Risa Wellness Project@THEARC Hosts Art Therapy Open Studio Sessions

In February, the Risa Wellness Project@THEARC held four Tuesday evening art therapy open studio sessions. Participants used various media to express themselves through intentional artwork in a relaxed group setting.

Each session was introduced with a prompt and concluded with introductions, sharing of artwork, and each group member setting an intention for the week.

Week 1:
Use magazine cut-outs and mixed media to find images and words to arrange into two collages: one that represents how you think people see and know you most as, and one that represents how you see and know yourself to be. Explore and consider: what do we share most with others, and what do we keep more private and intimate to ourselves?

Week 2:
Use tissue paper collage within two mandala (circle) shapes to explore the essence of the love we give to ourselves and the love we extend outward. Allow yourself to pick colors intuitively and notice the way tissue paper bleeds and blends into layers of color. Use mixed media and reflective writing to further explore the nature of self love and love extended outward. What are the similarities and distinctions?

Week 3:
Use mixed media to create an expressive self portrait. Use symbols, color, line, shape, words and images to explore the theme of the self. What does your artwork say about you?

Week 4:
Use the wet-on-wet watercolor painting method to create a mandala that honors someone important to you/someone you admire, and a mandala that reflects what you have gained within yourself from relationship with that person. Observe the paint bleeding together and allow your thoughts, reflections, and memories to wander with the flow of the paint. Explore using color and tone to represent attributes and feelings. Who is influential in your life and how do you see their influence within you?

THEARC received wonderful feedback from families and saw¬†participants return week after week. We’re grateful to the staff from the Washington School for Girls and Turner Elementary School, who joined in the effort as well.