Artwork therapy scholar finds area for self inside collaborative artmaking

Kelsey Griest has constantly been drawn to producing art, independently and alongside one another with other people. 

Initially from Columbus, she is now ending a four-yr expert diploma in Studio Artwork with a twin concentration in equally Painting + Drawing and Art Therapy. 

In excess of the final four many years Griest has volunteered with a quantity of companies that convey art to underserved communities, together with Passion Will work Studio, the Beacon School with the Athens County Board of Developmental Disabilities, and presently Art Attainable Ohio. She is now doing the job as a instructing artist at Ewing School in Marietta, Ohio, performing with a variety of ages as youthful as pre-K with numerous developmental disabilities. 

“I did not originally want to go to college or university. My 16-year-aged mind designed a offer that if I had to go to college, I necessary to get my nose pierced,” she said with a snicker. A offer she hoped could give her an out.

“When I frequented The College of Art + Style and design I was quickly pulled in” she mentioned. Pursuing an incredible service mastering study course with Passion Is effective Studios her initially yr, Griest began to join the dots and knew she was in the suitable area.

“I’ve always been fascinated in remedy, I was normally the so identified as ‘comfort person’ with my friends,” she stated. 

As a psychology minimal, Griest felt that incorporating the Art Treatment focus to her degree strategy served to link her educational studies with her ongoing volunteer perform.

The Intro to Artwork Remedy training course “was an eye-opening working experience,” recalls Griest. “We did a ton of art remedy on ourselves, and we read about Valeri’s work with clientele.” 

Taught by Sarah Valeri, a certified creative arts therapist primarily based in Brooklyn, New York, and doing the job with pupils in the Faculty of Artwork + Style. Her Intro to Artwork Remedy class sits at the intersection of art and psychological wellbeing, introducing students to artwork generating as a software to increase life. 

Valeri, who has shipped artwork as remedy in a wide selection of settings from medical vendors to local community artwork assignments and academic configurations, teaches that the therapeutic strengths of artwork and art earning must be integrated in just all health care and group configurations. 

“It does its position basically, by keeping a place and time for our shared encounters, but also provides openings to a ‘freedom of responsiveness’ that helps us see lifestyle in new methods,”  Valeri reported.

For Griest, developing artwork with many others should be an satisfying encounter with a target on the approach alternatively than on the final result of the artwork. In this way she frames the final result of generating the function to the participant’s engagement and effects.


"Fragments" by Kelsey Griest
“Fragments,” 2022 by Kelsey Griest. Elements contain acrylic paint on canvas, oil paint, discovered components, cloth, home made paper, yarn, embroidery floss, rooster wire and plywood. (Approx. 13 X 6 ft.)

As a B.F.A. Studio Art Painting + Drawing key, Griest is necessary to develop her have particular thesis within her studio practice, which features exhibiting her final do the job.

“My art observe is knowledgeable by my encounters educating, by generating art with youngsters in the two neuro-normal and neuro-diverse classrooms. When it comes to educating art to children of all qualities, one particular of the most significant factors to aid is the use of distinctive media and modalities of making,” Griest explained. 

Artwork therapists are master’s amount experts who hold a degree in art therapy. This is surely on Griest’s list of goals – but initial she programs to get some added expertise performing with a range of clientele and learners of all ages, setting up this summer months.

In 2021, Griest worked at Southampton New Air Home, a summer time camp for young children with bodily disabilities, as a counselor. She made this sort of a beneficial impression with the Southampton camp administrators that she has landed a entire-time position as the pursuits director this summer season.

“When she is with the little ones they are acquiring all of her. She is current, she is legitimate and she is delighted. And that is who she has often been with us, and the campers right here,” reported David Billingham, camp director at Southampton. 

“I’m truly enthusiastic about what she’ll bring to our method [this summer]. She’ll be overseeing all the camp things to do, like our artwork studio, and it is likely to be a problem,” Billingham explained. “But if she can infuse the exact same passion, and sense of self, into the system I know it will be properly obtained.”

Griest characterizes her time in the classroom as no cost flowing and playful, a environment where she encourages pupils to alter to their supplies. A sensory expertise, this system assists learners get to know textures, textiles and objects, and college students are encouraged to embrace adaptability and looseness in their making, she says.

“I want to help other people to make artwork.” Griest explained. To do this effectively, she added, “You also have to make space for your self. You need to have to do what you experience. With artwork treatment you’re carrying out art to delight in the method, to aid join with yourself or someone else.”