Sergeant Jany Fauchon, Laura Fauchon and Corporal Alex Fauchon jointly set up CREEations as a way to sell their art as well as share their stories on the benefits of art therapy. They showcased some of their pieces at CANEX on Nov. 29 and 30. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

Military members combat mental illness through art

By Patricia Leboeuf

Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2018

Art can be a powerful tool for healing as the Fauchon family has discovered.

Though Laura Fauchon has always been an artist, her son Corporal Alex Fauchon and his wife Sergeant (Sgt) Jany Fauchon started getting involved in that world as part of art therapy. Both are serving members, but are currently transitioning to civilian life due to mental illness. They found that creating art is an effective way to cope with their challenges.

Jany first started making her traditional dreamcatchers to combat her bipolar disorder while Alex started painting after he was involved in a rollover in Wainwright that took the life of Sergeant Robert James Dynerowicz.

“I just picked up a paintbrush after the accident and started painting,” said Cpl Fauchon.

Drawing from their Cree/Saulteaux and French background, they founded CREEations, where they jointly sell their artwork. On Nov. 29 and 30, they were invited to showcase some of their art at CANEX at Garrison Petawawa as a way to tell their story and bring awareness to those living with mental illness or injury.

“We want to show that art therapy helps tremendously,” said Cpl Fauchon.

“We want to turn something negative into something positive,” added Sgt Fauchon. “There are a lot of people struggling with mental health and injuries and we wanted to share that message, that it is possible to cope in a positive way.”

Their art has been gaining traction.

In addition to being sold in many stores around the Ottawa Valley, they have been asked to do workshops at the Petawawa Civic Centre and will be working with Wounded Warrior in the New Year.

Some of the stores where their artwork is sold are Kerry’s Place, Janna’s Cafe and Gallery, Calla Bean Emporium, Cedar and Sage and the Runge Stationers in Petawawa, Ryan’s Campsite and the Valley Artisan Coop in Deep River. They were also recently given the opportunity to display their art at the Pembroke Mall.