Art Therapy Majors Pull Together Last-Minute Online Exhibition
While the remainder of their semester went digital, students feared the annual exhibit wouldn’t happen.
Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, we’re constantly learning more about ourselves, our abilities to adapt and our willingness to overcome. In ways both big and small, individually, or in groups, we’re managing to work together despite the necessity to remain apart. Our colleges and universities are one arena where swift change brought on an almost immediate call for adaptation. And, in many respects, our students, their instructors and administrators have exceeded expectations.
By mid-March, students all over the world found themselves adjusting to digital classrooms, and Zoom study groups. The transition was especially difficult for Marywood University’s Graduate Art Therapy students.
Typically, at this point in the semester, they’d be excitedly preparing for their annual Spring Art Exhibition. According to Sarah Pfeil, a 2nd Year Graduate Art Therapy student, “Originally, our plan was to hold this exhibition out front at our 2020 Symposium”. Then, the growing seriousness of the Coronavirus pandemic forced them to cancel. “After hearing the news that this event would be cancelled, I think that everyone felt some sort of disappointment,” she added.
Re-group. Re-focus. Re-imagine.
After a brief period of shock followed by acceptance, the class and their professor decided that action was the only answer. For Pfeil, the adopted Scrantonian by way of Philly, “It did not take us very long to all come together and sort out how we would complete the online exhibition work”. She noted an air of enthusiasm and excitement in every ensuing Zoom class.
Once knowing that we would all have to adjust and adapt to the online exhibition, my classmates, professor, and myself all worked together by brainstorming over Zoom classes and expressing our thoughts and ideas just as we would if we were in person. Collectively, we all worked together and have several articles written by official sources, a Pinterest board, Instagram and Twitter pages, and a professional virtual gallery exhibition.
See it for yourself – all from the comfort of your couch.
After several weeks of collaboration, the class has put together an impressive virtual art exhibit. The students worked together over video conference calls. They stayed in touch with their professor throughout the process. It was a genuine group effort. Pfeil sums it up. “I’d like to think that the hard work in this project stems from the passion that comes from what we do”.
The exhibit is split into two separate rooms. As you would in any gallery, you can virtually walk about the rooms. The individual pieces adorn the walls. And each is accompanied by an artist’s statement. Both the artwork and the respective statements deliver a bit of much-needed hope and positivity. For Pfeil, it’s all about the individual’s point of view. “Growth is a part of life that is never easy and is always happening, but with the right perspective, it can be seen in a real positive light”.
Self expression through hand, eye, heart and mind.
The theme of the 2020 exhibition is Exploring My Identity as a Developing Art Therapist. Each student’s piece serves as a personal reflection on their respective journeys and their growth as young professionals in the field. The pieces reveal an enlightening, introspective dive into the deeper personal connections one can feel toward their work. In all, the exhibit instills a sense of promise. It excites wonder, and perhaps a bit of inspiration in the thought that some truly incredible young people are about to enter our professional circles.
Take the time (we know you’ve got it). Check out their inspiring artwork. And mark these final words from the enterprising, young Ms. Pfeil, for they may serve us well moving forward:
“I am a firm believer that we all tried our best to accept the challenge we faced”.
A Sneak Peek
Where Art Meets Human Service
Curious about Art Therapy? Wondering what it is, exactly? Explore future career opportunities in the field. Check out affiliated student organizations, and look back at past events. Learn all you need to know about this exciting, growing field, here.