Today, in the 21st century, the world has been all but taken over by the technological revolution. No longer are children being educated through the blackboard and textbooks – rather, they are having to navigate the world of social media and technological widgets. This is both positive and negative but one problem that the hi-tech world is not helping to solve is the issue of school children spending way too much time not moving and making too much use of classroom furniture. In other words, there is an increasing problem of too much sitting around.
One area that can help change this – even with all the temptations and uses of today’s technology – is through art education. Encouraging kids to think out of the box, to engage in creativity and to develop their skill set outside of their comfort area can all be gleaned from art education.
Art education does not have to be confined to drawing a picture. Other elements under the art umbrella include dance, gymnastics, drama, and music – all of which often require students to move around and not be confined to one area in the classroom.
Art is essential for personal human creative development. But art is also important for the relaxation of the mind. If this tool is taught very early on, in the school classroom, what will graduate is a mature, well-rounded individual, with the know-how of facing life problems head on and with confidence.
Helping people in nursing homes with all different types of stimulation, including art.
Art and art therapy can really be helpful tools in the educational arena. As well as providing students with a creative outlet, expressing oneself through artistic means is a very tranquilizing feeling. Indeed, so effective is art therapy in helping people that it is used with hospital patients, nursing home residents and all sorts of other individuals going through difficulties.
One great thing about art expressive education is that it takes the students away from sitting for hours on end on school chairs and not moving. Too long is often spent in one place in the classroom and this is not good either physically or mentally. Moving around the classroom, looking for different types of inspiration even throughout the building and getting up off the chair to see a different perspective can all be part of the art educational process.
Feeling the texture of paints, using different materials for murals, trying to depict an image of what is on the outside world, one can expand themselves in different ways. This is comforting and allows one to take themselves out of the box metaphorically, and out of the classroom physically.
When it comes to getting the education needed to qualify as an art therapist, there are many factors to consider. One should consult with a school academic advisor (as opposed to blogs written by non-professionals) to get the correct information. Figure out what is needed before embarking on the educational process. Even if you read testimonials from former students, these may not be 100% accurate as they are opinion-based. Social networking is more accurate for this.
Remember to ask the school you are considering what happens next. In other words, when someone graduates their school in art therapy, what kind of jobs do they have? Do they become real art therapists, or are they simply working in the school in some administrator job that occasionally has an art connection? You don’t want to be in charge of working out how to lay out the school furniture even if you are told that this is an important aspect of how students fare in their art classes. Figure out exactly what kind of position you want to have ahead of time and then work backwards to see how you can make that happen.
Ask what kind of scholarships you may be entitled to. If you are planning on studying art therapy abroad, it is important to see if there is funding available. Make sure that the school you attend is properly approved by a professional body or organization. You need to be accredited.
As with any educational course, it is important to go to a school that has a good reputation and gives you the qualification you need for the position you are seeking.
Dyana, an alumna from Sovereign Health Group's Dual Diagnosis Treatment Program, details her experience in the art therapy program.
Students, teachers and their families visited This Century Art Gallery to view the 11th annual High School Art Show, featuring 145 pieces from 104 students in the Williamsburg area. Since the show began 11 years ago, the art displayed has continued to get better and better. But this year there was something different. All the art was chosen by teachers in the participating schools – Bruton, Jamestown, Lafayette and Warhill High schools, along with Walsingham Academy and Williamsburg Christian Academy.
Williamsburg artist Juliette Kirby selected the winners, and she based her decisions on “originality and creative use of materials.” So basically entrants could have created anything – from depictions of school desks to aliens – so long as it is something striking. It was a Lafayette senior, Shelby Marie Adcock, that went home with top prize for her acrylic untitled piece in which a young woman stares directly out of the image, blowing a large bubble from gum that Kirby felt was “the symbol of her generation.” Adcock hopes to get a place in an art therapy course next year at Virginia Commonwealth University.
When kids come home with their art work, it is often either immediately, or some time after, relegated to the trash. Thanks to the New York City exhibit “Standing Tall: Celebrating Resiliency in the NYU Art Therapy In Schools Program,” those kids who use art for therapeutic reasons will have the opportunity to see their work in lights.
Last month, students from three different New York City public schools joined parents, teachers and art therapists at the Kimmel Center for University Life with their families, to mark the opening of an exhibition featuring their artistic creations. The exhibit featured 80 life-sized portraits created by 6-17 year olds from the Millennium High School and Public Schools 6 and 124. These brightly-colored paintings show the children in various poses. Alongside each portrait is a small card bearing each child’s name, school, triggers that induce stress, a coping mechanism they can use and a personal attribute that makes them proud.
Art Therapy around the holidays. Check out this post to see how you can use art therapy as a tool coincided with the holidays as an educational, festive way of helping your children.
Art Therapy in schools is a great tool for special education students who find it difficult to set out goals. The way it works is that they are given an initial assessment by the Art Therapist to gain a full picture of the student’s strengths and weaknesses. Then the therapist analyzes the child’s drawing skills through a series of five or six art tasks, using various media. The tasks relate to the student's perception of self, family, and school, etc. What the student produces and how it is produced (i.e. behavior) is then evaluated together with developmental, family, and academic history.
The art therapist needs to be aware of the cultural differences in children and how these affect their art work. For example, those who are exposed to more culture, will likely have a better aptitude toward the art and this has to be taken into consideration when making an evaluation.
As children’s artwork can be categorized into specific stages, one can see when the student is lagging behind his or her age level. As well, when the child is on the spectrum, they may actually be ahead of the curve vis-à-vis the age expectation. Some learning-disabled children actually have higher levels of creative and visual intelligence in drawing tasks and they could benefit from a visual component to enhance learning.
This tweet gives information of a Community Interest Company that promotes awareness of art therapy raising funds to work on projects with the Art Therapy Agency. Melanie Stevenson & Cate Smail. For more information: arttherapy4all.co.uk
Art therapy is a very generic term. According to John Hopkins University faculty member Eve C. Jarboe, it has been used to describe many different practices used in: education, rehabilitation, and psychotherapy. Basically, art therapy takes art to promote healing and growth. People who are art therapists usually have a Masters and a large knowledge of the field. They can practice and help individuals in schools who are going through a hard time (perhaps a divorce in the family or a loss of a parent, or a special needs member of the family) by being creative. There are many different settings that can be used in the schools to do this as well.
Art therapists at schools need to work on helping students to express their internal conflicts, while simultaneously containing them so that they are not out of control in the school setting. When working through the school system these therapists work in conjunction with the staff and parents to set goals that are appropriate within the system. Both group and individual counseling is offered.
Art therapy in schools is also good for those students who have behavioral issues, learning disabilities, emotional problems, etc., in other words anything that may hamper fine motor control or skills needed for studying purposes. Since the emotional is very tied up with the physical and the cerebral areas, all of these must be working in conjunction for a child to succeed.
Following a somewhat traumatic experience at Playworks, J.G. Larochette launched the Mindful Life Project that he launched last year. His aim is “to provide elementary-school students with a toolbox of self-care techniques and conflict resolution skills they might use to survive the kind of stress that – even experienced secondhand – could rob a grown man of sleep.The idea was to get at the children before their environments did.”
The project offers services to close to 2,000 S. Richmond students at five schools in the area and is divided into two main programs: Rise-Up (regular school-day intervention program), and Mindful Community (used in classrooms three days a week as a supplement to the regular school day).
There are just certain things that cannot be learned in the traditional way a school teaches them like by sitting at a school desk. This program recognizes and tires to give kids the tools they need to cope with anger, fear, rather than denying those feelings. Larochette explained, “something we relay to the kids is that life isn’t about happiness. We do experience happiness. We also experience all the other emotions and feelings that arise in us and we often try to avoid them as human beings. The negative feelings, supposedly.”
If you're interested in taking art therapy classes or pursuing a degree, you can find a great deal of information about the topic. This site offers you many ways to find out about the accredited locations in the States that can help you to learn more about art therapy.
On their site, they describe art therapy as the following: "Art therapy schools help students develop strong foundational skills that help them interpret art in a way that is more personal & therapeutic to the client. An art therapy school will assist the student in honing their artistic talents as well as their ability to interpret and analyze art and the process of creativity. If you want to become a professional art therapist, you will need to complete the appropriate Bachelor’s requirements in addition to completing the appropriate Masters Degree Requirements."
They list schools across the United States that will offer you the opportunity to learn about this therapy and to become certified in this area.
A unique metal art course is being offered by the New River Community and Technical College, Berkeley. Classes start at the beginning of October 2013 for a month and will be held on Tuesdays from 18:00 to 21:00. American Welding Society-certified welding educator Brad Veneri will be teaching the classes.
Tuition fees include all materials, use of machinery, some of the protective equipment, other classroom furniture used specific to metalwork requirements and more. Course administrators designed the program to be held in a fun – as well as safe – environment. Some of the special equipment used includes a plasma cutter and oxy-fuel torch. Each student will take something home that they made in the course.
If you're interested in art therapy conferences, the place to start is here. This up-to-the-minute website will help you to know where the next art therapy conferences are taking place and will help you to understand more about the unique nature of each conference. At the moment, they are advertising the following:
"American Art Therapy Association 45th Annual Conference
July 9-13, 2014 in San Antonio, TX
Art Therapy: Trailblazing the Future
We invite you to attend The American Art Therapy Association's 45th Annual Conference in San Antonio, July 9-13, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency San Antonio located on the River Walk.
The theme of the 45th Annual Conference, Art Therapy: Trailblazing the Future, will focus on the latest innovations in art therapy practice and cutting-edge research in the field. The conference will provide a forum for attendees to visualize what the future of art therapy can look like for both the therapist and the client. Presentations will bring together the latest theories and methods that demonstrate how art therapists can grow, become energized, and promote the profession of art therapy in a competitive environment.
This premier event offers dynamic educational sessions on the latest art therapy techniques and programs conducted by the field's leading credentialed art therapists, and information-packed plenary sessions featuring keynotes by nationally recognized experts. Excellent networking opportunities are infused throughout the conference to connect you to resources in the healthcare field that will help develop your career.
Who Should Attend? Art Therapists ▪ Artists ▪ Healthcare Professionals ▪ Veteran's Groups ▪ Educators ▪ Mental Health Professionals ▪ Therapists ▪ Counselors ▪ Researchers ▪ Graduate and Undergraduate Students ▪ Those interested in learning more about art therapy!"
Some would argue that one of the most difficult teaching positions is that of a substitute teacher. These teachers generally do not get an opportunity to get to know their students or integrate smoothly into a classroom. Instead, they alternate between classes which often lack discipline, with children who are stubborn or anxious. Children naturally test boundaries, and substitute teachers are forced to deal with this habit more often than others.
Teachers who substitute art classes are in for even more of a challenge. They are usually unfamiliar with the classroom and its materials, and often have no art experience themselves. One excellent idea for a substitute art class is personalizing student lockers. Children often struggle to fit in at school while maintaining a certain sense of self and self-expression.
Decorating a school lockers is a productive way to get creative and put a personal touch into a relatively monotonous school day. Paper chains, drawings, magnets and beads can all be used to spice up a locker’s interior. Photographs of family, pets and friends can also make great additions, as can favorite quotes or poems. Any substitute teacher can use this project to get to know a class, and to allow each student to express himself in a subtle but rewarding way.
Art therapy is a relatively new form of therapy that allows the patient to express himself through art. There are many types of art therapy with various psychologists and psychiatrists creating plans of action. The basic premise behind art therapy is that art can be a medium for expression and for working through feelings and issues as they arise; and for working through dormant issues from the past. The emphasis with art therapy isn’t on the actual artist process or product – rather it’s on the emotions that come through as the art work is being created.
Typically, the art therapist is there with the patient at all times, guiding the therapeutic process and helping the individual to find meaning in the art work that is being created. The therapist might select the size of the paper, the art that they want the patient to create during a given session and the materials that are used during the process. In contrast, it’s possible that the therapist will leave some of these decisions up to the patient. This could be part of the process. The therapist might ask the patient about why she chose the size paper that she did, why she selected to paint a bird or a beach, why she chose charcoal over crayons, etc.
Art therapy can take place in many locations. Certainly, some art therapy is offered in schools and students will sit in regular classroom chairs to do their work. Therapy can also be done at a person’s house, in a neutral location or even in a public space like a park. Typically, the therapist wants to create a private and safe space where the patient will feel comfortable and will be more likely to express inner thoughts and feelings.
Famous art therapist Dr. Ellen G. Horovitz explains her own experience with the task. As she said, “My responsibilities vary from job to job. It is wholly different when one works as a consultant or in an agency as opposed to private practice. In private practice, it becomes more complex and far reaching. If you are the primary therapist then your responsibilities can swing from the spectrum of social work to the primary care of the patient. This includes dovetailing with physicians, judges, family members, and sometimes even community members that might be important in the caretaking of the individual.”
Art therapy has become a very prevalent form of therapy in the schools and it is used as a therapeutic tool for children. Many children are drawn to the creativity that art allows, and art is a way in to the minds and needs of children and their expression.
Art therapy can benefit children with many issues including learning disabilities, speech, language problems, behavior issues and more. Art therapists work to diagnose problems students and to treat them individually.
When encouraging a child to start art therapy, it’s important for parents, teachers and the art therapist to couch the sessions with the right spin. They should explain that the art sessions are being used to encourage the child to express himself and to have private time in a safe environment with a professional who cares about them.
The art therapy sessions should take place in a private, safe environment. Certainly, if the school doesn’t have a private space, they can work at cafeteria tables or at school desks, assuming that others are not in that space. Certainly, if the art therapist has her own therapy space where she can keep the work of the student and create a warm, private environment, it would be best for everyone.
Exactly what the child draws during the sessions is far less important than how he feels about the drawings and how he interprets them. Church furniture might convey a feeling of isolation or glee for the child; an eagle might symbolize freedom or fear; a river might mean expression or thirst. It’s the job of the art therapist to draw out the emotions from the child and to help the child to express himself through the art form.
John Dewey was an American philosopher, psychologist and educational reformer. He was a prolific writer discussing many subjects including metaphysics, aesthetics, art, ethics, and more. One of his beliefs was that every person has within himself to become an artist. Each person is born with the ability to live an artful life of social interaction the betters and beautifies the world.
In Dewey’s book Art as Experience he cites an interesting paradox: people have a need to appreciate the “experiential” artifact, such as a statue or a painting, but those physical objects can become the tool to reach spiritual heights that transcend the physical.
Art classes, although filled with the physical objects of everyday life, such as folding chairs or podiums, give the students in them the ability to learn to express themselves in ways that transcend their normal lives. According to Dewey, art acts as experience. The process of inquiry, the search for meaning and its discovery, are transformative. Dewey explains that art communicates moral purpose and education.
In this quote from Art as Experience, Dewey states his belief in the connection between the mundane and everyday things in life, and the world of art and aesthetics:
“The task is to restore confidence between the refined and intensified forms of experience that are works of art and the everyday events, doings, and sufferings that are universally recognized to constitute experience.”
OK everyone- put down your mouse and run, don’t walk, away from your computer table! It’s time to do something completely different. Get yourselves to an art class!
Yes, an art class. Everyone, no matter how un-artistic they may feel, has a need of expression. The secret is to find the medium that suits each individual’s tastes, talents and time. As the great 20th century artist Picasso stated so succinctly:
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”
Art education can benefit a person at any age and in any stage in their life. The benefits are many, and not just to the individual, but also to the world in general. If we look back at the original meaning of the word ‘art,’ which comes from an Indo-European root meaning "arrangement" or "to arrange," then art can actually describe many things we do. It can be any creative skill that we either use of study; or it can be a product of that skill, and even the audience’s experience of that creative skill.
If we understand that art is the realized expression of an idea, then we can see why it might be so appealing, useful and basic to the human experience. So get involved- do art!
This amazing website offers 100 ways to use art therapy to make your mind and body sing. Here are just a few of their suggestions:Emotions
Deal with emotions like anger and sadness through these helpful exercises.
Furniture design has three main goals: the furniture must be functional, beautiful to look at, and designed to save space. No matter if it is bedroom furniture, living room furniture or school furniture, care should be taken to design the best possible furniture.
Whether artist or artisan, there is much that can be accomplished in furniture design by talented individuals. Furniture is the perfect medium for those that love to work with their hands: molding metal, sculpting wood, and adding beautifying, decorative finishes. In today’s world of mass-produced household objects, well-designed, functional and most of all, beautiful furniture is in demand.
Students taking furniture design courses can expect to become experts in interior design, melding sculpting, art history, leather curing, wood treatments, and ergonomic science and computer programs such as CAD. Furniture design courses really resemble fine arts courses, with work in studios, workshops, and factories. Finished pieces by students can either be used as prototypes for future production or as singular, unique pieces which can be bought by private collectors exactly the way fine art is purchased.
Although the field of furniture design is fiercely competitive, those who are the most creative and with the best skills can hope to achieve almost celebrity status as connoisseurs of fine art seek out the best in furniture design. Today’s top furniture designers are considered artists in every respect, and can ask prices for their art commensurate with their skill set.
It can be challenging to teach art to adults, maybe even more so than to children. Children have a natural desire to express themselves through art. Many children find the freedom of the art class a relief from the tension and constraints of their other subjects. Adults, on the other hand, are more rigid, and often feel lost without proscribed boundaries and specific instructions about what to do. They can feel pressure to make something “beautiful” or “functional” and often do not relax to allow themselves to just express themselves. How can a teacher overcome these obstacles with adult students?
Here are some tips to teach adults. Get out those folding chairs, have everyone sit down, and begin:
There are lots more ideas. Always remember that the greater the challenge and the more work put into overcoming that challenge, the bigger the reward. There might not be anything quite as rewarding as teaching adults to express themselves through art.
When clients attend art therapy programs, they are often coming from a world whereby they are not given the opportunity to make their own choices. They have been abused and told what to do, where to go, what to eat, etc. Thus those choosing to make educational art a part of their road to recovery should be given as many choices as possible – from what paintbrush to use to what classroom tables on which to make their creations.
Good art therapy programs thus seek to give their clients 100% artistic, psychological and practical ownership of their process and workspace. It is all about self-expression and returning to the self in whatever capacity that may take. In as much as possible, art therapy programs should focus on each student’s individuality. Indeed, the less people in each program, the better.
Art therapy can be an extremely positive way of facilitating the recovery process. But it is important to make sure one is in the right program for their particular needs. And all programs should be focused on the development and enhancement of self.
Even if it has been decades since you last said goodbye to your classroom desks and closed the school gates behind you, it is still not too late to take lessons. This time though, it is all about you and what you want to do. Take a creative art workshop –explore your hidden talents, regardless of your age.
When people study the fine arts, they are exposed to the core questions of life through form and content. Thus you get to really explore your own identity. You can follow your own personal inclination through a fun and enjoyable medium. Choose to paint, engage in photography, learn how to sculpture, become a potter and more.
If you have ever wanted to paint a portrait, use crayons to depict a nature scene, or make your very own mug, take an adult creative art course and see where it takes you. You never know – you might actually have some real hidden talents.