Welcome to Art and Healing Wednesday!
I attended a lecture at the medical school last week and a friend of mine whose son was at Children’s Hospital (on the campus with the medical school) told me to check out an art exhibit at the hospital. The art exhibit was done by children/young adults that are in the medical treatment program, a part of the Ponzio Creative Arts Therapy Program.
The exhibit was called Art-For-Life and it showcased, “one-of-a-kind artworks and performances by 23 students from the medical treatment program and 23 artist mentors”. The program pairs a student with an artist and they work collaboratively over a period of time. Beside the work of art is a picture of the pair and a statement about the impact the other person had on them. It’s a heartwarming display of collaboration and empowerment.
This year’s theme for the exhibit was “journey”; an appropriate theme for kids in a medical treatment program. Their lives are one continuous journey and all along the way they learn to live their lives within the parameters that are safe and healthy for their condition. It’s not about making concessions; it’s about living life with vim and vigor.
One of the artists, Sander, stated in his quote about his student, “…the process is interactive, inclusive, collaborative, and therapeutic in nature”. I read that and felt like I had just read a piece of prose by one of the great writers of our time. His experience of the collaborative art process was succinct, poignant, and heart-felt. This is the sense you get from all the artists participating in the program.
The key ingredient of this program lies in its inspiration: healing and mentorship. Wouldn’t you thrive if you had someone who was willing to walk the path with you and give you guidance along the way? Wouldn’t you thrive or excel if you had someone vested in your success? Wouldn’t you thrive if you created art that allowed you to express yourself freely without reservation?
Find someone who will accompany you on this journey. You don’t have to be a child for this to make a difference in your health, your attitude, and your relationships. I’ve spent my adult life serving as a partner in health for clients with chronic and life-threatening illness. I’ve utilized art as a means of ultimate self-expression in my own life and with clients. Don’t believe that you have to go it alone; there are plenty of people who will help you express yourself!