Sunday, April 22, 2007
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
I already have all of my art events, but today I had a meeting with an art therapist (it is something I am interested in pursuing) and thought I would talk/write about it here. To begin with, I will explain what art therapy is- or at least the core of it. Art in therapy is used (1) as a means to express emotions, work through problems, etc and (2) to prompt discussion- kind of like a prop to refer to when discussing feelings and problems.
In this meeting we looked at art from several patients of a free clinic. These patients were diagnosed with things like depression, schizophrenia, and organic illnesses (e.g., alcoholism). We talked about what these pieces can reveal or how they can be helpful in a therapy setting. One of the best examples of this was a comparison of 2 pieces by a woman with schizophrenia. One while she was on medication and another when she was not taking her medication. The differences were astounding. The pictures were of similar things- a star shaped figure smiling. However the piece when she was on her medication was neatly composed and orderly. The second piece was everywhere on the page and used several colors and many boxes within the shape. It was chaotic and busy. This shows visually the mental state of the woman in these separate instances.
2 pieces by a depressed woman were also very interesting. Both were self-portraits done in the same day. The first was very faintly drawn with pencil. The woman was normal in appearance and rather non-descript with flat affect. The second was produced immediately afterwards. This drawing was done with markers and was very colorful. The figure here appeared very angry, with the mouth open as if screaming and the arms flung wide. The interesting thing here (and a good example of how art can be used as a prompt) is that people with depression often experience a great sense of anger that they keep pushed down and the effort it takes to keep it down can result in depressive symptoms.
This meeting was very interesting because we got to see multiple pieces of work by the same individuals with mental disorders.
I was not sure how art and activism went together and I think that David LaMotte did a good job of answering this. To start the lecture he asked the audience what each part (artist and activism) of this topic was. Iain said that an artist is someone who uses their ideas to evoke a reaction from the viewer, positive or negative. David simplified artist to be someone who makes art. Then he defined activism as: “a doctrine or practice that emphasizes direct vigorous action” (which he got and abbreviated from Merriam-Webster online). Both art and activism involve action.
Next he talked about how art, especially music for him, should impact the audience in a way that evokes an emotion from them. He then talked about the activism- specifically his work with the P.E.G. Partners. P.E.G. is a non-profit organization that focuses on improving education in
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
Sunday, April 1, 2007
enough so people can step through it. Before they go through the dream catcher they will have paper that they can write or draw their negative thoughts and/or worries. They can then tie the paper to the webbing so it is "stuck" in the webbing and out of their minds. Then they step through and they are in a comfortable area. This area will have pillows and maybe a sleeping bag to prompt napping or just relaxing. There will also be music that is calming- I was thinking about possibly using Native American music. Also, I was thinking about putting a book inside to get feedback, or just for them to write what they thought or maybe even dreamed about while in the dream catcher.
Sketches coming momentarily....