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Pamela Whitaker & Maria Riccardi present the 2018 Canadian Art Therapy Association Conference - Keynote Presentation
Art therapy should be relevant to life where it happens — becoming an intervening event and a beacon of possibilities. Composing art from the materials of life and within environments of encounter. Being moved to cultivate surroundings that are both disruptive and restorative, as an antidote to disillusionment and indifference. This is a presentation about art therapy getting out more. Becoming more public and extending the profession’s repertoire of actions. Art therapy can contribute to environments and generate habitats where people spend time together in distinctive ways. The outdoor studio is a place where anything can happen.
Through a poetic conversation with Pamela Whitaker, we have reflected on the place of an art studio in art therapeutic endeavours. The images crafted are made from a diversity of media such as natural treasures and convey simplicity and possibilities. Like a ritual, on the studios of life, where we convene day after day, to paint, draw, sculpt, model, unearth, assemble, and paste on, we breathe. The therapeutic studio is created with the same care an artist uses to enlighten an art installation. It stems from the images within and then finds nourishment in the artwork created. This presentation stems from transitional and indoor studios inspired by the outdoor studios reinvented by Pamela. A conversation that took place in the garden and will continue to blossom at the CATA conference.
Pamela Whitaker PhD, MA, BA, DVATI is an art therapist living in Ireland who practices under the name of Groundswell, a social enterprise working in the areas of art therapy, art and participation, and arts and health. As editor of the CATA Journal she has curated special issues on the topics of environment, visual culture, and political responses though art therapy.
Maria Riccardi MA, MEd, ATR-BC is a registered art therapist, a career counsellor, and a licensed clinical psychotherapist. She is an adjunct professor of art therapy at Concordia University and at l’Université du Québec in Abitibi-Témiscamingue. She collaborates with local non-profit organizations and mental health institutions, developing community-based art studio programs for adolescents and adults who are marginalized. She has expertise with veterans living with combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder, and has founded a clinic in Montreal based on the Expressive Therapies Continuum working with children and families.