Walk with Me, the MPS Art Therapy 2018 exhibition, closes Saturday, March 3, 2018. The artwork on view was created by second-year MPS Art Therapy students and the people they work with at their internship sites. This year, the MPS Art Therapy department has included an elective class on exhibition as part of the second-year curriculum. We spoke with four of the students in the class about their experience with the exhibition process. The following is edited excerpts from that conversation.
Where did the title and theme “Walk with Me” come from? How did this process begin?
Haylie Chang: As part of the class, we went to different exhibitions throughout the city looking for new ideas and ways to involve our clients in the exhibition process.
Andrea Juliano: We wanted our clients to be able to tell the viewing audience about their journey, and to invite them to come along on that journey. We were looking for a title to convey that message, to evoke this shared experience.
Sally Jin: We discussed the title as a group and wanted to communicate this idea but also make sure that the audience has an active role, not to be a passive observer of the art.
What was it like to have this process be a part of a class?
HC: It was great that it was such a small group. We had a lot of group discussions that were really fruitful.
AJ: It made the process feel more organic, and less overwhelming with the rest of our schoolwork.
SJ: We had great readings. It was really helpful to read in-depth about social justice, social change, and the ethics of art installation. That really shaped this entire experience.
What was the most rewarding aspect? What was the experience of the opening reception like for you?
SJ: Definitely seeing the clients at the opening reception was by far the most rewarding aspect for me.
HC: It was very powerful and moving to see my clients feel supported by the entire community and not just by me.
How do you feel like this prepares you for your work as art therapists?
Glorianny Guzman: It is incredibly important to have the knowledge of ethics in art therapy exhibition. It would be a challenge to do this kind of work at every site, but I could see exhibition working very well and being incredibly powerful at many different sites.