Last week I had some art therapy fun while visiting Wisconsin again. My first stop was a return to Edgewood College in Madison to spend some creative time with Janice Havlena and her students (ECATS- Edgewood College Art Therapy Students). Since my last visit to Edgewood’s campus in 2011, the art therapy department is now part of a brand new building (The Stream!), which includes an amazing papermaking and mixed media studio inside and a beautiful view of Lake Wingra outside.
During this visit, I facilitated an art-making workshop with the ECATS focused on making a mini book of strengths. Janice had a great stash of abandoned art slides, which we re-purposed into an accordion style book. The plastic slide mount surface was also perfect to introduce the joy of playing with alcohol inks! :)
If you want to learn more about how to create your own accordion slide mount book, check out this past post.
Identifying a variety of strengths were explored on the altered “pages” of the slide mounts , inspired by these Signature Strengths. Remembering and activating our strengths can be a helpful way to empower us in times of challenge and distress.
It was awesome to witness the student’s books take form with these positive reminders. Many thanks to Janice and all the students for hanging out and making art together!
After my visit at Edgewood College, I headed to Milwaukee to attend this year’s Spring Art Therapy Symposium, The Image Has It: Art, Practice, and the Brain at Mount Mary University, also sponsored by the Wisconsin Art Therapy Association. The Symposium’s keynote featured Lukasz Konopka, MD & Chris Belkofer PhD, ATR-BC who spoke about their neuroscience research and its implications for art therapy.
I also attended a variety of other inspiring art therapy presentations from Noel L’Esperance, Lori Mackey, Lynn Kapitan, and Bruce Moon…
I was excited to be able to offer a workshop introducing trauma-informed themes, prompts, and the use of art journaling as a safe, contained space for nurturing and strengthening emotional resilience. We made mini-art journals (also an accordion book style!) to safely contain inside a matchbox to explore the importance of social support and community:
If you want to create your own mini matchbox art journal, here’s a simple how to PDF that you can download and print out:
I really had a nice time while in Wisconsin on these art therapy adventures! I’ve returned with new inspiration and energy, which is always a great win-win!
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