3 Questions with Dana Hillebrand

3 Questions with SVA MPS Art Therapy Alum Dana Hillebrand, BFA, MPS, LCAT-LP
Dana Hillebrand, a recent MPS Art Therapy graduate at SVA, will be a featured panelist at the ReelAbilities Film Festival screening held at the Bellevue Hospital Saul Farber Auditorium on Friday March 9, 2018. Bellevue staff and outpatient clients will sit on the panel as well. Film screenings include ‘The Barber of Augusta” directed by Michèle Hozer, and 2018 Oscar winning “Heaven is a Traffic Jam of the 405” directed by Frank Stiefel. The screening begins at 1pm, with the panel following at 2:30 to 3pm. This event is free and open to the public. There is NO reservation needed, but seating is on a first come, first serve basis.

Dana Hillebrand on the ReelAbilities Film Festival: New York, a showcase of award-winning films by and about people with disabilities:

Can you explain what the event is about and why this type of discussion is needed within the art therapy community?
The ReelAbilities Film Festival is dedicated to promoting awareness of the struggles, strengths, and stories of people dealing with mental illness and disabilities. This kind of project was created in effort to increase the discussion about mental illness and disabilities via a medium most people engage in and enjoy everyday. The festival screens films by and about the marginalized population in various venues around a hosting city. New York City and Bellevue Health + Hospitals is an annual participant in the festival. The post-screening panel discussions, that I will be participating in, bring together the community to explore, discuss, embrace, understand, and celebrate the diversity of its members and leaders in the mental health awareness field. Two independent short films with be screened this year at Bellevue Health + Hospital’s event, one that was nominated for a 2018 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject. Both films are brilliant, tender, emotional, and inspiring.

This type of event is supported and at times facilitated by the Creative Arts Therapy field because it exemplifies the therapeutic empowerment that non-verbal and creative expression can provide. These public screenings also promote awareness within the families and communities of those struggling with mental illness or disabilities to deepen the support network needed to care for one another. The field of Creative Art Therapy as a whole should work together to prioritize and support public awareness events like the ReelAbilities festival to empower those in any form of need. This festival is just one great example of an event that the public can participate in for enjoyment and growth, and become one more voice that may respond more sensitively to the needs of those with mental illness and disability within their communities.

How has your training at SVA prepared you for this type of work?
My education at SVA prepared me to appreciate and promote public exhibition as an incredible tool and opportunity for marginalized populations to gain a voice. The annual exhibition that SVA facilitates with the students’ internship sites gives a voice to people who may have never had the opportunity to share their struggles with the public and actually receive a response in return. Through modeling and guidance from the staff and administration at SVA, I gained the agency needed to advocate for the Creative Arts Therapy field as well as its clients and patients.

What do you hope the community takes away from this event?
My hope is that the conversation facilitated by the screening and panel discussion might give the community some insight beyond the basic understanding that media and Hollywood portray as those with mental illness or disability. Films like Psycho, The Shining, Silence of the Lambs, and Split not only give an inaccurate and bleak picture of those illnesses but it exacerbates and propagates the public’s misconception and stigma of the population. This not only continues to isolate and marginalize those struggling with mental illness and disability, but it denies and ignores the important and crucial emotional needs and support that the population requires in order to thrive and be empowered within their community.

For more information about the ReelAbilities Film Festival and other films being showcased through the event, please visit: reelabilities.org/newyork

Interview conducted by MPS Art Therapy student KasMone’ Williams (Class of 2019).

Posted in 3 Questions, Alumni, Art, Professional Development, Students

Community Lecture Series: Creative Arts Therapies for the Military Population

Join us for our next Community Lecture Series:

Creative Arts Therapies for the Military Population!

Friday, March 16, 2018, 6:30-8pm

133 West 21st Street, Room 101C

CEC’s available for ATR-BCs

Posted in Professional Development, Special Programs and Projects

Upcoming Exhibitions: ‘Gifts From the Exiles’; ‘Creating…Balance’; ‘The Craftswomen’

Opening Friday, March 9:


March 12-16 at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center:


On view now in the SVA Flatiron Project Space:

Design by Dana Robinson

MFA Fine Arts presents “The Craftswomen,” curated by current student Sarah Malekzadeh. The show will be held at the SVA Flatiron Project Space, 133/141 West 21st Street from Monday, March 5, through Thursday, March 29, with an opening reception on Thursday, March 15, from 6:00 – 8:00pm.

When an artwork is described as craft-like, it is often as an attempt to diminish it or pay less for it, as craft-making is usually the arena of women. We are experiencing a craft renaissance, with women demanding to be taken seriously via the techniques and materials passed down from their female relatives and distant ancestors.

“The Craftswomen” will showcase a diverse range of bold, unapologetic craft. Handmade dolls hang from balloons, naturally dyed indigenous garments are used in a risk-taking performance, quilts become paintings and yarn is baked into bread. Despite their vast differences in materials and execution, each artist in this show inherently has something to say about womanhood by alluding to craft. The diversity in “The Craftswomen” is a testament to the enduring traditions and the exciting future possibilities of craft as an art form that is treated with the respect it deserves.

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

Walk with Me Closes Saturday, March 3, 2018

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.

Posted in Uncategorized

Creative Art Therapists of Color Exhibition: Gifts from the Exiles

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

Students Visit The Foundation Center

Community Access, a course for second-year MPS Art Therapy students, focuses on the professional role of an art therapist.  Knowledge of professional organizations, credentialing and licensure, public policy, advocating for the field and client advocacy are all explored.  As part of last week’s class, the students learned about grant writing at The Foundation Center in lower Manhattan.

From Left: Sally Jin, Alice Sohn, Michal Assif, Instructor Val Sereno, Erin Gibbons, Kate Pane, Sarah Lovett, Erica Morgo

Posted in Uncategorized

Last Week: SOCIAL CHANGE/FREEDOM; 2 Weeks Left: WALK WITH ME; John Ruggeri at SVA Flatiron Project Space

The SOCIAL CHANGE/FREEDOM zine show, featuring work by students at the Cooke School, will be closing Friday, February 23 at the MPS Art Therapy 132 West 21 Street 5th Floor Gallery. Please contact [email protected] or 212.592.2610 to schedule a viewing.






The MPS Art Therapy Spring Exhibition, Walk With Me, will be on view through Saturday, March 3 at the SVA Flatiron Gallery 133/141 West 21st Street. Free and open to the public Monday through Friday 9am-7pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, and is closed Sunday and federal holidays.

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1987: Drawings by John Ruggeri
Through Wednesday, February 28 at the SVA Flatiron Project Space, 133/141 West 21st Street, Ground Floor.

John Ruggeri

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

Select Current Exhibitions in Chelsea

Gallery: Pace Gallery537 W 24th St.

Exhibition: Louise Nevelson, “Black & White”, February 1st-March 3rd, 2018

Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10am-6pm

Photograph by Kerry Ryan McFate

Louise Nevelson is a pioneer of sculpture and site-specific installation. “Black & White” showcases a number of Nevelson’s iconic black and white painted wood sculptures, wall reliefs, and installations throughout her career.


Gallery: Andrew Kreps, 537 W 22nd St.

Exhibition: Barbara T. Smith, “Outside Chance”, January 18th-February 24th, 2018

Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10am-6pm

Untitled xeroxes by Smith

“Since the 1960s, Smith’s work has demonstrated an engagement with issues of spirituality, gender, and power, making vital contributions to both feminist discourse, and the history of West Coast performance art.  The works in this exhibition focus on her early use of technology and her engagement with the scientific community.”


Gallery: Gladstone, 515 W 24th St.

Exhibition: Kasper Bosmans, “Chip Log”, January 18th-February 24th, 2018

Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10am-6pm

Installation View

“For this exhibition, Bosmans investigates diverse cultural relics—taken from the realms of government, folk art, and technology—in order to establish new modes of reading the history of power and knowledge that linger in spaces between concept and material.”

Posted in Art, art galleries, Exhibition, Galleries

Opening Reception TONIGHT!

Walk with Me, MPS Art Therapy’s 2018 exhibition has it’s opening reception TONIGHT! SVA Flatiron Gallery, 133 West 21st Street.  6-8pm.

Posted in Uncategorized



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