Guitars Gone Wild

Guitars Gone Wild

Benefit raises money for art therapy programs


When Fenix Fayetteville hosts guitarist Joesf Glaude and his trio, Guitars Gone Wild, the musician will be in his element. Even though the multi-instrumentalist has recorded 11 albums in a studio, he much prefers being in front of a live audience like this fundraiser for Fayetteville’s art therapy organization, The Art Experience.

“I think that’s where most artists want to be,” he says. “I don’t enjoy recording in a studio; I like playing live. I don’t feel confined. I like the interaction with the audience, and I like to see people responding to what we’re doing.”

Guitars Gone Wild features Glaude and bandmates Jarrod Elmore and Bill Jones. The trio has been playing together for about five years.

“We’re a jazz guitar trio,” explains Glaude. “Our music is improvised. We have a basic song structure, but we’re able to tailor what we’re doing to the audience itself.”

Glaude says improvising means gauging the audience’s reaction as he’s playing his instrument, something that is both challenging and exhilarating for a musician.

“I’ve done this with orchestras and jazz and pop and rock groups,” he says. “I love going to open mic nights and jamming with people.”

Improvising is all about reading the room, he says.

“If people are kind of standing around, we know we’re on the right track, and if they start tapping their feet, we know people are enjoying it. If they’re spending time over at the food bar, we need to do something different.”

The Art Experience’s executive director, Susan Hartman, has known the Tulsa-based Glaude for a while and says he was the first person to come to her mind when she started brainstorming about possible fundraisers.

“He’s a really cool guy,” says Hartman.

The proceeds from the Guitars Gone Wild concert will directly fund The Art Experience’s art therapy support groups.

“Many years ago, The Art Experience was an art school, and then, around 2010, it transitioned into a nonprofit organization offering art therapy to the area,” Hartman explains.

Art Therapy, says the periodical Psychology Today, “involves the use of creative techniques such as drawing, painting, collage, coloring or sculpting to help people express themselves artistically and examine the psychological and emotional undertones in their art.”

“Our support groups are led by professional, licensed art therapists that have an additional certification in art therapy,” says Hartman. “We currently have three groups: a group for teen girls, [a group for] teen boys and a group for chronically ill children.”

Hartman says the organization has also offered art therapy groups for other populations like LGBTQ teens and veterans experiencing PTSD, but funds are limited — although, she says, offering therapy in group settings like this can be quite economical.

“We offer these groups as we have funding. We don’t charge the participants a fee at all, and the expenses are pretty minimal — we have to pay the fee for the art therapist and then supplies and snacks. The groups meet weekly, for two hours each week, and typically, they’re broken into a series of sessions. We limit the number of participants to eight — if you want your participants to have the benefits of art therapy, then you have to limit the number.

Still, says Hartman, raising the funds necessary to offer the services to as many people as possible can be difficult.

“Helping eight kids at a time doesn’t sound like a lot to people, but this is real therapy — it costs us roughly $12 per participant, per session, and that is a very economical way to deliver therapy to teenagers.

“Art therapy is kind of a unique component of the art scene in Northwest Arkansas, and we don’t get a lot of attention. It can be a struggle to raise funds because folks don’t always understand what we do.”



Joesf Glaude & Guitars Gone Wild

WHEN —8 p.m. May 17

WHERE — Fenix Fayetteville, 16 W. Center St., Fayetteville

COST — $15

INFO — 442-0557

Categories: Cover Story