The Healing Power of Art

The Healing Power of Art

See the exhibit and add your symbol of fortitude, January 2-30, 2016

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Gina Baird’s Fortitude painting will serve as the theme for her collaborative project. Add your creative thread!

To kick off our 2016 Indiana Bicentennial-themed exhibits, we are exploring the healing powers of art through the eyes of Indiana artists. Two hundred years of history have included many ups and downs for the Hoosier state, during which art has served as a salve or solution. Relying on art’s healing power can better equip us for our future in Indiana and provide an opportunity for self-reflection and therapy. From Jan. 2 to 30, we will celebrate art’s powerfully therapeutic qualities during The Healing Power of Art, an exhibition of art, in all mediums, that has an emotional significance to the artist and/or represents a healing journey.

As part of the show, local art therapist Gina Baird will provide an interactive art assemblage that explores the concept of using art for collective empathy through spontaneous expressions collected over the days of the exhibit. Baird was instrumental in bringing Art as Therapy to Nickel Plate Arts last March and has firsthand knowledge of “the healing power of art.”


The community is encouraged to participate in Baird’s assemblage project during a reception on Friday, Jan. 8, 6-9 p.m. During this special event, we invite you to bring small items (charms, beads, material/fabric, copies of photos, obituaries, poems, etc.) that are symbolic to you and that you associate with fortitude: the act of courage and bravery. The collaborative assemblage will then become part of the exhibit and can be viewed and interacted with through Jan. 30.


Cathy Malchiodi is a leading international expert, syndicated writer, and educator in the fields of art therapy, expressive arts and arts in healthcare. “Visual journaling (aka art journaling) has a long history in the field of art therapy, particularly as an approach to assist recovery from trauma or loss and as a form of stress reduction,” she wrote on a Psychology Today blog titled Top Ten Art Therapy Visual Journaling Prompts.

Following are three of Malchiodi’s 10 prompts:

No. 5 Dream Journal.

If you have time first thing in the morning after you wake up, try keeping a journal of visual images recalled from your dreams. Try writing down some key words or phrases first, followed by drawing of the main elements of your dream.

No. 6 Photocollage Journal.

If you are not keen on drawing, try collecting your favorite images, words or quotes from magazines or books, and/or print memorabilia and make a regular practice of creating an image journal. It can be any theme (travel, soothing images, etc.) or purchase a Smashbook® (available at craft and book stores) and a gluestick and start gluing.

No. 8 Intention Journal.

If you have a particular intention in mind (for example, a gratitude practice or a goal to become healthier in the next year), try keeping a visual/writing journal dedicated to a particular intention or vision.

Join us Jan. 2-30 for the Healing Power of Art exhibit.


Ailithir McGill