Beauty From Ashes Videos


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

FROM OUR FOUNDER: Art, Horses, Counseling & Beauty From Ashes™

WANTED:  A white, bomb proof horse, for a forever home.

As many of you might know (or may not know), I did my undergraduate studies in Art.  In particular, I studied as a triple major at Purdue University in Art Education K-12, Fine Arts, and Visual Communication Design.  I acquired a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Indiana University and studied at the Herron Art Institute in downtown Indianapolis, IN.  My artwork has been shown across the nation and in France.  Additionally, I have taught art lessons to children and adults for over 20 years.

I am also a passionate horse back rider (passionate being an understatement) who originally grew up on a huge farm in the Midwest.  Yes, I'll always be a country girl no matter where I live.  Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries recently launched new Equine Programs.  Equine Assisted Learning and Equine Psychotherapy is evidence based treatment for many of the emotional and behavioral struggles survivors of sexual abuse face. As an overcomer, I know from personal experience how incredibly therapeutic horses can be.  Benefits of equine assisted learning include the building of confidence, self-efficacy, communication, trust, perspective, decreased isolation, self-acceptance, impulse control, social skills, boundaries, and spiritual connection. Our new programs are Horsemanship Mentoring for teenage girls (prevention), as well as Equine Assisted Learning for survivors of all ages (restoration).

Finally, for the past 2 ½ years I have been a full time graduate student in the Mental Health Counseling program at Florida Gulf Coast University.  I'm actually preparing now for my comprehensive exit exam scheduled October 27th.  (Deep sigh and breath!)  It was in 2005, I founded Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries, Inc., a not for profit, faith based, public charity.  Our mission?  It is to prevent, reach, rescue, and restore victims of sexual exploitation, abuse, and trafficking.

So you may be asking, how does the art, horses, and counseling conclude to me seeking a white, bomb proof horse?  For a number of reasons I want the horse:

1.  To use for the equine assisted learning programs.
2.  To paint and use for art and equine assisted learning programs.
3.  To paint and use for events and fund raisers.

For those of you that don't know about horses, bomb proof means that the horse will not spook easily.  Yes, we will need that so no one gets hurt or scared when we take them to public events like Fort Myers', Art Walk, Music Walk, etc.  The horse will also need to stand still so that it can be transformed into a living canvas.  White, so we have a clear background and colors come through accurately.   Participants can paint on the horse as part of our programs.  Myself, and even other artists can paint on them for special events.  Nice, huh, combine art and equine assisted learning and top it off with a unique and attention getting event/fund raising concept?   Get the vision?  I LOVE it.

If you know of anyone with a white, bomb proof, horse in need of a forever home, please call (239) 939-9218 or email me at   I guarantee you that the horse will be unconditionally loved, cared for, adored, and deeply appreciated.   Oh yeah, and we can provide a tax deductible receipt for your contribution to the Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries' Art, Equine, & Counseling programs.

And for the record, in addition to my many years of horsemanship experience and being an educated artist, I am planning to acquire accredidation in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, Equine Assisted Learning, and to become a Master Equine Specialist in Mental Health Learning through the Professional Association of Therapuetic Horsemanship (PATH) International and the OK Corral Series. These certifications will be completed by the time I complete my master's degree and after that I intend on acquiring certification in Art Therapy.  In the future, Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries will provide Equine Psychotherapy and Art Therapy, in addition to the 30+ services we currently provide free of charge.

Wouldn't a bomb proof, white horse be ideal for Beauty From Ashes™Ministries on so many levels?  Writing about how the white horse is an ideal image, in addition to the butterfly, will make a great topic for another blog.  Painting the butterfly on the horse is a dream.  I'll add both to my "to do" list.

Julie Shematz is the founder and President of Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries based out of Fort Myers, FL.  It is Florida's first and only human trafficking, overcomer-led, community service agency.  Providing victims with comprehensive and integrated services,  locally and across the nation, since 2005, they have assisted over 1300 survivors of sexual exploitation, abuse, and trafficking.  Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries: Where Victims Become Overcomers.

Follow Julie on Twitter and "Like" her facebook fan page, JulietheArtist

To see pictures and find out more about Beauty From Ashes™ Equine Facility and the vision of a Equine Therapy and Art Center, CLICK HERE