New Life’s Art Therapy Program
New Life’s Art Therapy Program help students develop strong foundational skills that provides them with an experience art in a personal & therapeutic way. Art therapy assist the student in being able to express and learn about their emotions and experiences, honing their artistic talents as well as their ability to interpret and analyze art and the process of creativity.
New Life’s Art Therapy Program is run by Michelle White, an experienced artist and Special Education teacher. Michelle shares some of the incredible experiences that take place every day in our Art programs:
It continues to amaze me the unique gifts given to each student . . . no two alike. The types of art that are therapeutic include free style drawing, murals, pastels, watercolors, and graphic art using markers. This art tells a story, a personal story, which needs to be heard for healing to occur.
One student that we have at New Life loves to draw hearts. BIG hearts! She painted a mural on our classroom wall that was a huge black heart (3 feet by 4 feet) with flames of fire on the edges. We discussed her artwork when she finished it and the emotions she felt. I led her into a discussion of her past hurts and how the artwork reflected her interior pain, the heart representing the dark emptiness she felt and the fire representing her intense pain. She is progressing from black hearts to red hearts now and the process of inner healing for her continues.
Another student did a mural of a sad angel bent over with her head and wings downcast. This angel (four feet by five feet) was painted in blacks, blues, and white. Both the colors and subject matter were meaningful to her to deal with her pain from her past. We discussed her work together and identified the symbolism and multiple meanings of the work. Painting this image gave this student permission to voice her feelings and pain as well as validate her past history. The process we use in art as therapy is one more step towards the inner healing of each client.
I feel privileged to have these students, and many more, in my classroom and trust me enough to allow me to enter into their interior life. This is therapeutic and healing to their program at New Life.
– Michelle White, Art Teacher