How Art Helps

Oct 05, 2016

By Community Support Services
Recently, Community Support Services added a two-hour Social Recreation group called “Open Art.” This group is different from the Art Therapy groups in that the intention is to socialize in a supportive and creative space, while experimenting with art materials and projects of the participant's choice. It is a loosely structured group and clients are given the opportunity to freely work without the suggestion of a defined topic or theme. The hope is that those in attendance will benefit from the inherent healing qualities found within the act of creating.
Lacy Vitko, Expressive Arts Adminstriator, stated, "From my experience as an art therapist and artist, I know firsthand that art can provide: relaxation, comfort, purpose, inspiration, meaning, joy, motivation, new skills, and healing.   Although in its early stages, the group is already demonstrating success.  During the group, Ms. Lacy offered she has heard, "I completely lost track of time!” and, “I forgot where I was…I got so immersed in my project!”  This experience of being in the “the zone” can be particularly beneficial for individuals living with a mental illness as the engagement with art can become a healthy release and escape from overwhelming symptoms.
Regardless of the internal battles we face, all of us have an innate drive to create, and when we do not exercise this drive it can leave us feeling stuck, lethargic, or depressed. Having a creative outlet to channel our creative energy, can help our mental and emotional health in tremendous ways. 
Community Support Services will celebrate the creative spirit during its annual event, The Art of Recovery, on Thursday, March 9, 2017.  Consumer artwork will be available for purchase.