by Claire Toal, staff writer
Art therapy is synonymous with healing. The implication of art into the therapeutic process is frequently found in the treatment of individuals with physical, mental or emotional problems, diseases, and disorders. Painting, drawing, or sculpting are common outlets of self expression, yet any type of visual art or medium can be utilized. The therapeutic process emphasizes the focus on the experience of the individual including feelings, imagination, or perception. Art therapy may expect that one adopt new skills and techniques, however the individual’s development and expression of internal processes takes precedence over the replication of observed external factors. Art therapy allows the individual to develop an awareness of the personal process of making art and developing its meaning. This creative process is implemented into a variety of settings and takes place at either the individual or group level. Art therapy is popular within the school environment due to the fact it allows children to demonstrate their interest in creative expression.
Individuals demonstrate their creative perspective through various mediums. Students at Warren Wilson are proficient in musical instruments, artistic practices, and other symbolic methods.
Art therapy is not limited to clinical settings– many students at Warren Wilson seek solace in their unique talents and abilities. Senior Chrissy Cochran interprets her individual internal processes by the means of a hoola hoop. After observing girls hoola-hooping at a musical festival, Cochran felt compelled to sample the activity for herself. Since purchasing her first hoop, she has been unable to put it down. Cochran would spend sleepless nights up at the beach where she found herself “creating my flow within the natural sync of the ocean.”
Upon her arrival at Wilson, Cochran described the desire to hoop in an open area. She found a solution to this dilemma by organizing a campus “hoop jam”. Every Tuesday from 8 to 9:30 p.m. in Bryson Gym students of all experience levels have the opportunity to wiggle out the mid week jitters from school stress. Cochran, whose favorite hoop jam is Dorset Perception by Shpongle, feels that she has benefitted immensely from hooping with other people and being exposed to their technique and style.
“I encourage all people to come to hoop jam and try it out and see if it is something they like to do,” Cochran said. “It is not only great for the mind but it is great for the body and soul. I have stacks and stacks of hoops to share.”