BOOK SHOW, December 7-January 6


Posted in Art, art galleries, Exhibition, Galleries, In Class, Students

Downtown & Chelsea Gallery Shows

Jeffrey Deitch Gallery: Ai WeiWei: Laundromat



“Laundromat is an extraordinary exhibition project that addresses the current refugee crisis. The exhibition focuses on the refugee camp at Idomeni on the border of Greece and FYROM, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.”

18 Wooster Street
Tuesday-Saturday, 12-6 PM
Ends December 23rd

SHRINE: Andrew Ondrejcak: FREE!


“Here is the series of new drawings by Andrew Ondrejcak, who has obsessively documented the shards of a broken mirror found while in residence at Yaddo.

Not just in America, but all across the world, life seems to be hovering at the boiling point and overcome with a fractured and polarized air. Ondrejcak and SHRINE offer a small gift: an exhibition with no intention of profit, but instead, an attempt to connect despite these feelings of brokenness.

The found mirror fragments have been rendered in charcoal and pastel on paper. Rather than considering them as objects destined for the trash, Ondrejcak lovingly observed and documented each piece. Smudges, fingerprints and traces of the artist’s hand are clearly visible, and the sharpness of the original fragments has been negated in translation. By giving away these drawings, Ondrejcak quietly links himself to the viewers. Individuals will leave with a piece of a larger whole- a tangible representation of our communal brokenness and interconnectivity. Like it or not, and no matter what the current climate, we are all in this together.”

191 Henry Street
Wednesday-Sunday, 12 – 6 PM
Ends December 9th

Klein Sun Gallery​: LIU BOLIN: ART HACKER​


“Klein Sun Gallery is proud to announce Art Hacker, a solo exhibition by the world-renowned Chinese artist Liu Bolin.

​The exhibition marks Liu Bolin’s shift towards the virtual world, exploring this new territory artistically through Post-Internet Art. This new body of work consists of appropriations of classical Masterpieces — da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Picasso’s Guernica — juxtaposed with a photograph of the devastating impact of the Tianjin explosions. Using complicated and precise hand-painted camouflage, Liu Bolin painstakingly recreates these images with scores of human subjects as his canvas. Through various methods, Liu Bolin’s new photographs have replaced the three subjects on numerous websites, which were targeted with image-search results on Google and Baidu, thus realizing the Hacker project. Neon installations of the URLs exhibited throughout the gallery pound home the transitory and delicate nature of the internet.

Recreating the imagery of human suffering and devastation of war symbolized in the painting Guernica, Liu Bolin’s relives the history of the Spanish civil war, making a plea for humanity and freedom. In Mona Lisa (2016), Liu Bolin imbeds himself into the masterpiece as well as its historical legacy. Touching upon the fact that the work was stolen from the Louvre more than 100 years ago, Liu Bolin aims to reenact the “disappearing and reappearing” of the work through techniques behind the network. Provocatively challenging the viewer to question what is above and beneath the surface, the work intends to reflect upon the complex relationship between the past and the present, the reality and the illusion, as well as individuality and history.

Not only utilizing and analyzing the impact of the Internet, Liu Bolin also delves into other aspects in digital realm, blurring the boundary between art and technology evident in his installation Livestream Vest (2016). Attaching multiple smartphones onto a life jacket, the artist turns on the front cameras for unstoppable live-streaming. Reflecting and broadcasting what is happening while moving around, Liu Bolin merges into the environment mirrored on the vest. The work, therefore, becomes a quasi-invisible jacket wherein the artist turns into part of the social environment.

Employing physical and hyperlinked images, the exhibition explores the theme of illusionism. Actively “disappearing and reappearing,” Liu Bolin issues an urgency through his works. Engaging with both online and offline formats, the artist foregrounds the man-made, the fabricated, and the deceptive, through which he probes into the mass production and circulation of information, and also questions where the power lies in today’s ubiquitous networking.​”​

525 West 22nd Street
Monday-Saturday, 10AM – 6PM
Ends December 23rd

Jack Shainman Gallery​: Carrie Mae Weems: All the Boys​



​”​All the Boys (2016) responds to the recent killings of young African American men and suggests a darker reality of identity construction. Portraits of black men in hooded sweatshirts are matched with text panels. The written descriptions evoke police reports, underscoring how a demographic is all-too-often targeted and presumed guilty by a system plagued with prejudice.

Taken as a whole, the exhibition demonstrates that visual representation is ultimately performance: a tightly composed, laborious narrative. It takes serious work to unravel and refocus the greater dialogue toward inclusivity and acceptance. To look closely—past the bright lights, illusions, and constructions—is the first, crucial step.​”​

513 West 20th Street
Tuesday-Saturday 10am-6pm
Ends December 10th
Text and images compiled by Julia Volonts (MPS Class of 2017).

Posted in Art, Exhibition, Galleries

Reflecting on SVA’s 32nd Annual Art Therapy Conference

Reflecting on the Art Therapy Conference

This year for our annual conference, keynote speaker Pablo Helguera shared wisdom about socially engaged art, speaking against a purely altruistic approach and encouraging a productive conflict, while also warning about the risks of conflict or failure when you are working with people. In the afternoon, four workshops were offered for conference-goers to attend and participate in an experience that might expand the boundaries on social engagement.


Pablo Helguera and Barbara Ellmann Workshop
The participants were asked to participate in a mock gallery opening setting and mingle with others based on a persona or occupation they were given. Secret adjectives were then taped to the participants backs where others were allowed to read and respond to the person with the inclusion of this quality.
“The workshop with Pablo and Barbara was an informative experience on how stigma can influence and inform an interpersonal experience. Within the mock gallery opening setting, it was a challenge to have a conversation with someone while trying to inform them of the quality that was displayed on their back. It required me to force a reaction to the quality/adjective they were unaware of. It brought up issues of stigmas to class, occupation, race, and gender that made it uncomfortable for me to spark conversation with others. It caused me to tap into the wider society’s stance of that kind of person and become someone I am not inherently comfortable with. Pablo did say the experience would make us uncomfortable but I am glad that it happened in a community of other art therapists and people with like-minded intuitions. If I were to lead the workshop, I would have put the unknown quality on the person’s forehead and given a more specific mock setting (waiting room in a hospital, watching a sports event, attending a political rally… something to spark conversation about and utilize it to spin your persona around). ”
~ SVA Student, Dana Hillebrand

Melissa Malzkuhn Workshop
A “Visual Narrative” workshop offered to participants in American Sign Language. Melissa presented technology she has created to engage children in the deaf community.
“She was intelligent and funny and did a great job of keeping the crowd engaged. I was happy to sit in on a lecture on a topic of which I know nothing about. Melissa is certainly a major force in her field and it was a pleasure to hear about how her passions and work align. I assisted Melissa with setup and the timing of her lecture.”
~ SVA Student, Francesca DeBiaso

Miriam Simun Workshop
Participants were invited to smell a scent while tasting food and engage in how the experience challenged their relationship to food and the memories they hold or invoke.
“It was a really interesting experience. I felt that her Ghostfood project was really multidimensional, in that it made us react both personally and globally to the experience. The scent of chocolate milk brought up my personal memories of being a kid, and the artificially scented dolls and stuffed animals meant to smell of chocolate that I used to play with as a child. The experience of trying to create these tastes also made me reflect on the future of the world, and the future of the people who will inhabit it. Right now, the idea of drinking chocolate milk and eating peanut butter using a strange contraption sounds absolutely outrageous, but as global warming worsens and the state of different ecosystems begins to be permanently damaged, these foods might not be available, and people may not be able to have similar experiences as us. Miriam’s project, on the whole, becomes a personal reflection on the self and global warming.”
~ SVA Student, Aline Filipe

Todd Shalom Workshop
A participatory walk around the Highline in NYC that introduced attendees to new ways to read and respond to their surroundings in a collaborative investigation of the everyday. Various techniques from other art forms, including photography, poetry, movement, and sound, were used to shape and alter perspectives. Technical concerns, such as encouraging participation, forming a compelling narrative, and designing a walk route were also covered.


Posted in Uncategorized

Neighborhood Gallery Shows

Just steps away from the SVA Westside campus, these Chelsea galleries feature artists that create work surrounding themes relevant to the creative arts therapy field. Check them out to learn more!

Mitchell-Innes & Nash Gallery: GCC – Positive Pathways


The exhibition, which includes installation, wall sculptures and sound, focuses on the increasingly pervasive trend of Healthy Living and Positive Lifestyles gaining momentum in the Middle East. In particular, GCC explores the ways in which these lifestyle attitudes are appropriated, employed, and transformed as part of a greater political mechanism.

The exhibition at Mitchell-Innes & Nash expands upon GCC’s 2016 project at the most recent Berlin Biennale, a sculptural installation of a woman and child. The woman is performing a Quantum Touch exercise, a non-contact touch therapy that became popular in the West in the late 1990s, on a boy as they stand on sand surrounded by a running track. The work, from where the exhibition borrows its title Positive Pathways (+), focuses on the ways that the positive energy movement and body healing practitioners have become co-opted by governments in the region – such as the creation of new ministerial positions like the UAE’s Ministry of Happiness, and the emergence of life coaches and Feng Shui consultants employed by hereditary leaders. Also on view will be a set of sculptural reliefs created using Thermoforming, a commonly used industrial process where thermoplastic sheets are heated and formed on a mold. The reliefs are based on 3D renderings of stills taken from YouTube videos and images found online of regional practitioners promoting the positive energy movement. Ranging from politicians to social media celebrities to TV clerics, these individuals utilize the Positive Energy attitude as a base for state policy. Referring to the erasure and creation of cultural myths, these reliefs create narratives of the present, a mechanism of both nation building and the politics of cultural extinction and creation.

534 West 26th Street
Hours: M-F, 10am-6pm
Ends November 23rd

Ricco Maresca Gallery
: Marcos Bontempo – Light and Dark

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Marcos Bontempo’s painterly universe seems to emerge from the timeless space of dreams and nightmares. His images possess the lingering immediacy of apparitions and the malleability of poetic language. Forms often wrestle the latent possibility of disintegration, never losing their mysterious presence as markings on a surface; they remind us of the spellbinding power of the artist’s hand, of alternate worlds emerging out of thin air. Exorcising pain and summoning beauty are here inextricable, yet they meet bravely in a dance where wonderment is preserved intact. “Light and Dark,” presents a selection of Bontempo’s recent body of work reflecting the symbolic role of these two extremes in the artist’s practice, where recurrent themes (kindness and brutality, presence and emptiness, entrapment and freedom) all stem from the fundamental dichotomy of life and death. Somewhere in between, creativity occurs as a kind of active chiaroscuro, where the artist contends with his obsessions through phases of lucidness and uncertainty.

Bontempo, the fourth of seven children, was born in Córdoba, Argentina in 1969. His family migrated permanently to Ronda, Spain in the mid-1970s, following the Argentine coup d’état that would drive the country into an era of neo-fascist military dictatorship. The artist’s strict Catholic upbringing—where lessons were enforced through profoundly rooted notions of guilt—is a conceivable underpinning of his restless visual reverie and impulsive output. Bontempo is, in fact, a kind of present-day Romantic character, so vitally implicated with his work we could dare visualize that in addition to neurotransmitters and electrical synapses, his mind is made of his working materials: ink, acrylic paint, oxidized iron, and shimmering salt. Days and nights revolve around the artist’s studio, which is the nucleus that connects him to the world and to himself. Congruently, the work tends to synch with these cycles of light and dark.

529 West 20th Street, 3rd Floor
Hours: T- F,10am-6pm & S, 11am-6pm
Ends November 26th

Calvin Morris Gallery: Leonard Daley & Ras Dizzy – The Bush Have Ears


Ras Dizzy (1932- 2008) and Leonard Daley (1930- 2006) are two of the most important painters to emerge from the second generation of self-taught Jamaican artists born from 1930 to 1949, including Albert Zion, Evadney Cruickshank, Kingsley Thomas, Albert Artwell, and others.

Rastafarianism began to change Jamaican culture in 1930. Many artists were not actually Rastas, but they adopted many of the philosophical outlooks and the cultural resistance of the Rasta movement, similar to the way the counter-culture of the sixties affected lifestyles world-wide without everyone necessarily becoming hippies.

Jamaicans growing up in this time were enveloped in post-slavery and post-colonial issues and religions, such as Revival and Kumina (a Kongo-based religion begun in Jamaica by post-slavery indentured servants). Many Jamaicans emigrated to Panama and England to work, and and those who returned found less than desirable economic conditions. Despite outlawing Obeah (Jamaican hoodoo), the colonial powers in Jamaica were not as successful as the white Americans in suppressing African and pan-African spiritual impulses. Rastafarianism incorporated many Kumina customs in its tenets and lifestyles.

210 11th Ave, Suite 201
Hours: T- F,10am-6pm & S, 11am-6pm
Ends November 23rd

Text and images compiled by Julia Volonts (MPS Class of 2017).

Posted in Exhibition, Professional Development, Students

TRANS + SEXUALITY: Sexualities and the Erotic in Trans Communities Symposium

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Faculty member SJ Langer will be presenting at the symposium:

Accommodating for Bodies by SJ Langer, LCSW-R
How do we have sex with a body that does not function in the way we internally see ourselves? How can we position our bodies when parts are in the way or not there? This presentation will discuss the intersections between Trans* studies and Disability Studies and what we can learn from each other to accommodate for bodies that do not look or function in “traditional” ways. What is the psychotherapist’s role in exploring these aspects of the body and the psychological barriers which arise and complicate this conundrum such as gender trauma, sexual abuse and other trauma history? By using case material and research literature, this talk will explore the obstacles and creative solutions trans* people are inventing to more fully embody their sex lives.

More info:

Posted in Faculty, Professional Development

New Theories for Understanding Gender

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In this lecture, SJ Langer will begin by applying and expanding Gallagher’s theories concerning body image and body schema to the concept of gender broadly and to transgender experience specifically. The locations within the self and consciousness where the domains of gender identity and gender expression reside will be established drawing from psychology, gender studies, philosophy and neuroscience. In deepening the understanding of how transgender self-awareness functions, this lecture will explore the concepts of Polanyi’s tacit knowledge, embodied metaphors and phantom limbs. This will reveal how one comes to know the various elements of gender as a fundamental aspect of the self. Ultimately this formulation will reveal gender as an algorithm. There is a gender sum the individual is working towards through transition and the lifespan. The elements of the equation are malleable as long as the sum is achieved through the interplay between gender identity and expression. This formulation, which implements interdisciplinary theories, develops a more profound understanding of trans* experience and how that can direct clinical practice.

SJ Langer, LCSW-R is a writer and psychotherapist in private practice in New York City with a BFA from School of Visual Arts and an MSW from New York University. He is on the Executive Committee for the Psychotherapy Center for Gender and Sexuality at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy and the planning committees for the PCGS & the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference. His academic articles explore transgender, bodies, language, trauma and clinical work.

Please RSVP.

Posted in Faculty, Professional Development, Special Programs and Projects



Last week, Val Sereno took her Multicultural Issues in Art Therapy class to the Museum of Modern Art to view the Insecurities: Tracing Displacement and Shelter exhibition.


From the MoMA website:

For over 60 million persons in the world today, shelter is defined through constant movement or escape. Insecurities: Tracing Displacement and Shelter explores the ways in which contemporary architecture and design have addressed notions of shelter in light of global refugee emergencies. From the strengthening of international borders to the logistics of mobile housing systems, how we understand shelter is ultimately defined through an engagement with security. Refugee camps, once considered temporary settlements, have become sites through which to examine how human rights intersect with the making of cities. Bringing together projects by architects, designers, and artists, working in a range of mediums and scales, that respond to the complex circumstances brought about by forced displacement, the exhibition focuses on conditions that disrupt conventional images of the built environment.


In conjunction with the exhibit, has posted essays about migrants, immigration, Eurpoe, Syria, and the impacts of globalization.

Posted in Exhibition, In Class, International, Professional Development, Students

Information Session for Prospective Applicants: Saturday, October 15, 12-2pm

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A large group information session for prospective applicants is scheduled for Saturday, October 15, 12-2pm at 132 West 21st Street (between Sixth & Seventh Avenue), 3rd floor. RSVP here.

Posted in Alumni, Faculty, Professional Development, Students


inside-and-out (1)

Inside and Out: Artwork Created by People Incarcerated on Rikers Island
Exhibition Reception: Wednesday, October 5, 6-8pm

132 West 21 Street, 5th Floor Project Space

Posted in Alumni, Exhibition, Professional Development, Special Programs and Projects, Students

Community Lecture: Dreams as Art Productions of the Psyche: A Jungian Perspective

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Friday, October 14, 6:30-8pm
Dreams as Art Productions of the Psyche: A Jungian Perspective
Anne Flynn, LP

133/141 West 21 Street, Room 101C
Lectures are FREE to the public. CEC’s available for ATR-BC’s.

Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist who was at the forefront of the psychoanalytic movement, is often thought of as the father of art therapy. He used art making as a way to access the innermost recesses of the psyche and famously said “Often the hands know how to solve a riddle with which the intellect has wrestled in vain.” He also used dreams to access the same unconscious material. What do art making and dreaming have in common? What do they share and how might they differ? Both are composed of images – primary productions of the psyche that, if attended to, promote the movement of unconscious material into conscious awareness, where it can then be examined, processed and integrated, resulting in a fuller, more balanced personality. In this lecture, we will learn how a Jungian analytical psychologist works with dreams to assist patients in gaining insight into the workings of the unconscious. We will draw a line between looking at dreams and looking at artwork produced in therapy. We will then use Jung’s method to work with our own images produced through an art experiential.

Anne Flynn, LP is a certified Jungian analyst and licensed psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City, with a particular interest in creativity and imagination, and the role they play within the relational context. She also holds masters degrees in art therapy and fine arts/painting. In an earlier life she was an attorney, but now believes that may have been a dream, and understands it accordingly

Please RSVP.

Posted in Alumni, Professional Development, Special Programs and Projects