The “For the Spirit” exhibition tells an intriguing story that “encapsulates the steadfast spirit of patients undergoing the long journey to rehabilitate their lives,” says Limor Ziv, manager of the Desert Spirit Village.Now on display at the Masada Gallery in the Negev is the artwork of recovering patients from the village. The exhibition includes more than 20 paintings focusing on figurative realist art, dealing with the patients’ self-perceptions and perspectives.Desert Spirit Village, nestled amid olive groves between Beersheba and Mitzpe Ramon, is a therapeutic rehabilitation center for those who suffer from drug- and alcohol-related issues. The purpose of the Desert Spirit community is to “instill a positive change in the participants’ life, thus significantly increasing the chances of staying sober at the end of treatment and throughout the year,” explains Aya Dvorin, the Yachdav Association spokesperson.The treatment center was established by the association in 2010.Patients participate in classes, individual and group therapy, cultural and social activities, and art therapy. Yael Gilboa, an art teacher at the village, says, “It allows the artist to express a range of emotions, as well as strengths, pain, distress, questions, doubts, joy and zest for life.”Art therapy is an important aspect of recovery for patients at the village. Dvorin explains, “All patients must go into the studio. Some of them have never painted before. Some used to paint, then stopped because of all sorts of mental conditions and didn’t have inspiration anymore. The work is part of the process that they do in the village.”This form of therapy has catalyzed the recovery of many patients, serving as an outlet for them to deal with a wide range of emotions. Rotem, a patient who has been at the village for two years, says, “There is really no way to explain how art helps. It just does. It is something spiritual and mental; it releases. Art is the outlet for things I cannot express.” The colorful collection of artwork conveys the stories of the patients’ road to recovery and further serves as a vehicle for patients to release emotions. The exhibition is on display until the end of May. For details, contact Inbal at (08) 620-8003 or firstname.lastname@example.org.