MySelf: Artwork and writings created by people incarcerated on Rikers Island


Additional viewing hours by appointment (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm), please contact [email protected] or 212.592.2610 to schedule.

Posted in Alumni, Art, art galleries, Exhibition, Galleries, Professional Development, Special Programs and Projects

Fall 2018 Art Therapy Continuing Education Courses

SVA MPS Art Therapy is offering two continuing education courses in the Fall 2018 semester:

Art Therapy as a Career

Thursdays, September 20-October 11, 2018


4 sessions, 1 CEU, $150

Instructor: Jennifer Tedesco, ATR-BC, LCAT

This course will provide an overview of careers in the field of art therapy. Topics will include: the history and theoretical foundations of art therapy; methods and materials; art development, assessment and diagnosis; the use of art therapy in a professional and community setting. Sessions will consist of lectures as well as art experientials.

Register in advance.

Studio Art Therapy

Fridays, October 19-November 9, 2018


4 sessions, 1 CEU, $150

Instructor: Ayde Rayas, ATR-BC, LCAT

Join other art therapists and artists in studio work that is designed to heighten perception and sensory awareness. Combining an open studio and thematic approach, experientials will be used to explore personal and artistic identity, as well as facilitate an understanding of the art-making processes art therapists employ with clients. While designed for art therapists, the course is open to all, and geared to help tap into your inherent creativity.

Register in advance.


Please contact [email protected] or [email protected] with any questions.

Posted in Uncategorized

SAVE THE DATE! Valery Daniels Memorial Lecture, September 27, 2018


Valery Daniels Memorial Lecture, Featuring Presenter Ellen Speert

Thursday, September 27, 6:30-8pm

More Information Coming Soon

Posted in Uncategorized

MPS Art Therapy in Cork

The exchange between SVA and Crawford College of Art and Design (CCAD) of Cork Institute came to an end this week. On Monday SVA students visited Cork University Hospital where art therapist Angela Carrazza facilitated a studio visit. Angela explained her therapeutic approach and experience with the inpatient mental health population, detailing her open studio process and phenomenological practices. Later that day lecturer Catherine Phillips facilitated a workshop focused on reflexivity. Catherine encouraged students to look at their processes of self-reflection through art-making; an idea that seems to be a core component of the art therapy program at CCAD. SVA students used this workshop to gain a greater understanding of the art therapy training at CCAD, as well as a means to process the exchange experience.

On Tuesday, the final day of the exchange, students attended a lecture by art therapist Mary Bergin. Mary shared her theoretical approach and case vignettes to describe her work with children coping with separation of their parents. Mary’s trauma informed and client centered approach seemed to resonate with the training of SVA students. In closing Louise Foott, head of the Arts and Health in Education department of CCAD, facilitated a final workshop for SVA students. Louise led students in art-making to express what they had learned from the exchange. The visual feedback included a greater knowledge of Irish culture, a new understanding of deeply creative training of art therapy at CCAD as well as personal knowledge for participating students. The workshop ended with a group experiential using natural materials. This offered students a chance to reflect on the recent experience while embodying Ireland’s reveraence and appreciation for the natural environment, a theme which was apparent throughout the exchange. Students joined on one page, drawing with sand and other materials in a peaceful session that felt apt for closure. Overall this exchange has allowed a unique collaboration and exchange of ideas between two unique, yet similar, groups of art therapists in training.

Written and compiled by Jenny Asaro (MPS Class of 2019).

Posted in Art, Faculty, In Class, International, Professional Development, Students, Workshops

SVA in Cork, Ireland: Observation and Art Therapy

Last week SVA students in Cork had the opportunity to connect with their new environment in a variety of ways. At the beginning of the eco-art therapy workshop with Suzie Cahn students were encouraged to ground themselves in their senses, allowing a greater connection with the environment that would soon be used for art-making. Suzie also shared the importance of nature in historic Irish culture; an important principle that has clearly informed her work. Participants of the workshop spent time exploring a small area of Spike Island, silently creating artwork from natural materials in the vicinity. Everyone seemed to embark on their own journey in this experience, as reflected in a gestalt writing exercise led by Suzie to process the artwork. Some participants shared insightful narratives about their artwork, whereas others shared descriptive prose.

Life Drawing with Helen Farrell

From this workshop we can understand that each person experiences their environment differently; a theme that continued as SVA students participated in two daysof life drawing classes. The classes were led by Helen Farrell, PhD, a Cork based artist. Helen focused on a phenomenological approach to drawing and encouraged students to truly observe the model with the environment in order to further connect with the space and expand a visual vocabulary of drawing. The class included gesture drawings, blind contour drawings and extended arm drawings; each exercise offered a unique product for each SVA student. Looking at each student’s vastly different responses to the same model and environment suggests the unique personal experience that each student has; an idea that extends to the unique experiences that will be found in future therapeutic relationships with clients.

Written and compiled by Jenny Asaro.  Artwork by Jennifer James.

Posted in Uncategorized

SVA in Cork, Ireland: Eco Art Therapy

On the third day of the Summer 2018 International Exchange Program, SVA students took a trip to Spike Island and participated in an Eco Art Therapy workshop. Art Therapist Suzie Cahn facilitated the workshop using natural materials in the wilderness of Spike Island. After the workshop, students explored the island as well as the nearby town of Cobh.

Suzie Cahn and SVA students engaged in an Eco Art Therapy workshop

SVA students and staff on the ferry to Spike Island

Posted in Uncategorized

SVA in Cork

SVA students began the exchange program in Cork, Ireland on Monday with a warm welcome from the Crawford Art and Design College of Cork Institute (CCAD). The program began with a lecture by Marianne Adams, an art therapist practicing in West Cork. Marianne presented on a chapter she wrote for an edited book, titled “Keeper of the Hearth.” This chapter explores ancient Irish culture in the context of a case study. Marianne’s lecture enlivened the spiritual and cultural history of her country through the lens of Melanie Klein’s object relations theory. The presentation was rich in metaphor and centered around the significance of the hearth as a symbol of the home and inner fire in Irish culture. Traditionally peat from the earth is used to feed the hearth’s flame; Marianne explained this practice as “literally burning history” and used that concept to refer to an archaeology of the self. This idea was important in her case study to explore the many layers of personal history that may be displayed in working with a client. These metaphors and symbols were a lovely way for SVA students to begin to understand Irish culture.

The lecture provided the catalyst for a workshop facilitated by Marianne. Students were invited into the studio of CCAD to reflect on themes that arose in the preceding lecture via art-making. Marianne allowed students space to explore their own layers of personal history related to different states of being, while gently guiding the experience to provide comfort. Artwork ranged from paintings, to collage and three-dimensional work. The workshop felt genuine and insightful, as the SVA group was able to experience themselves in a novel context through a new lens.

Text by Jenny Asaro (Class of 2019); Photos by Art Therapy Department

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

#CONNECTED Panel Discussion: Monday, June 11, 5:30-7pm

#CONNECTED Panel Discussion
Monday, June 11, 5:30-7pm
132 West 21 Street, 3rd Floor
FREE to the public, please RSVP to [email protected].

Art therapists and art therapy interns from Counseling In Schools will participate in an interactive panel discussion addressing the collaborative art exhibition #CONNECTED, clinical creative arts therapy in schools and this therapeutic exhibition process. The challenges connected to supporting digital natives will be addressed as well as how the themes of privacy/confidentiality, relationship-building, and education show up within the work. The panel discussion will run for approximately 40 minutes and then open up for questions. It will close with an art directive that reflects some of the work exhibited.

Panelists include:
Amanda Smith, LCAT-LP
Ingrid Mellor, ATR-BC, LCAT
Amanda Steerman, ATR-BC, LCAT
Alanna Miller, LCAT-LP
Tamara Sagar, Art Therapy Intern
Rivka Polisky, Art Therapy Intern
Christine Howell, MHC-LP, Moderator

#CONNECTED is on exhibit June 2-14 in the MPS Art Therapy Department at 132 West 21 Street, 5th Floor Gallery.

Additional viewing times by appointment, please contact 212.592.2610 /[email protected] to schedule.

Posted in Alumni, Art, art galleries, Exhibition, Galleries, Professional Development, Special Programs and Projects, Students

Summer 2018 International Program Works with AHRC NYC

On the final day of the exchange program students went on a site visit to AHRC NYC as a follow-up to a special project earlier in the program. AHRC is an organization dedicated to providing support to adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Last week a group from AHRC participated in a mask-making group at SVA; this week SVA and CIT students participated in an art making workshop onsite at AHRC. The workshop involved the use of recycled materials and tinfoil to create a collaborative mixed media piece, with students and AHRC members working side-by-side.

Mixed Media with AHRC NYC

The workshop felt like a lovely close to a rich week of events and lectures. As the art-making experience was facilitated by a program director at AHRC, students were able to ease into artist roles and casually collaborate with the entire group. The workshop ended with display of the collaborative artwork; all participants gathered to admire the work and photograph the finished piece. The student group returned to SVA for a farewell dinner as an official close to the program. Students were able to share reflections on the course and time in New York, as well as excitement for the upcoming Cork component. Overall the experience was an enriching one, laying the groundwork for further exchange of ideas and methods from CIT.

SVA and CIT students working with AHRC clients

Written and compiled by SVA MPS Art Therapy first-year student Jenny Asaro.

Posted in Faculty, In Class, International, Professional Development, Special Programs and Projects, Students, Workshops

Summer 2018 International Program Visits The Foundation Center and the Joyce Theater

The Summer 2018 International Exchange program continues through this week.  First-year MPS Art Therapy student Jenny Asaro writes about some of the events and workshops from last week’s program:

On Friday night faculty and students from SVA and CIT gathered to enjoy a taste of NYC culture: Parsons Dance at the Joyce Theater. Parsons Dance is a contemporary American dance company, founded in 1985 and named after creative director David Parsons. The performance offered an eclectic range of music and dance; ranging from Mozart and ballet to more contemporary jazz and Indian percussion. Between performances our group exchanged thoughts; some were surprised by the initial classical themes and most were pleased to see the more contemporary works. One work in particular, Ma Maison, was striking–dancers wore bold costumes complete with white gloves, jazz shoes and bedazzled skull masks. The piece wrapped together New Orleans Jazz, dark overtones and comedic elements to communicate the history of culture that is distinctly NOLA. The variety of works within the performance seemed to honor the diversity of the US and NYC, offering a unique cultural experience for our visitors from Ireland.

Earlier in the day students participated in an orientation to The Foundation Center and its databases, downtown near South Ferry. The Foundation Center is a nonprofit organization, dedicated to promoting philanthropy by providing resources for the community. Apart from enjoying to view across the water to Governor’s Island, students learned the ins and outs of grant research to supplement a previous lecture on grant writing. A close look at the program from Parsons Dance notes that the dance company is a successful example of philanthropy in action. The program lists support from both private and public funding, including a variety of trusts, foundations and even the National Endowment for the Arts. What a fitting way to end the first week of the SVA and CIT exchange!


Written and compiled by first-year MPS Art Therapy student Jenny Asaro

Posted in Faculty, In Class, International, Professional Development, Special Programs and Projects, Students, Workshops