute, Chicago, IL.

-1989 & prior: Mentored with Art Director & gallery artist, Robert J. A. Appel