Week 10: Art Therapist Conversations + Completing The Deliverable

Jun 02, 2023

Hello everyone! This was my last week on-site at RHAP and I had a meeting with an art therapist, which was incredibly informative and interesting. Let’s hop right in!

At RHAP, we went to Coffey Park to draw singular tree portraits. This was such a grounding way to end the year – together quietly drawing in nature. All the students were especially calm, which can sometimes be tricky with a varied age group. I love watching them sprawl out in the grass focused on their trees in the sun. It makes the community feel so connected when we are all relaxing together and being productive. It was such a beautiful day so I sat with all the students, many of whom kept telling me they would miss me next year – which I will take as a good sign! They talked about how much they loved this drawing class and could see how they progressed in skill. I am so glad I got to spend time in their classrooms, it was a truly amazing experience. 

My conversation with the art therapist, Deborah Rice, covered a lot of ground, most of which I dive into in my deliverable- which is almost complete! One thing she spoke a lot about, which stuck with me, was the idea of mastery. A student seeing how their technique has progressed and knowing that they truly mastered a particular material to the best of their abilities instills a sense of pride. It builds a student’s self-confidence. This was apparent to me in class when the students at RHAP flipped through their sketchbooks and spoke of how proud they were that they bettered themselves at drawing.  When I asked Debbie: why is creating visual art important for children? She responded with: “Art is a representation of self – by uplifting a student’s art, you uplift their sense of self”. I thought this was a beautiful way of expressing what I had been witnessing in my students. All their little victories and progressions were making everlasting impacts. 

I am wrapping up the final touches and edits on my deliverable, as well as beginning to dive into my slideshow. I will post updates as everything comes together!

4 Replies to “Week 10: Art Therapist Conversations + Completing The Deliverable”

  1. Michael Antonio B. says:

    This is really cool! Do you think that the environment in which children do their art plays a big impact on the therapy it provides?

    1. Katey B. says:

      Yes! I think the social setting can be distracting at times, but overall it helps the students build trust and empathy toward one another as they talk about/create their art! Art alone can be used more for self reflection as it is much more personal.

  2. Maren W. says:

    It’s amazing that you were able to meet with an art therapist. Did she mention anything about art therapy that surprised you or was it mostly in line with your observations?

    1. Katey B. says:

      A lot of what she said was in line with my observations, and if anything she help me put words to what I have been seeing! One thing we spoke about that surprised me was the use of art therapy in adults. Obviously, that is not related to my project in particular, but hearing about how it aids cancer patients, doctors, mothers and many more was incredibly interesting and empowering.

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