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An artist with a humanitarian heart

Photo of Katie D’Arcangelo with the family puppy, Fiver.

Katie D’Arcangelo with the family puppy, Fiver. Fiver is the family’s fifth dog and is a Czechoslovakian Vlcak that joined the family last fall. D’Arcangelo, along with four other founding members, created the Castle Rock Center for the Arts.

Sedalia resident Katie D’Arcangelo has seen the transformative power of art in her work in prisons and in working with families and children who are healing from abuse and neglect. She has also experienced it personally as an artist herself.

“I’ve seen the magic that happens when people make art,” D’Arcangelo said. “It’s the simplest, easiest thing and has the most amazing results.”

D’Arcangelo overcame a difficult childhood and said that as she grew up, learning how to prevent, overcome and heal from mental health issues and addiction fascinated her. “It’s an overwhelming problem for the person and everyone they are surrounded by,” D’Arcangelo explained.

While earning her master’s degree in counseling psychology, D’Arcangelo was part of a pioneering drug and alcohol rehabilitation and life skills program in the prison system. D’Arcangelo decided she wanted to go into emergency medicine and became a physician’s assistant (PA). D’Arcangelo considers medicine an art form in its own way and can make a number of parallels between her work in medicine and art. In both fields, D’Arcangelo saw the benefits of different treatment programs along with getting involved in groups and communities.

Taking a bit of a break from both medicine and art, D’Arcangelo, along with her husband and son, lived on boats for about four years. Despite having no boating experience, the family first lived on a sailing catamaran, then a larger motor vessel traveling mainly around the Caribbean islands. D’Arcangelo quipped, “Homeschooling was tougher than the ER!” Her PA skills came in handy as she was the medical crew at sea. “There was an episode of me pulling a fishing hook out of my husband’s hand,” D’Arcangelo exclaimed.

With space to create here in Colorado, D’Arcangelo began to make art again, taking sculpting lessons and painting. She joined the Castle Rock Artists Cooperative and connected with many other artists and those who support the arts in the area. With an abundance of positive energy, D’Arcangelo, along with four other founding members, created the nonprofit Castle Rock Center for the Arts (CRCA). The goal of CRCA is to have a physical space to learn about art and create art. Artist-in-residence rooms, classrooms, a kiln and places to “make a mess” are just the beginning of their vision.

D’Arcangelo would love to see after-school programs, family paint nights, and outreach to senior centers and shelters. From beginners to more advanced artists, D’Arcangelo said everyone has it in them to be an artist. “You don’t have to be a good artist,” she said, “It’s about hanging out and connecting with others.”

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By Lisa Nicklanovich; photo courtesy of Katie D’Arcangelo



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