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September 11, 2020

Art and Art Therapy in Hopewell’s Residential Mental Health Community

Art therapy is a type of healing modality that utilizes creative expressive arts to explore, express, and alleviate psychiatric distress. It is based on the belief that self-expression has healing value and enables those engaged in the process of art-making to deepen their sense of self and meaning. Art therapy offers a vast array of techniques and projects to meet the needs of both individual and group settings. At Hopewell, we explore many of these offerings in a variety of ways on the farm!

Art Work Groups in Hopewell’s Residential Mental Health Community

Art therapy is embedded within Hopewell’s meaningful work projects. Five days a week, residents meet in the art studio and learn how to craft a variety of wares that are sold in local shops.

Each project is designed to promote group engagement, skill building, creative problem solving, risk-taking, time management, following direction, and project completion. Self-care products, fiber arts, pottery, and woodworking skills are taught to residents as the community comes together to craft products that benefit health and well-being.

Art Therapy in Hopewell’s Residential Mental Health Community

In Hopewell’s art therapy groups and individual sessions, residents explore and deepen their insight into their personal healing process. Projects are tailored to suit self-discovery in safe and contained ways. Art mediums are considered and chosen based on the needs of the group or individual and completed projects may be processed to strengthen understanding and meaning.

Art therapy sessions do not focus on technical skill or ability, rather they invite the individual to explore mindfully – that is, non-judgmentally, without criticism – helping to build observational awareness in the process of creation.

Many residents have also chosen to create a series of art pieces based on their experience while in treatment. These series of works have been displayed in Hopewell’s dining room gallery, providing residents the opportunity to share about their creative process as it relates to their healing journey. This opportunity has provided residents with confidence building, critical thinking skills, building boundaries, and taking the risk to share their works with a larger audience.

The Range of Art and Art Therapy at Hopewell

Hopewell’s commitment to community is also reflected in partnering with the wider artistic community. Four times per year, visiting artists from throughout the Cleveland and Northeast Ohio area come to stay on the farm for several days and provide workshops based on the artist’s medium. Metalsmiths, printmakers, ceramicists, mixed media artists, illustrators, and photographers have participated in this rich program which offers the Hopewell community a chance to connect with a wider array of the creative world.

Our visiting artist program is designed to foster an alliance between the creative arts community and wellness. Artists who participate in this program value the connection between mental health and artistic expression and have an interest in exploring this intersection through instruction, collaboration, and community engagement. Through this program, residents connect with even more creative and innovative approaches to healing and recovery.

Hopewell’s art therapists utilize many different mediums including paint, drawing, collage, mixed media, fiber arts, ceramics, photography, woodworking, recycled materials, and natural elements to keep the curiosity flowing.

We believe that each and every person is an artist, and engaging residents in the creative process provides a truly enriching and valuable experience on their path to wellness.

For more on Hopewell’s residential mental health community, see this.

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