It’s taken me a couple of weeks to decompress and get into gear again after attending the 2015 American Art Therapy Association Conference in Minneapolis, but I wanted to share some of the memorable moments from the week– it was a schedule full of learning, presenting, re-connecting, meeting new faces, & inspiration that was well spent.
Here’s my Top 10 Memorable Moments (in no particular order):
1. The Art Therapy Parade of awesome pioneer and inspiring art therapists that was creatively handcrafted by the Local Arrangements Committee for the Opening Session. Wow– this was great!
2. Temple Grandin’s Keynote on neurobiological functioning & information processing. Dr. Grandin offered an inspiring lecture highlighting the sensory based value of art-making & creative expression with visual and “bottom up” thinking- and its unique role in helping make sense of information and experiences. Learn more here from her book “Thinking in Pictures”. Really enjoyed the opportunity to meet Dr. Grandin as well!
3. So many great educational sessions to take in, not enough time to see everything! Honorable mentions include the Edith Kramer Legacy and Decolonizing Art Therapy: Social Justice & New Paradigms of Care Plenaries.
4. Tribute to Don Jones with Art is Life is Art by Bruce Moon- Earlier in 2015, the art therapy community mourned the passing of Buckeye Art Therapy Association Founder and all around amazing art therapy pioneer Don Jones. During the AATA conference there were special moments to celebrate Don’s life and important contributions to the field, which also included being one of AATA’s co-founders and early President. Highlights from Art is Life is Art reviewing Don’s life was a beautiful and heartfelt tribute to Don’s spirit, life, and work among a community of friends & colleagues who miss and cherish him so much!
5. Mary Tyler Moore Statue- An offsite break to Minneapolis’ Mary Tyler Moore Statue was a must go to site after a day of conference attending- only a few blocks away.
6. #AATA2015 photos with friends & colleagues and following conference live tweeting and activity on social media.
7. Standing room only @ our paper making panel about trauma & transformation and work with Peace Paper- Many thanks to everyone who was able to attend and to my panel colleagues! It was great to share our experiences and the therapeutic uses of paper making as part of the conference program– and see all the interest in this process! Thank you to Drew & Margaret who gifted us with hundreds of sheets of limited edition handmade paper especially made for conference attendees to take home with them.
8. Creative Deed 365 Minneapolis– I’ll be sharing more soon about this artful event as part of my monthly posting about this 365 project, but this was definitely a fun part of my conference experience this year— leaving creative deeds, receiving creative deeds, and seeing the discovery of creative deeds by other attendees. :)
9. Arts & Crafts Marketplace– The Marketplace was packed full of wonderful handmade goods and art by art therapists available for purchase! I scored much creative goodness with buying a series of Lani Gerity’s morning pages (yay!):
10. Time to Refresh & Renew- Spending time in presentations, making art, meeting up with friends & colleagues, as well as making new connections and taking in all things art therapy was great to be around on many levels. All the collective work and service that continues to be done on behalf of art therapy is inspiring to take in and be a part of.
In wrapping up this post, I’ll leave with this Edith Kramer quote and featured in her legacy plenary session:
“Making art is my destiny- art therapy is my beloved profession.”