Transforming Space

Transforming Space, an elective class taught by MPS Art Therapy Department Chair Deborah Farber, is a mini-course designed to offer a deeper understanding of material and method used in art therapy by focusing on long-term projects and non-traditional materials. Unique media interventions including experimentation with dyeing, scale, embellishing, and use of regressive and natural materials are utilized to foster active engagement through exploration of innovative visual narratives.

This class was taught this semester for the first time to MPS Art Therapy students.

Projects were offered that combined diverse modalities such as poetry and building, theater and art, life narratives expressed through creation of objects, and investigating processes of dyeing and painting with found objects.

This non-credit elective class is offered to both first-year and second-year students.

Posted in Art, In Class, Students, Workshops

Community Lecture Series: Art of Autism – Beyond Etiology, Friday, April 14, 6:30-8pm

Join MPS Art Therapy next Friday, April 14,

for our final Community Lecture of the Spring 2017 semester!

This lecture will discuss the latest research on the etiology of autism and later explores treatment plans using Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) and Art Therapy. This talk will feature how Art Therapy can promote communication, emotional growth, social interaction and channel autistic behavior into expressive and creative outlet. Parental perspectives and how to support families affected with autism will conclude this lecture.

Lukas Prokes, PsyD, graduated from SVA with an MPS in Art Therapy and continued with his education in Los Angeles receiving his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (PsyD). Mr. Prokes divides his time between private clinical practice and as a founder of a non-profit organization The Half Full Institute Inc. As the director of Clinical Services, Mr. Prokes works closely and collaboratively with parents, teachers, students and administrators to tailor programs to the specific needs of each child, family, and school. His work in the public school system of NYC focuses developing tailored therapy for students and families struggling with the challenges of autism. In addition to his clinical work at the organization, Mr. Prokes helps The Half Full Institute find opportunities to work other non-profit organizations to create stronger and healthier individuals and communities through music, theater and art.

April 14, 2017


133/141 West 21st Street, Room 101C

Free and Open to the Public, CEC’s Available for ATR-BCs

Posted in Alumni, Professional Development, Special Programs and Projects

The Face of Hidden Leaders: Opening Reception April 6

Join us in celebrating the talents and work of featured young artists in this collaborative exhibition.

Opening Reception: Thursday, April 6, 5-7pm

Friends and Family Reception: Friday, April 7, 5-7pm

132 West 21 Street, 5th Floor

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

Loving Human Kindness: Opening Reception Thursday, April 6

Join us for the opening reception of Loving Human Kindness, an alumni-curated show on view from April 1-21.

Reception is April 6, 7-9pm, 132 West 21st Street, 5th Floor Project Space Studio.

Email [email protected] to make an appointment for additional viewing times.

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

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Each Spring semester, the 2nd year Community Access Through the Arts class visits Materials For The Arts, located in Long Island City, NYC.

Materials for the Arts is New York’s premiere reuse center, providing a way for companies and individuals to donate unneeded supplies to thousands of nonprofit organizations with arts programming and public schools. We offer a wide variety of events, workshops, and classes to help people see and experience creative reuse up close.

Director of Education, John Kaiser, gave students a tour of the MFTA space, which included galleries, an artist-in-residence studio, workshop rooms, and the massive room devoted to donated materials and their distribution. After the tour, students participated in an art-making workshop using recycled materials, facilitated by Kaiser.

Thanks to John Kaiser, MFTA, and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs for the important and inspiring work that you do.

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

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!



Posted in Uncategorized

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.



Posted in Uncategorized

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.


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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.


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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