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Art Therapy

Jerylyn D

Title: Mural
Size: 66” x 53”

Artist statement: My final year in this program has been a process of deep reflection regarding my professional identity and future career as an art therapist. Justice, morality, and accountability are some of my core values and working in a field in which I can live altruistically and promote equity is my goal. Through personal mental health work and the unyielding support of my internship supervisor, I began to processes ancestral and generational trauma, specifically the shame that was associated with being indigenous which has been carried through my material lineage as an internal response to systemic oppression and white supremacy. While working on this mural, I read, Sustaining Spirit: Self-Care For Social Justice by Naomi Ortiz as an informal guide while working through this process. While reading this book, I found many opportunities to integrate the reflection questions at the end of each chapter into my mural as well as my personal spiritual practice. The end result is a tribute to the ancestors on my mother’s side, their stories and spoken word traditions, and the land that they lived and died on. The Sonoran Desert is home to some of the most resilient lifeforms on this planet. Death is not viewed as a state of permanence, rather it is a foundation for survival and renewal, a balance. As above, so below.

I am proud of my heritage and make it a point to check in with my ancestors almost daily. Without their many sacrifices and perseverance, I would not be the woman I am today or realize the future art therapist I am to become.

Title: A Collection of Various Artworks Made Alongside Clients During Art Therapy Groups
Size: 8 ½” x 11”

Artist statement: Known as co-creation, one of the more valuable takeaways of my clinical experience as a student of art therapy has been creating art alongside the populations I have worked with. When engaging in this practice, I noticed that participants have felt more at ease, authentic, and more willing to share their artwork when folks in positions of power are engaged in the same activity. Co-creation has become a valuable intervention in the work that I do. When considering my personal identity and intersectionality as a future art therapist, I embrace co-creation into my personal practice as a therapeutic intervention that pushes back against traditional Westernized models and dominant culture practice. I believe co-creation can also benefit populations that have experienced systemic oppression and trauma based on my own personal experience.

The artworks presented here are all pieces that I have collected during my clinical internship year while working alongside clients in art therapy groups.

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