Alumni Spotlight: Julia Culkin

MPS Art Therapy alum Julia Culkin (Class of 2016) was recently a featured member of the American Art Therapy Association:

Posted in Alumni, Professional Development

Spring 2019 Community Lecture Series Save the Dates


Friday, February 1, 2019, 6:30-8pm
Community Lecture Series: Psychic and Physical Clutter: Exploring How to Create Order Inside & Out
Kimberly Faulkner, ATR-BC, LCAT

Friday, March 15, 2019, 6:30-8pm
Community Lecture Series: Not in the Mood: Navigating the Therapeutic Space when the clinician is emotionally dysregulated
Sean Plunkett, ATR-BC, LCAT

Friday, April 12, 2019, 6:30-8pm
Community Lecture Series: Helping People Who Are Suffering
Sandra Buechler, PhD


Posted in Professional Development, Special Programs and Projects

MPS Art Therapy Information Session on Vimeo


A video of our most recent large group information session for prospective applicants has been posted to Vimeo. It consists of a panel discussion with students, alumni, and faculty of the MPS Art Therapy program; and a quick tour of the MySelf exhibition.

Community lectures and conference proceedings are also posted on our Vimeo page, feel free to take a look. Thanks to Sheila Fontanive (MPS Art Therapy Class of 2011) for filming, editing, and posting this work.

Posted in 3 Questions, Alumni, Art, art galleries, Conference, Exhibition, Faculty, Galleries, In Class, International, Professional Development, Special Programs and Projects, Students, Workshops

Video Art Therapy Workshop: Saturday, January 19, 12-3pm


This workshop is open to MPS Art Therapy students, SVA undergraduates, and prospective applicants to the MPS Art Therapy program at SVA. Please RSVP to [email protected]

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

Adapted Easels and Stories for Children: Child Art Development Class Show

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

Clay Sculptures

Clay is a very forgiving and easily manipulated material that is great to work with. Clay sculptures are edifices that have been used in cultures to tell stories, honor memories, and represent families. Today, the first-year MPS Art Therapy students created clay sculptures to represent themselves and their families.

The therapeutic value of clay relates to the physicality of the material. Because of how malleable it is, the creator can channel all of their emotions into pounding the clay, thereby releasing any negative emotions they had been holding inside. The constant handling of the clay can also be cathartic and relaxing for the creator. Clay can help us see something from various perspectives, literally and figuratively. Clay also helps to empower the creator by enabling them to manipulate their environment however they wish.

Posted in Art, Faculty, In Class, Students, Workshops

3 Questions with Tami Herzog-Rodriguez

Javier Duran (MPS Art Therapy Class of 2020), Adaptive art easel for a child with vision impairment

Tami Herzog-Rodriguez, PhD, ATR-BC, LCAT, teaches the Child Art Development course for first year MPS Art Therapy students. The focus of the course is to examine the physical, emotional and intellectual growth of children, as well as the psychological and environmental influences that impact development. Every year the students create and exhibit children’s books that address coping skills. This year there is an added element to the exhibition: adaptive art therapy materials created by students!

Can you share the process and materials required to create an adaptive art therapy easel?
The class learns how to create an adaptive easel using three basic materials; cardboard, glue, and a utility knife. Cardboard is affordable, safe, and durable. Therefore the class uses specific techniques to construct a basic easel using tri-wall cardboard. We go through the steps of measuring, cutting, bending, assembling, reinforcing, edging, sanding, and painting which I learned from the Adaptive Design Association in NYC. Then students customize the adaptation to meet the needs of a specific client and write a justification for their specific adaptation.  For example, one student added a base and straps which could attach the easel to the handles of a wheelchair.

What led you to introduce this method to the child art development class?
In class we study art therapy approaches for a range of physical and cognitive impairments. Yet there are many individuals with disabilities who simply are not able to participate in art therapy without adaptations. Ordering adaptive equipment from a catalogue is an expensive solution which may not fall within a program’s budget for art materials. Also, the adaptations purchased may not fit the unique needs of the individual. When art therapists know how design custom adaptations using widely available, low cost materials, they create an environment of inclusion.

How can the content of this experiential/class be applied to other populations?
While this project is designed for the Child Art Therapy course, creating an easel with tri-wall cardboard can be used for clients of all ages and abilities. The easel itself can be personalized and decorated with the client. The easel can hold a client’s artwork as well as their preferred art materials.

Interview conducted by Jenny Asaro (MPS Art Therapy Class of 2019)

Sarah Fine (Class of 2020)

The exhibition, Adapted Easels and Stories for Children: Child Art Development Class Show, will be exhibited December 5-19, 2018 in the 5th Floor Gallery space at 132 West 21 Street.

Throughout this course, students study ways to adapt art tools and processes for children of all ages and ability levels. The class creates and customizes adaptive easels using three basic materials: cardboard, glue, and utility knives. They also adapt stories by writing and illustrating books on difficult topics such as bereavement, hospitalization, and trauma.

Viewing Hours:

  • Thursday, December 6, 10am-12pm
  • Friday, December 7, 3-5pm
  • Saturday, December 8, 12-3pm
  • Monday, December 10, 3-5pm
  • Tuesday, December 11, 3-5pm
  • Wednesday, December 12, 3-5pm
  • Friday, December 14, 3-5pm
  • Monday, December 17, 3-5pm
  • Tuesday, December 18, 3-5pm
  • Or by appointment, please contact [email protected] or 212.592.2610 to schedule.
Posted in 3 Questions, Art, art galleries, Exhibition, Faculty, Galleries, In Class, Professional Development, Students, Workshops

Welcome to Our World: Saturday, December 8, 12-3pm


The young people of Artistic Noise invite you to their Holiday Pop-Up Shop and collaborative mural installation. Collaboration involves offering the youth creative opportunities to assume leadership and receive social support. Artistic Noise is a private nonprofit that exists to bring the freedom and power of artistic practice to young people who are incarcerated, on probation, or otherwise involved in the justice system.

Saturday, December 8, 2018, 12-3pm
SVA MPS Art Therapy 132 West 21 Street 5th Floor Studio Space

Youth artists: Samantha, Arianna, Khadijah, Gennesis, Savio, Carlos, Kevin, Ivan, Eleiona, Joe

MPS Art Therapy students: Simi Shukla, KasMone’ Williams, Jennifer James, Cindy Bulding, Jessamyn Henschel, Ariel Roland Waring, Holly Brennan, William Mcmillin, Evelyn Mora

Artistic Noise staff: Francesca DeBiaso, Sophia Dawson

Art therapy supervisor: Liz DelliCarpini

For more information please contact Liz at [email protected]

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



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

3 Questions with Frances Fawandu

Frances Fawandu, MA, ATR-BC, LCAT, is a practicing art therapist as well as a new addition to our faculty. Frances currently teaches Multicultural Issues in Art Therapy with Val Sereno, MA, ATR-BC, LCAT. The course explores the impact of ethnicity and culture on the therapeutic process to increase students’ awareness of their biases, cultural background and how that effects their world view and clinical work. Frances has expressed an interest and knowledge in religion & spirituality, which will be one of her contributions to the course.

1. Would you share a bit about your interest in religion and spirituality?

A number of studies suggest that religion and spirituality are beneficial resources in the recovery process of clients struggling with mental health and substance abuse problems. My interest in religion and spirituality has allowed me to be especially sensitive in assessing the religious and spiritual concerns of clients as it relates to the provision of multicultural art therapy services.

2. Could you share about past experiences with multiculturalism in your art therapy practice that have informed your approach to this class?

My experiences with multiculturalism in art therapy practice includes providing art therapy treatment services for clients from culturally diverse populations in multiple clinical settings. Throughout the years, I have also provided art therapy workshops for both students and professionals of diverse cultural backgrounds.
These diversified experiences have challenged me to examine my own biases and assumptions in order to consider alternative possibilities. It has caused me to be especially sensitive to the individualized treatment needs of the clients that I serve. As an instructor, I encourage art therapy students to increase their sensitivity and awareness of various cultural perspectives. In therapy we cannot adapt a “one size fit all” approach to treatment. Each client is an individual and as clinicians it’s crucial to gain knowledge and understanding of our clients’ worldview in order to effectively serve them. Sue and Sue (2016) said it nicely when they wrote, “Because groups and individuals differ from one another, the blind application of techniques to all situations and all populations seems ludicrous” (p. 58). The art making process and engaging clients in therapeutic discussions about their artistic productions provided greater insights concerning their worldview and problematic issues. Thus, this allowed me to offer interventions that promoted resilience, empowerment, and motivation, thereby further enhancing their individualized recovery process.

3. Could you describe your work at Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center? Does this inform your approach to teaching?

As Director of Creative Arts Therapy, I consistently ensure that our therapeutic programming is client centered and culturally responsive to meet the special needs of the diversified client population we serve. This experience has most certainly informed my approach to teaching. I want to ensure students understand that becoming a culturally responsive therapist is an ongoing process that involves each individual’s self-awareness examination to increase understanding of how their own cultural background and experiences may influence their attitudes, biases, and assumptions concerning interactions with culturally diverse populations.


Written and compiled by Jenny Asaro (Class of 2019)

Posted in 3 Questions, Faculty, Students