Semester in Review!

Hi everyone!

Since I didn’t necessarily do a post for everything we did this past semester,  I thought I would do a short post summarizing our activities from the semester that you may not have heard about as well as some that I already posted about. Enjoy!


In August, the program welcomed eight new students! Click here to meet them!

Just after the beginning of the semester one of our professors, Gussie Klorer, along with other art therapists in the St. Louis/Ferguson area started Ribbons of Hope, a collaborative community art project for Ferguson, MO. Ribbons of Hope has been a project that many of our students have participated in throughout the semester. Click here to read more about it and to get involved in the project!


In September, the Art Therapy Pedalers stopped by and we got to spend some time hanging out with them and drawing and coloring! The Art Therapy Pedalers are two art therapists riding bikes from Iowa to New Orleans, pulling an art therapy studio, and making art with people along the way. You can like them on Facebook or visit them here. Holly and Bert were really great to talk to! Holly mentioned that their bike ride New Orleans put her and Bert in the position of being vulnerable, whereas normally their clients are the vulnerable ones. I thought that was really interesting!

Holly and Bert had a scroll of fax paper (who remembers those!?) and markers and many of us sat with them and colored on their scroll. Here are some pictures!


Photo Sep 23, 1 53 12 PM

Photo Sep 23, 1 53 14 PM


Photo Sep 23, 1 53 28 PM (1)

Photo Sep 23, 4 57 06 PM



The second to last weekend in October, six of our students traveled to Chicago for the Illinois Art Therapy Association conference. We had a blast! Click here to read more about our time at IATA!

The last weekend in October one of the first year’s had a Halloween party and there were some great art therapy themed costumes! We had a “Me Box,” a PPAT, a Silver Drawing Test, and an art therapist.


The fiancé of one of the second years came as an art therapist. He had a sketch book for people ro draw in, was wearing a long purple dress with a sweater, had a purse that was satchel style and a bottle of wine. He pretty much nailed it, though the picture doesn’t do it much justice at all!



The first year class dressed up as the rainbow!


In the beginning of November, two of our students attended the Expressive Therapies Summit in New York City. I have a full post on this coming soon! The conference was great and we had a great time!!


The Saturday after Thanksgiving , following the aftermath of the grand jury decision in the Michael Brown case, three of our students as well as a few friends/husbands of those students volunteered by painting murals in our neighboring town of Ferguson, Missouri. Here are a few pictures from that, though there is a full post on this as well, check it out here!



Our work was featured in an article in This Week in CAS from SIUE. You can check that article out here!


In December we exchanged Secret Santa gifts and had a potluck lunch to celebrate one of our professors, Sharyl Parashak, who was retiring. It was a bit bittersweet. We love Sharyl and will miss her but we wish her all the best for the next chapter of her life! And look forward to seeing her events around town!

Stay tuned for more updates, including information about the spring conference and other SATA business!

Happy New Year to you!

Painting in Ferguson

The grand jury decision not to indict Darren Wilson, the police officer who fatally shot Mike Brown, came out Monday night and unfortunately that resulted in lots of violence for Ferguson and other areas around St. Louis. Emotions are running very high, and that’s to be expected considering all of the circumstances. Again, whether or not anyone agrees or disagrees with the grand jury decision or any other part of the case, Ferguson needs support. After having been there, I can tell you it’s an adorable little town probably not unlike your own.

On Saturday, two SIUE professors and three students (along with lots of other volunteers) partnered with the Ferguson Youth Initiative to paint murals on the boards of the boarded up buildings in Ferguson. The group I was in was assigned Ferguson Hardware on S. Florissant Road.  We had several panels that we could cover, so we decided to use the Martin Luther King Jr. quote “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” and then paint around it. With 5 people painting it only took about an hour and a half. One person in our group was a local art teacher,  and the other was a volunteer that works regularly with the youth through FYI. We got our paint and walked over to the hardware store.


There’s something very enticing about open cans of paint!










Two SIUE painters :)

Two SIUE painters :)


Our whole group after we finished!

There was one teeny panel around the corner that we did after finishing the big mural. It was pretty funny to go from 5 people painting on 15 (give or take) feet  across to 5 people painting 4 feet but we made it work :)



After finishing the hardware store, we moved over to Ferguson City Hall. There were boards on the left side of city hall, over the center doors, and on the right. Groups of FYI volunteers primed and then started painting.  It was decided that there would be a tree in the middle (where the doors to the building are) and then have leaves and swirls going out onto the wood panels on each side and the leaves would have hopeful words/phrases written on them. It didn’t come out exactly as planned (when does it ever?) but still looked pretty awesome and everyone was pleased with how it turned out!


City Hall Before



City Hall stage right


City Hall stage left

City Hall stage right

City Hall stage right

An SIUE student, a friend she brought, myself and a high school senior from Ferguson did the right side. I didn’t meet them directly, but it was my understanding that a family of two parents and three kids (ages 6-12) did the tree in the center, along with several other volunteers as well.  I so enjoyed working near them and observing the way they got their children involved in the project. And the kids were so precious! A boy, probably around 12 or so, didn’t want to paint so he put on gloves and was picking pieces of shattered glass out of the brush near where we were painting. I was so impressed, he was so sweet!



City Hall stage left (getting close to being finished!)


City Hall stage right (basically finished!)

Putting finishing touches on the tree and peeling off the tape!

Putting finishing touches on the tree and peeling off the tape!


City Hall all muraled up:)

The high school senior I was working with and I decided to sneak a few words in on our side!


There was a set of doors out a bit out of view. One of the youth decided that all the volunteers should cover the doors with their hand print and name!


We had a great day painting. Ribbons of Hope also had a table set up and lots of ribbons got made. I was so humbled by people walking by and expressing their gratitude for what we were doing. If you would like to get involved, please consider making some ribbons (see previous post) or going to Ferguson and doing some shopping or dining. There are a few bakeries, and lots of cute stores and restaurants. Participating in painting murals reminded me how important community art is and that kids are never too young to involve in these kinds of efforts. What has happened to Ferguson is a tragedy but I hope that the murals around town can lift people’s spirits a bit and offer them some hope. There is still work to be done in the United States as far as our justice system is concerned, and the murals won’t fix that. But if the murals and ribbons can brighten the day of a resident, passersby, or business owners and remind them that there is good in this world and that people care about their community, then the ribbons and murals have served their purpose.

Finally, here are a few pictures of the art work being done around us.  I encourage you to go to Ferguson and experience it first hand, and buy a little something while you’re there!




Ribbons of Hope

Hello everyone!

This post will be dedicated to talking about Ribbons of Hope, a collaborative community art project for Ferguson, Missouri. As the whole country is aware, Ferguson and the surrounding areas are facing some very difficult situations. Whether or not we all agree on the cause, who is to blame, and what the outcome should be, it’s safe to say that Ferguson deserves some support.


Ribbons of Hope was created by art therapists both in and from Ferguson and St. Louis to give people a way to respond to the events in Ferguson. The creators of Ribbons of Hope invite the people from Ferguson and beyond to look toward the future while engaging in a creative process with potentially thousands of others.

The way the project works is that people create ribbons with hopeful messages and send them to one of the project creators. The ribbons are taken to Ferguson each weekend and tied to one of two locations. (See below for more information on how to participate!) A few SATA members have occasionally helped with stringing ribbons and we have really enjoyed reading people’s messages for Ferguson. They range from silly and sweet to hopeful and deep, and all are welcome!

The Ribbons of Hope sites will provide a safe space for people to reflect, connect, commune and exchange dialogue.  The creators of Ribbons of Hope hope and wish that this project will be unifying, help to nurture and strengthen community spirit, and build bridges towards the future of Ferguson.

Here is a clip of the sites where ribbons are being tied:

Ribbons are still being accepted and participation is encouraged! Please make as many ribbons as you can! With that being said, here is how you or your family, club, church, etc. can participate!

Weather resistant ribbon, 14-18″ long
Permanent or paint markers

Directive:  On a ribbon with a permanent marker write or draw your vision of hope toward the future, in a positive, creative, productive, prayerful, or wishful way.
Ribbons can be mailed to: Gussie Klorer, 200 South Bemiston, Suite 309, Clayton, MO 63105.  Timely completion of ribbons may be important!

Ribbons of HOPE  is a partnership of the Adolescent Resource Center (ARC- a program of Queen of Peace Center) the Northern Arts Council, (NAC), Ferguson Youth Initiative (FYI) and Provident Counseling  and the Missouri Art Therapy Association (MATA).

We invite you and anyone who is interested to send in ribbons for Ferguson!

Meet the first years!!!!!

Here is the SIUE Art Therapy class of 2017!
We are a small but mighty class of 8 lovely ladies from all over the country. Together we represent Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Washington DC,  and Wisconsin.


Hi! I’m Sarah. I am from just outside of Washington, D.C., but spent a year living and teaching in the Marshall Islands. I love painting, good music, gentle yoga, vegetarian food, comedies, and learning about other people and cultures. I am really happy to be apart of the SIUE Art Therapy Counseling program this year!


Hi my name is Kaitlyn and I am originally from Maumee, Ohio. I enjoy taking naps, watching movies, and the color pink. Some interesting things about myself are that I like to dance in clothes before I buy them, I would eat chocolate for every meal if I could, and I do not believe in guilty pleasures.


I’m Emily! I am recently married. My favorite medium to work with is oil paint. I’m a redhead. I collect skeleton keys. And I have a love for 80’s rock.


I’m Veronica! I’m originally from Atlanta, GA. My life goals include building a skeleton out of popsicle sticks, not losing a debit card before it expires (I always have to replace them before they can expire :/), and eating Cuban food in Cuba. I enjoy radical feminist theory, the tv show Friends, writing, and really good books.  I’m the current SATA blog editor so leave me comments if there is anything you’d like to see discussed here!


My name is Rani  and I was born and raised in Norman, Oklahoma. I have a passion for painting and power tools. My favorite color is turquoise.


My name is Damaris, I come from Little Rock, Arkansas where I grew up with my parents and four siblings on the city limits next to a state park with a mountain. I enjoy being outdoors more than being inside, I am growing to love Jesus more and more, people are beautiful and I treasure getting to know others and embarking into new relationships while growing and deepening in relationships with family and friends. I hope to help others flourish by way of the gifts of art and relationship, and whatever else I encounter that is helpful. Art has really helped me through my own life to understand and learn and I believe it is a way for many to also understand, learn, and grow. Also I really like beverages. I am excited to get to know you all better, thank you for welcoming us 1st years so warmly!


My name is Daphne,  born and raised in Ossian, Iowa. I am a first generation college student. I graduated from Upper Iowa University with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology & Studio Arts. Friends & family are everything to me.  I see life through a new perspective through using ceramics,  photography,  & painting. I see life as a plan just waiting to unfold. ♡


I’m Ashley! I grew up in northwestern Wisconsin and moved to Milwaukee upon a tuition scholarship to attend the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design. I earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree with an emphasis in sculpture and installation art. I’m active in promoting the visual arts in my community; working in art education, exhibit design, and galleries. I have worked extensively teaching art with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee and Danceworks Inc. Last summer, I completed an artist residency at the Milwaukee Public Theatre designing children’s costumes for the 2014 Latino Carnival. In my free time I can be found exploring the outdoors and growing veggies in my garden.

For Halloween, we decided to dress up as the rainbow.


Upon hearing about our costume, one of the second years reminded us of this gem from Awkward Family Photos.


So we decided to re-enact it!


We’re all very lucky and happy to be part of Art Therapy at SIUE! Many thanks to the second and third year students for making us feel welcome and supported!

IATA 2014

On Friday six of our students loaded up and headed to Chicagoland for the annual Illinois Art Therapy Association Conference. We left VERY early Friday morning, spent the day in Chicago on Friday and headed out to St. Charles Friday night. Saturday we spent the day listening to speakers, having interesting conversations, and attending workshops! The topic of the conference was titled The Elephant in the Room: A creative dialogue on power, politics, and violence.

Friday night we attended the IATA kick-off event hosted by the YWCA in Chicago. At the kick-off  we were split into groups of 4-6 and were instructed to make grounding stones. This was actually a really great directive! You need small stones, magazine clippings, glue sticks, and mod podge. The idea is that the stone is something to hold in your hand or keep in your pocket to keep you grounded or help you come back to being grounded if things get floaty. Here are  the stones we made:



The events for Saturday were at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles. Some of our favorite presentations/discussions were Exploring Our Defining Experiences of Power and Identity: The Rapist, An Alternative Spelling of Therapist
with Pat B. Allen,  Say It Out Loud, Release and Connect in Relationship: Gently Using Art, Mindfulness, and Somatic Experiencing to Truly Connect with Melissa J. Hedlund, Authority vs. Power: Art Therapy Leadership From The Inside Out with Heather Leigh, and Stigmatization or Solidarity? A Dialogue About Art Therapists’ First-Hand Experience with Mental Illness with Cathy Moon.

Here are a few more pictures from our time at IATA and in Chicago:


Chicago is beautiful!


Two of the first-years!


The SIUE group minus one second-year but plus one alum!

It was a weekend with lots of driving, very little sleep, many belly laughs and thoughtful conversations, as well as some not-so-thoughtful ones. :) We’re all very excited for future IATA conferences and for AATA in Minneapolis this summer!


SATA Fall Workshop 2013

SATA Fall Workshop 2013

Join us on Sunday, November 3rd, 2013 from 10 am-4 pm in the art and design building for some bookmaking with Joanne Kluba!

Spring 2013 Art Show