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Art Courage Program

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The Art Courage Program

A Therapeutic Plan to Free You from Your Fear of Art

by Katharine Whitcomb and Brian Goeltzenleuchter

Art, Sound, Olfaction, and Experiences by Whitcomb/Goeltzenleuchter
Design by Charmaine Banach

“A strange, timely and wonderful invention.”
—Mark Wunderlich

The Art Courage Program is a hybrid book combining two literary genres: self-help and cultural criticism. This book offers readers the tools needed to overcome anxieties associated with all aspects of art. The step-by-step program encourages readers to move beyond negative art reactions, learn from and be healed by their experiences, and find acceptance and even appreciation of art.

The Art Courage Program is comprised of interactive chapters, which invite readers to assess the acuteness of their own “art anxiety” and to adopt various coping strategies for their affliction. Illustrations depicting scenarios of instances of “art anxiety” and the practice of therapeutic treatments are featured throughout the text.

Readers of The Art Courage Program are offered access to an MP3 download of the recorded text and related therapeutic products (the COURAGE series of Wellness Fragrances, The Art Courage Program’s Book of Aphorisms, and The Art Courage Program Special Edition Audio Cassette with MP3 download card) after the conclusion of the program text. The Art Courage Program book is just one of the iterations of the program—the reader is encouraged to experience the program in trans-media, through auditory, olfactory, physical, and literary modalities.

The Art Courage Program can be sold in the “Positive Psychology” genre, and other categories including but not limited to “Cultural Criticism,” “Humor,” and “Art.” The Art Courage Program uses humor in its approach to popular culture, and can be taken at therapeutic face value, while at the same time it pokes fun at the American obsession with the personal empowerment movement.

“Part manifesto, part 12 step program—this program locates fear and loathing not in poverty, gun violence, climate change, human trafficking, but in the potential art might have in disturbing the smooth veneer of civilization. We deserve to feel okay! Art is not dangerous! The Art Courage Program will be required reading this semester in my class on the historical avant-garde.”

—Debra Riley Parr, Chair of Fashion Studies at Columbia College Chicago. Professor Parr is currently writing a book on scent in art and design practice.

“Every irony indicates a sincerity that is so deeply known or felt that it needs protection under the guise of distance. In Katharine Whitcomb and Brian Goeltzenleuchter’s strange, timely and wonderful invention, we are shown a known truth: that art unsettles. This book and its smart creators draw our attention to the ways in which art undoes us in a culture that manufactures a rhetoric of concern, but ultimately leaves us to navigate on our own. “

—Mark Wunderlich, poet and Professor of Literature at Bennington College. Wunderlich’s most recent poetry collection is The Earth Avails.