Faculty Member Val Sereno Presents at the American Society on Aging Conference

Val Sereno, faculty member in MPS Art Therapy, presented this past Monday at the American Society on Aging (ASA) conference in Chicago. There were over 2,000 mental health professionals in attendance at the Hyatt Regency.  Her workshop was a collaboration with two other psychologists – Britt Eksell, PhD, and Christiane Manzella, PhD – on Creativity as a Means to Expression of Emotions by Older Adults. Their workshop was well attended by 45 other professionals.  Val teaches Community Access to second-year students and one of the topics that is covered is advocating for the field.  This was a great opportunity for her to practice what she preaches!



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The New American Landscape

The Creative Arts Therapists of Color group will be holding an exhibition, The New American Landscape: Unearthing the American Unconscious, March 20-31 in the MPS Art Therapy Department’s 5th Floor Project Space Gallery at 132 West 21 Street in NYC.

A reception, performance, and artist panel discussion will be held Friday, March 24, from 5-9pm. These events are free and open to the public.


Posted in Alumni, Art, art galleries, Exhibition, Galleries, Professional Development

Last Chance: YOUR TURN Closes March 18

This week is the last chance to see YOUR TURN, MPS Art Therapy’s spring exhibition.

SVA Flatiron Gallery, 133 West 21st Street.

Monday- Friday 9am-7pm.

Saturday 10am-6 pm.

Free and open to the public.



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MoMA Touch Tour

As part of the 2nd year Community Access Through the Arts course, instructor Val Sereno took her class to the Museum of Modern Art for a presentation detailing MoMA’s Access Programs, and a demonstration of a Touch Tour. We’ve asked two students from the class to talk about this experience.


Image via https://www.moma.org/

Morgan Beard (Class of 2017): In the 2nd year Community Access class, students visited the Museum of Modern Art to meet with Francesca Rosenberg, the Director of Community, Access, and School Programs. She described the comprehensive and innovative means by which MoMA not only accommodates, but actively seeks to engage the community at large and visitors with disabilities. They believe in the power of art, and therefore, want to provide as many people as possible with a meaningful museum experience. This means pioneering the use of technologies such as audio guides with induction loops for the hearing impaired, video and teleconferencing seminars for seniors and touch and verbal description tours for the blind and partially-sighted. They make a genuine effort to creatively connect with the community in new and exciting ways.

Francesca then guided the class through a touch tour in the MoMA sculpture garden. Each student received a pair of thin plastic gloves through which to experience Pablo Picasso’s She-Goat (1950), a bronze sculpture of a goat that incorporates found objects into its skeleton, and Henri Matisse’s The Back, a four-piece series of bronze relief sculptures completed over the course of 23 years. As the students felt the varying textures and forms of Picasso’s goat, Francesca explained how she would use verbal description to create an overall image of the sculpture in the mind’s eye. The students experienced firsthand the reciprocal process by which verbal description and physical interaction with the forms themselves could generate a comprehensive understanding of the work. Touching the Matisse series provides an illustrative lesson in abstraction, as the reliefs represent a gradual decline in realism moving from left to right along the garden wall. The first relief is a highly realistic portrait of a female model’s back side. You can feel the definition of the musculature and flesh protruding from the smooth background. As you encounter each subsequent work, the forms loosen under your fingertips. What was once a realistic notion of the shoulder and upper back is now an indistinct, rectangular form. Comparing their experience to what it might be like for a blind or partially-sighted visitor, the students could appreciate the immense value provided by the ability to engage with the art through touch, a sense often taken for granted in an environment that privileges the visual.


Image via https://www.moma.org/

Jason Montalvo (Class of 2017):
While Art Therapy may possibly be understood as occurring within a therapeutic space or institution with an art therapist, being and invited and engaged by Francesca Rosenberg, Director of Community and Access Programs of the Museum of Modern Art, this is far from the case. It was enriching, motivating and inspiring as to how the MoMA recognizes not just the importance of art, but also the individual’s ability to experience. Be it at the Museum itself, an external educational, medical; psychiatric setting or even an institution for incarceration there is a drive, a passion that the MoMA carries in its community engagement. Regardless of an individual’s disability, the MoMA has sought to cater to all those by providing audio-assistance devices, variable font-sized guidebooks, and, the most awe-inspiring, guided-tours for the visually impaired or blind. For these individuals’, the museum has not only created and provide guidebooks in braille for the visually-impaired but also “Touch Tours,” for which I had the pleasure of experiencing. For those that are truly visually impaired, the tour provides an opportunity to have the individual experience the art-work through touch and verbal guidance, allowing for a visual image to be painted within the mind of the disabled tourist. In experiencing the tour myself, it was immensely humbling but also attuning. The art-work in itself took on a deeper meaning as I was able to physically scan Pablo Picasso’s “The She Goat,” and in addition other works. The contours, the materials, the piece all provided a deeper linkage to the art but also to the clients’ we as art therapists, and art therapists in training, truly seek to understand. In taking part with this rare opportunity, it contributes immensely to the future work we, artists or art therapists, seek to do.


Posted in Art, art galleries, Exhibition, Faculty, Galleries, In Class, Professional Development, Students

Narratives Grow Reception: Thursday, March 2, 6:30-8pm

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Posted in Alumni, Exhibition, Professional Development

YOUR TURN: On View Through March 18


The spring exhibition is an important part of the MPS Art Therapy curriculum, allowing students to consider ways to involve the community in their work.  Usually included as part of the students’ supervision class, this year it has been offered for the first time as an elective course.


Liz DelliCarpini, faculty member and curator of the Spring 2017 Exhibition, says, “Art therapists generally work within traditional confidential bounds.  The exhibition allows the students to work outside those bounds, incorporating the community in the process.  This allows for marginalized populations to feel seen, and to feel like they have a voice.”


For the past few years the exhibition has featured a participatory aspect.  The public is invited to engage with the art and to respond.  This allows for a sense of reciprocity between the public and the artists.


“I find this year’s exhibition to be particularly touching,” says Liz.  “For the public to communicate with the students and clients directly, and to possibly have a direct impact on their lives, is a very moving experience.”

The show will run through March 18 at the SVA Flatiron Gallery.


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Evolutions of Us

MPS Art Therapy’s Special Projects Program collaborates with a variety of populations throughout New York.  In their latest project, students work with the artists of the organization Being Neighborly.  Their work is exhibited in a show entitled “Evolutions of Us,” which is on view at SVA until March 10.

The Being Neighborly artists, formerly called the Healing Arts Initiative, are a group of self-taught artists. Twelve artists participated: Jenny Chan, Michael Johnson, El Kuumba, Ray Lopez, Linda Moses, Girl Negron, Georgia Redd, Aracelis Rivera, Vincent Salas, Cynthia Timms, Laura Anne Walker, and Lawrence Willoughby.  MPS Art Therapy students – Haylie Chang, Saeideh Golji, Laura Hetzel, Robert Huguenard, Andrea Juliano, Rebecca Rodas, and Gabby Simpson—worked with the artists to create work about their evolution as individuals and as a group.  They were assisted by Francis Palazzolo, of Being Neighborly, and Sheila Fontanive, an MPS Art Therapy alumnus.

The show is available to view by appointment.  Please contact [email protected] for more information.

MPS Art Therapy Students, Val Sereno, and Sheila Fontanive

Vincent Salas and his Shaman artwork

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YOUR TURN Opens Tonight!

Students and staff have been busy this week installing our annual Spring Exhibition, YOUR TURN, and it’s on-view for a sneak peek tonight, before it officially opens tomorrow. Please stop by if you can. The show will be up February 18-March 18; the opening reception will be Thursday, February 23, 6-8pm at SVA’s Flatiron Gallery, 133/141 West 21 Street, NYC.

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

Evolution of Us

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

Louise Nevelson: An Artist’s Life Informs Art Therapists

Friday, February 17, 2017, 6:30-8:00 pm

133/141 West 21st Street, Room 101C

Presenter: Laurie Wilson, PhD, LP, ATR-BC, HLM

Free to the public.  CEC’s available for ATR-BCs

A biographical study of Louise Nevelson reveals her search for identity through art-making and belief in the importance of creativity in everyone’s life. Like many art therapy clients, Nevelson began to draw and discovered in the process her unique self, capacity for original thinking, and expression of significant emotions.

Laurie Wilson, PhD, LP, ATR-BC, HLM, is Professor Emerita and former Director of NYU’s Graduate Art Therapy Program. She is currently the Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at The Institute for Psychoanalytic Education affiliated with NYU School of Medicine. She practices in New York City and has published widely in three fields: art therapy, art history, and psychoanalysis. Her books include Alberto Giacometti: Myth, Magic and the Man, and her most recent, Louise Nevelson. More info can be found here: lauriewilsonauthor.com.

Please RSVP

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