Artist April Abesamis Knighton has created this striking personal new work in response to the theme of healing and Isaiah 25:8-9.
8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it .
9 ¶ And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD ; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
April Abesamis Knighton
It’s been a year since my older brother, Mark, was taken away from us through a tragic, senseless, and selfish act. The stabbing pain is still as fresh as it was when we learned of his death. Up until now, questions are still left unanswered. How could someone do this to a person as kind, faithful, loving, and selfless as my brother? Those of us who know him and have witnessed his character and experienced his affection are still in shock because the nature of his death is incongruent to the nature of his heart.
My hope to heal from this insurmountable grief I experience of losing my brother seems fragmented at times. But one thing I know for sure,
“He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The Lord has spoken.
In that day they will say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”
April Abesamis Knighton is a Chicago-based artist as well as a registered art therapist and licensed clinical counselor. She received her Master of Arts in Art Therapy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) in 2012 and has extensive experience helping individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, substance abuse, sexual assault, and trauma.
She currently works as an art therapist/psychotherapist at a private practice using integrative, trauma-informed, and compassion-focused therapy. A certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor, accredited by the National Council for Behavioral Health, April previously worked as the Mental Health Promotion Specialist and Art Therapist at SAIC, managing a federal grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), providing therapeutic support to students, and curating a variety of art exhibits showcasing art and its ability to transcend stigma.
Her work at SAIC also focused on initiating creative programming that promoted mental health and wellness, which was featured on NBC’s TODAY Show and highlighted by professional organizations — including the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD), American Art Therapy Association (AATA) and Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault (ICASA).
Trained in multiple disciplines with a deep appreciation for outsider art, April’s art practice currently centers around oil and acrylic painting and digital illustration.