Art can heal. It is more than creating something beautiful to hang on a wall; more than spreading paint on a canvas. It is an act of expression. Art tells a story when words fail.
The beauty of art is that anyone can create it. ChildSavers knows the impact of art both culturally and psychologically. We are fortunate to live in a community, like Richmond, that benefits from the involvement of many local artists. Having creatives in a community enriches it. Equally, teaching children to create and value art enriches their lives.
In this blog, we will talk about the power of art therapy and how our annual Artists Support ChildSavers Art Show raises awareness about children’s mental health.
What Art Therapy Does
The creative process that involves making art can even help a person to heal invisible wounds. Through art, children and adults can explore the emotions that are the most difficult to express. ChildSavers provides art therapy to many of our clients (ages 2 to 17). Art therapy is an evidenced-based practice that is indeed healing. But, how does it heal and what does it do?
According to the Art Therapy Association, art therapy involves a client, guided by a therapist, creating art to explore emotions and conflicts. This helps them to become more self-aware, and to find resolutions. It also helps in developing social skills, reducing anxiety, increasing self-esteem, and managing behavioral problems. The ultimate goal of art therapy is to restore a child’s well-being and function. It is especially good for children who have experienced a trauma such as abuse, the loss of a loved one, or neglect. Using art in therapy helps children become resilient, meaning it helps them become stronger and better enables them to recover from difficulties.
What Role Does Art Play at ChildSavers?
In our children’s mental health clinic, we have skilled, trauma-informed therapists who specialize in art therapy. The children who come to us often have difficulty verbalizing what they have experienced or what they are feeling. Art provides a creative, non-verbal way to reduce symptoms. However, art is not just in our programs and practice it also adorns our walls.
ChildSavers is a gallery unto itself. Filled with dozens of works of art, children who come for outpatient mental health services see beautiful, bold works of art that inspire and enchant. Just take a walk down our halls and you will encounter oil paintings of fish, birds, cows, and trucks. You will see mixed-media works of golden and blue cities, neighborhoods and children at play, and so much more. Our collection is one that not only demonstrates our understanding of the power of art but also shows the support of the creative community.
Artists Support Children’s Mental Health
Many of the pieces in our collection are on loan or donated. A percentage of the sale of some of the works in our collection goes towards our services, like art-therapy. Not only do the artists whose work is on display support children in our community but also it gives children a chance to experience art they would have otherwise not have gotten to see. Further, the artists in our community participate in an annual art show and sale to ensure that children in our community get access to mental health and the adults who care for preschool children get the professional development and support services they need to provide quality care.
The Artists Support ChildSavers Show
For the past eight years, ChildSavers’ major event, the Artists Support ChildSavers Show, has involved the sale of art and tickets to support our programs. We are fortunate to partner with glavé kocen gallery on October 20th, 6 – 9 PM to show the works of over 40 artists. Among them are Diego Sanchez, Monica Rao, Matt Lively, Steve Hedberg, Ed Trask, Frankie Slaughter, Jeromyah Jones, Chuck Larivey, Alex Nyerges, and many others. Each of these artists has expressed the impact of mental health in their lives be it themselves or a loved one. Each of these artists knows the power of art to heal.