Posts Tagged ‘peace paper project’

Make Paper, Make Peace

March 22, 2016

Earlier this month Drew Matott and I taught another Peace Paper papermaking, trauma intervention and social action course- this one for Counseling and Art Therapy graduate students at Ursuline College.  It was fun to teach together again over 2 days and introduce the 26 students we had to the therapeutic benefits of papermaking.

Make Paper, Make Peace | creativity in motionMake Paper, Make Peace | creativity in motion

Students were introduced to the work and travels of Peace Paper, its history and mission to collaborate with the art therapy community, and a variety of examples about how papermaking can be used with many different populations- especially in relationship to trauma, loss, & recovery, as well as bring awareness to issues related to mental health, sexual assault, and bullying.

Make Paper, Make Peace | creativity in motion

Students made lots of paper over the course of the workshop– probably at least 150 sheets (!) and experimented with pulp printing, double couching, and book binding.  Paper was first made using Peace Paper’s Hollander Beater from meaningful articles of clothing or a piece of fabric that students brought and wanted to transform into paper… as a new beginning or as an act of letting go of something.  Students also were introduced to DIY papermaking without the use of a Hollander, to explore adaptable options in the art therapy setting.

Make Paper, Make Peace | creativity in motion

What a great couple of days making paper with this group!

If you’re interested in Peace Paper’s trainings and workshops throughout the rest of 2016, check out the tour schedule here.  News about Peace Paper and resources for papermaking can be found here.

Make paper, make peace!

Related Posts

When It’s Hot…Make Some Paper!

Nepalese Style Peace Paper On the Go

Peacemaking & DIY Papermaking

 

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art. speak. heal: Honoring Veteran Stories

January 13, 2014

It is an honor to be helping Ursuline College’s Art Therapy and Counseling Program with this February event:

art. speak.heal: Honoring Veteran StoriesUrsuline College’s Graduate Art Therapy and Counseling Program, in collaboration with Cuyahoga Community College’s Division of Arts and Sciences, announces its 14th annual arts and healing exhibition at Tri-C Gallery East. This year the exhibition, art. speak. heal: Honoring Veteran Stories will focus on veterans, their families, and the creative arts.  The exhibit is also co-sponsored by the Buckeye Art Therapy Association and Cleveland Foundation.

 Submitting art work for this exhibition is open until January 23 and 24.  More information about entering art can be found here.

I’ve been helping with getting works from the Peace Paper Project for the show and grateful to Drew and Margaret for sending some of the handmade paper made in 2013 Veteran Paper Workshops:

“Veteran Paper Workshop provides veterans with hand papermaking as a vehicle for self-expression and healing. Peace Paper Project facilitates Veteran Paper Workshop in collaboration with Art Therapists and Recreation Therapists to ensure that veterans experience the benefits of hand papermaking in supportive environments. Participants are invited to reconstitute their military uniforms into paper.”

art. speak. heal: Honoring Veteran Stories | creativity in motion

2013 Peace Paper

Also included in this exhibit are the work of two Florida State University art therapy students who helped host the Peace Paper Veteran workshop Drew, Margaret, and I facilitated in 2012 on campus for the FSU Department of Art Education/Art Therapy, FSU College Veteran Association and FSU Veteran’s Center.

Rachel Mims, a FSU art therapy graduate student and US Army Veteran contributed Peace Paper she made from her military uniforms and then overlayed with pulp printing of images from her training and deployment:

Rachel Mims (2012) Peace Paper: 2003 Deployment

Rachel Mims (2012) Peace Paper: 2003 Deployment

Rachel also submitted her very first art journal, a space that she used to cope with and manage her emotions and experiences related to her Medical Discharge from the Army and coping with life changing injuries she sustained during her service:

I used this art journal to help me get through all the difficult emotions that arose when I realized that my injury was not healing and I would be disabled for the rest of my life; this was the same time that my medical discharge from the Army began. I was supposed to lead by example but being injured meant I could not do most of what was required of me; this was very difficult for me mentally and emotionally – instead of being a great leader I was suddenly worthless (in the eyes of the Army at least!). The journal was my way of dealing with the difficult days and encouraging myself to keep going!”

Rachel Mims Art Journal Pages (2011)

Rachel Mims Art Journal Pages (2011)

Now in her Art Therapy Internship at FSU, Rachel, alongside with a music therapist will be providing student veterans with free music and art therapy as part of a project she’s helped create called The Veteran Creative Arts Therapy Initiative.

Meredith McMackin, a doctoral student in FSU’s Art Therapy Program, also submitted an image for the Ursuline/Tri-C Exhibit that she created during Peace Paper’s FSU workshop that honored her son who was killed in Iraq in 2007. Her handmade paper was made from the cloth of the dress she bought for his memorial service.

Titled Release, Meredith openly shares this in the piece’s powerful statement:

“…Cutting the dress into small squares, I released them into a vessel of water, which fed into a machine that slowly ground the fibers down to pulp.  I felt a sense of ease and peace watching the fibers dissolve the tightness of painful memories and float freely in the cleansing water…. The finished piece symbolizes my son’s release into spirit as well as my own transformation inspired by his self-less gift of life.”

You can read more about Meredith and her commitment to providing workshops at the FSU Veteran’s Center, as well as serving as a trained Peer Mentor for the Tragedies Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) in these two links. Meredith and Rachel are also presenting a workshop on Paper Making as Trauma Intervention for PTSD with Veterans at the 2014 Florida Art Therapy Association in early February.  It is inspiring to see the work of Peace Paper continue in the art therapy community!

Much gratitude to Drew & Margaret of Peace Paper, Rachel, and Meredith for contributing art for this exhibition, as well as sharing the personal stories and inspiring work behind the images that will be on display.  If you are in the NE Ohio area, the exhibit will be open through March 6 at Tri-C’s Gallery on the Eastern Campus. The Massillon Museum, The National Museum of Veterans Art, the Louis Stokes VA Medical Hospital, and more will also be part of this year’s exhibit.

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In addition to the art exhibition opening on February 13, there will be a free community lecture that evening by David Peacock, Therapeutic Director of Valor Home in Akron, Ohio and on the following day, a panel about the value and availability of arts and healing programs for veterans and families will be offered, as well as expressive therapies workshops.

I’m also honored to be part of the panel discussion to speak more about The Peace Paper Project, as well as offer a creative workshop with Art Therapist Laurel Larson, MPS, ATR who works for Volunteers of America in collaboration with the Cleveland VA providing art therapy services at the Veteran’s Domiciliary in Wade Park.

Our workshop on February 14, In Honor, Service, and Mission: Artist Challenge Coins (ACCs) is inspired by the tradition of Challenge Coins, commonly used in the military and within service organizations. A challenge coin is a small coin or medallion symbolizing achievement, membership, or recognition, as well as given to increase morale and community among belonging members.  In the spirit of Challenge Coins, workshop participants will create and exchange mixed media ACCs as tokens of affirmation, service, strength, gratitude, and encouragement.

art. speak. heal: Honoring Veteran Stories | creativity in motion

My Artist Challenge Coins (ACCs)

There will also be additional expressive therapies workshops to choose from focused on drama, creative writing,  storytelling, and healing facilitated by Expressive Therapist Dr. Lisa Peacock of the Women Warrior Project and Vet Art Ohio, as well as Dr. Shianne Eagelheart, LIC, Founder of The Redbird Center for Healing.  If you are a professional looking for continuing education, CEUs will be available.  To register, download the workshop form here.

I hope if you are in the NE Ohio area, you will join us to attend this special event on February 13 & 14 or visit the exhibit while it is on display.

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Related Posts:

Peace Paper: Papermaking, Art Therapy, and Social Action On the Move in 2012

Peacemaking & DIY Papermaking

Releasing and Reforming

Advocacy & Empowerment through Art: Social Action and Trauma Informed Care

June 23, 2013

The last couple of days I’ve been teaching a workshop at Ursuline College with the Master of Arts in Art Therapy and Counseling Program focused on advocacy, empowerment, and the intersection of social action with trauma informed care through art-making.

Students were introduced to how creative expression through art therapy helps provide a safe place & voice for women & youth survivors of domestic violence, families living with homelessness, as well as the role of art-making for empowerment, peacemaking, craftivism and social action.

In addition to presenting about my art therapy work, the workshop’s content also included students learning about A Window Between World’s #icanwecan crowdsourcing campaign to create awareness and show support through art for ending violence and abuse against women. Students created their own pledge hands with messages of advocacy and empowerment inspired by this project, a population or cause in mental health they want to help empower.

Advocacy & Empowerment through Art: Social Action and Trauma Informed Care | creativity in motion

Pledge Hands of Empowerment & Advocacy

Students were also able to Skype with Drew & Margaret of Peace Paper to learn more about their current activities and projects using papermaking for transformation, trauma intervention, and empowerment, including Panty Pulping, working with survivors of domestic violence, military sexual trauma, and mental health advocacy.

Advocacy & Empowerment through Art: Social Action and Trauma Informed Care | creativity in motion

Peace Paper Project speaks to the class

Peacemaking through art was addressed through also presenting my group work with youth to explore concepts related to bullying, how to become a peacemaker, and art’s role in exploring conflict resolution.  Students also were introduced to Franck de las MercedesPriority Boxes Art Project and its role in activating messages of hope, love, and peace through art.

Our workshop ended with exploring the inspiring world of craftivism and Operative recruiting for Operation Sock Monkey and an upcoming mission for Russian children in orphanages and hospitals…we’ll be sending a delegation!

Advocacy & Empowerment through Art: Social Action and Trauma Informed Care | creativity in motion

OSM mission accepted!

If you’re interested in learning more about these topics, here are some helpful resources to check out:

It was great to spend these two days sharing my work and exploring these topics & projects with this group of graduate students. I look forward to reading and learning how each of the students incorporate the ideas and information presented in their assignments and future experiences!

Related Posts:

On the Go: Change, Transformation & Action through Art

Peace Begins with Me: Creating Peacemakers through Creativity

Survivor’s Hand: Finding Safety through Art #ICANWECAN

Peacemaking and DIY Papermaking

INOCENTE: A Young Girl’s Story of Homelessness and the Transformative Power of Art

Special Delivery- The Priority Mail Art Project

Peacemaking & DIY Papermaking

September 15, 2012

Inspired by my work with and the mission of Peace Paper, over the last few months I have been incorporating handmade papermaking with some of my art therapy work with youth who have been impacted by trauma and loss.

One way we used the transformative process of papermaking over the last few months included expressing some of the emotional burden of experiencing or witnessing someone being bullied. Youth ages 6-12 created and then tore up images and hurtful messages about bullying to destroy in a blender for pulping.  The pulp from this was then used to form new sheets of handmade paper that would become decorated as Peace Flags.  The process of destructing the negative & re-constructing it into something positive was really powerful.  The Peace Flags also served as a visual reminder and a way to dialogue about how each of us can choose to engage in peaceful and less hurtful behavior with one another.

Below is a short video I created about this process:

If you’re interested in learning more about the papermaking steps I implemented, feel free to check out this DIY Papermaking How-to Sheet that you can save, download, or print out through SlideShare:

Also check out the work of Peace Paper, their papermaking tools, tutorials, and resources at www.peacepaperproject.org.

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