Save the Date: MPS Art Therapy Conference featuring Wangechi Mutu


Friday, September 11, 2015 at the SVA Theatre.

Registration info will be posted soon.

Images: Wangechi Mutu, The End of carrying All, film stills, 2015

Posted in Conference, Special Programs and Projects

‘Integrating Art Therapy and Yoga Therapy’ Book Launch Party: Saturday, June 20, 5-7pm


MPS Art Therapy alumna Karen Gibbons (Class of 2005) will be celebrating the publication of her new book, Integrating Art Therapy and Yoga Therapy: Yoga, Art and the Use of Intention, on Saturday, June 20, 5-7pm at the 440 Gallery at 440 6th Avenue (btw 9th and 10th Avenue), Brooklyn, NY.

Integrating Art Therapy and Yoga Therapy: Yoga, Art and the Use of Intention is published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, ISBN: 978-1-84905-782-0. Please join us in congratulating Karen on this achievement!

Posted in Alumni, Exhibition, Professional Development

3 Questions for Irene Rosner David, PhD, ATR-BC, LCAT

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1.You have taught both the Clinical Topics in Challenged Populations and the Clinical Topics in Trauma courses to second year students in the MPS Art Therapy program, how has your teaching impacted your clinical work as Director of Therapeutic Arts at Bellevue Hospital?
I think one area of professional life infiltrates and enriches the other; there is a natural back-and-forth rhythm. As an instructor at SVA I shape material so as to best inform about clinical issues and aspects of trauma. My work at Bellevue Hospital is the source from which the fountain of material flows, but there is a reciprocal benefit to my hospital work. The students’ interest and responses energize me, both in direct clinical work and in supervising staff. My teaching is a source of immense gratification, and I take this feeling to the hospital. The educational climate further widens my eyes, causes me to absorb even more so as to optimally teach my students.

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2. How has art therapy developed at Bellevue Hospital over the years?
When I began working at Bellevue in the early 1970s the creative arts were exclusively practiced with psychiatric populations. My position was in the medical division where previously only recreational activities had been offered to patients. From the beginning, I saw that disabled and traumatized patients benefitted from art activities in ways that were beyond diversional. Over time, I advocated for raising the bar and gradually engendered administrative support for the creative arts as therapy in medicine. This expanded and elevated art therapy to a substantive clinical service that contributes to effective coping with physical and cognitive impairment.

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3. Bellevue set up an Ebola Treatment Unit last year to treat people returning from West Africa. Can you talk about your experience with this, especially with regard to emotions evoked by staff at the hospital, as well as the potential for art therapy?
Working at a historic institution and major trauma center, one becomes accustomed to high profile cases and media appeal. In my experience over the years, whether at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, the resurgence of infectious tuberculosis or now with the threat of Ebola, we process our emotions without affecting patient care. For example, we have had an art therapy program in the TB isolation unit since the 1980s, without concern about contagion because we follow infection control guidelines. Clearly, patients with an ominous disease who are quarantined or isolated experience a range of emotions that can be addressed by art therapy. In the case of the patient with Ebola, only essential medical staff provided care, but I did pass along art materials via the critical care physicians.

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Irene Rosner David, PhD, ATR-BC, LCAT is a Director of Therapeutic Arts at the Bellevue Hospital Center, where she developed and implemented medical art therapy. She has also undertaken qualitative research on the benefits of art therapy for brain injured patients as it cultivates cognition. Irene organized an exhibition for the anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, which displayed works of art created by staff who experienced personal and institutional trauma, such as loss of loved ones, or re-deployment when the hospital was evacuated. She also curated annual art exhibitions for the anniversary of 9/11, including pieces created by patients in Bellevue’s WTC program. She is continually encouraged by the artistic and emotional expression her patients have developed under her care. Despite their disabilities and physical illnesses, her patients remain eager and invested. Irene has been a member of the MPS Art Therapy Department faculty since 2003.

Photos provided by Irene Rosner David.

Posted in Exhibition, Faculty, Professional Development

Alumni Exhibitions

Macarena_RufinFOTW FLYER

Macarena Rufin, ATR-BC, LCAT (Class of 2012)
FLY ON THE WALL is a rendering of the art psychotherapy process, communicated through film, music, photography and live improvisation. Viewers are invited to enter and explore the rendition, taking the visceral role of a “fly on the wall”. The client’s depicted in the work are both artists and “non-artists”, though its’ curators assert that all people have an artist within and are navigating this world artistically in some form or fashion. The goal of the exhibit is to highlight the relationship between client and art therapist using contemporary and multi-sensory modalities, furthering awareness of the field and practice of art therapy. The exhibit further strives to illuminate the client’s reflections and self-exploration of their artistic process, celebrating individuality and the uniqueness of their inner and outer experiences.



Show opening at the 440 GALLERY in the project space, June 4 – July 5, 2015. Opening Reception Saturday, June 6, 6-9pm.

Ellen Chuse, Karen Gibbons (Class of 2005), Nancy Lunsford
“Chronicles,” explores the process of myth, memory and exposition. Ellen Chuse’ work, “Little Jewels,” a series of small paintings hung in a grid, is the most abstract work in the exhibit. The colorful, jewel-like, seed imagery is a meditation on process and organic genesis. Karen Gibbons painted collages merge dream-like family photographs with animal imagery. The layered gem tones and gritty linear energy evoke a narrative mystery. Nancy Lunsford’s screen prints of vintage cars, a series called Memory Lane, are the most straightforward illustrative work in the show. Their sketchy simplicity, along with handwritten chronicles of cities visited by each car, transform the work into memoir.

Image Copyright © 2015 Karen Gibbons, All rights reserved.

Posted in Alumni, Exhibition, Professional Development

Art Therapy in Public Schools

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Marygrace Berberian’s Community Lecture from this past March, Art Therapy in Public Schools, has been posted to the MPS Art Therapy Vimeo page.

Posted in Professional Development, Special Programs and Projects

Bushwick Open Studios 2015


MPS Art Therapy program alum Sheila Fontanive (Class of 2011) will be exhibiting work along with members of her family as part of the Bushwick Open Studios, June 5-7, 2015.

There will be a reception for Relative Function on Saturday, June 6, 5-7pm at True Wheel/Juan Fontanive Studio, 1717 Troutman Street (between Irving & Knickerbocker Avenue), Suite 225, Ridgewood, NY.

Posted in Alumni, Exhibition, Professional Development

SAVE THE DATE: MPS Art Therapy Department Fall Conference 2015

Friday, September 11, 2015, 9am-4pm
SVA Theatre 333 West 33 Street, NYC

Special Guest Speaker: Wangechi Mutu

Additional speakers and panelists and registration information to be announced.

Posted in Alumni, Conference, Faculty, Professional Development, Special Programs and Projects, Students

Class of 2015 Thesis Presentations

Class of 2015
Thesis Presentations
Thesis Presentations

Posted in Faculty, In Class, Professional Development, Students

SVA @ Materials for the Arts

Field Trip! Last Wednesday Val Sereno’s Community Access class went to Materials for the Arts for a fun-filled tour and a demo on a DIY recycled paper project involving scrap paper, a blender, a window screen, and lots of colorful collage materials. Thank you John Kaiser and everybody at Materials for the Arts!

This project is especially elegant because it encourages reusing and recycling materials that are readily available in all our daily lives. Envelopes from junk mail, scrap pieces of felt and used file folders all go into the process. It is a fantastic lesson in the creativity that can come from resourcefulness!

Materials for the Arts has it going on—everything from artist residencies…to free workshops…to MFTA TV.

Below, students pass around pitchers of liquid paper pulp to pour over a mesh screen. This is definitely something you could do in your kitchen!

Pass the pulp please

Selecting collage materials like dried flowers, tissue paper, and magazines:

Choosing materials

Dried leaves have new life

Papermaking @ MFTA

The results are beautiful and colorful!

Handmade recycled paper

Posted in Faculty, In Class, Professional Development, Students, Uncategorized, Workshops

Art Therapy Outreach Center Client Exhibition

INsightOUT exhibition

Posted in Alumni, Exhibition, Faculty, Professional Development