Category Archives: therapy

i am my own home

I find it so inspiring to search out and discover what others are working on in the area of art and social change.   Lately I have joined a few groups that are talking about art therapy and arts for social change and am excited to learn and share with these new folks  (I will post links and ideas as they emerge).

Connecting with others encourages me to keep expanding my circles – understanding my local and global community – and also pushes me to focus in on what really makes my own heart sing.    Many of my posts have focused on what others are doing so today I thought I would share a bit about what I am up to.

Right now, I am involved in community-based art for social change project in Regina focused on homelessness for World Community Arts Day – Art as a Catalyst for Caring and Sharing (February 17).  I will blog about it more as the day arrives.

I am also creating my own work – focusing on the process of creating as a healing and meditative practice as well as exploring particular sociocultural issues that are embedded in my mind and body.

… the human-animal .. gender … sexuality…  created by me. no name

… emotion-body… the way our bodies process,  hold, and  emotion and experience…

created by me.  this is what grief looks like.

Today on the radio,  I heard someone say that “creativity is the common ground”  and I think that is part of the reason I am drawn to art.  Yes, we have constructed systems around art –   “high” and “low”, “art” and “craft” – and this may have merit in some circumstances and in some circles but when it comes down to it  …

creativity and expression, however manifested, is a dynamic way to share a bit of our souls and come to a deeper understanding of each other and ourselves .. and it can be a whole lot of fun too.

i feel ya friend. with all my heart.

So, my latest research and soul searching has led me to the world of (mostly Canadian) art therapy.  I have a deep interest in art as a tool for healing and expression – at the individual, group, and community level.   Art therapy is an absolutely amazing field with researchers, practitioners, and clients engaged in diverse ways of knowing, feeling, and working.   It is a widely practiced form of therapy and has its roots in various geographical places and theoretical frameworks.

photo: me. location: toronto public washroom.

The Canadian Art Therapy Association (C.A.T.A.) was founded in 1977 by Dr. Martin A. Fischer.   There are 3 schools in BC (Victoria, Vancouver, and Nelson), 2 in Quebec (a MA at Concordia – the only one in the country), one in Alberta, and one in Toronto – The Toronto site has a great introduction to art therapy and the Vancouver site has a great history of art therapy in Canada. And the Nelson site is very vibrant with a great list of resources!

I like this simple video because it shows examples of art created in an art therapy session … of course, there are all kinds of videos on youtube …not sure who created this video …

In my searching I came across a great project/organization called Art for People – a creation of Martine Bedard and Andy Holmes.  All about love, peace, creativity AND environmental awareness/sustainable art practices –  Art for People makes art, practices art therapy, and contributes to international art projects around the world.  Check out the fantastic pictures on their site about their bike ride with their family (2 little kids), their artist-in-residence experience, and a link to blog by Earle Birney who is headed into a 3 year peace retreat (along with a list of others).

Healing the body and soul through art, expression, and dialogue… a place to explore without all the words and  expectations … to explore the difficult or traumatic or joyful  with colour, line, shape, and movement … to be supported in creative expression … I guess that is one of the things that catches my attention about art therapy is that it is accessible to most, if not all …

photo credit: me . location: somewhere in san francisco.  thanks to the graffiti artist (unknown).

Feelings … sometimes hard to deal with … always necessary to process … and as “we are the doer, so can we undo” : Swami Radha.

peace out for now,



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