Art of Healing by Jennifer Case & Craig Nearman

May 20-June 28

The Art of Healing is an exhibit featuring two artists with very different experiences using the arts in their healing and grief processes. Jennifer Case was diagnosed with a brain tumor and uses art to decrease stress. Craig Nearman suddenly lost his wife, and uses art to keep her memory alive.

Jennifer Case


In 2019 I was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and was encouraged to find a way to decrease my stress. I started just freely expressing myself with markers and watercolors, but my favorite was hanging paper sculptures. I started doing some of this while I stayed with a friend in Omaha for about six weeks and underwent daily radiation treatments at the Buffett Cancer Center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. I like them for their bright colors and the fact they're crumpled card stock paper and I could really let out some anger over my tumor when crumpling up the paper.

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Craig L. Nearman, Artist

I was born June 30th, 1950, in Sioux City, Iowa, the third of ten children, all of whom are still living. I was raised by my caring father Mickey (Bernard) and my loving mom, June just south of Jefferson, S.D. on a farm that bordered the Missouri River. I attended a small county school that had a total of 15 to 18 students most of my elementary education years. After graduating from Jefferson Public High School, I attended USD and obtained a master’s degree in biology.

While attending USD I met the love of my life, Vicki L. Woodford and we were married January 6, 1973. She blessed me with two wonderful children, Nate (wife Nikki, Brookings) and Kathryn (husband Bob Steinbrecher, grandchildren Mackenzie and Alexander, Yankton). Vicki and I lived in Elk Point, S.D. where she taught 4th grade and subbed till her passing in 2016. I worked for Load King Trailer Company some 40 years, first as a laborer and welder while working my way through college, then as a Quality Control Manager and Service Manager from which I retired in 2009. Presently I am retired and enjoying life as a grandpa. I enjoy outdoor activities, family, hospice work, serving others, and art.

I received no formal art education. I could draw for as long as I can remember. In the little country school, I was allowed to draw anytime and help others with their art projects. My mother tinted black and white pictures using oil colors to earn a few extra bucks to support the family while I was growing up. Thus, I was introduced to oils at an early age. Growing up on the farm along the Missouri River, I learned to love nature. I drew birds, animals, flowers…whatever gave me a feeling of comfort, peace, and happiness. High School didn’t offer art classes, but I drew for biology class, history, English, and whatever term papers I had to write. When I entered college in 1968, I planned on getting an education in art. I soon found that my love of drawing and painting of realistic nature didn't fit the modern art forms popular at the time. I switched my educational direction toward biology due to my love of nature. I did however continue to dabble in oils to settle my soul on the impressionistic side of me.

I began painting realistic subjects that I loved in nature. Through the years, I painted scenes and special memories for the people I loved. I then tried painting pictures of people I loved. I used whatever mediums I had at hand including oils, acrylics, spray paints…whatever. As I grew as an artist, I began using the nature objects within my artwork as symbols representing the ones I loved or the feelings of people they would represent. After my wife's sudden passing in 2016, I was awakened to God's mission for my life. I now use my art to express love through the symbolism contained therein. I am but an instrument of Love's peace. Love's peace I give. Love’s peace I leave. I know not where the Spirit will lead me to create a further example or clarification of love, but I open my heart, mind, and hands to do so.

Peace be with you.                                                                                        


Exhibit Extras