Kristine Bella

Kristine Bella

Instructor and Clinical Coordinator

Rogers Hall Rogers Hall 207

Kristine is an Oregon state licensed art therapist, a nationally board certified art therapist, and certified art therapy supervisor. She has been a practicing clinical and community art therapist over 20 years and started her teaching career at Marylhurst University’s graduate art therapy counseling program where she also graduated in 1997. She has taught at Portland Community College in the addictions counseling program with a focus on adolescent addiction and prevention. Kristine has extensive experience with a wide range of populations and settings with a special interest in working with adolescents and within communities utilizing arts-based strategies for social change. 

Kristine has been a grassroots organizer and an art therapy champion at local, regional, and state levels. In 2009, she co-founded Free Arts NW, a nonprofit serving under-served children and youth in the Portland Metro area. In 2017, she became the proud owner of Arte Soleil in outer SE Portland that provides an a safe and supportive avenue for local artists to create and sell their work. She co-founded the Portland Creative Arts Therapies Association (CATA) in which she was instrumental in its original formation. Portland CATA traces its roots back to a legislative effort in 2008, when art, music, and dance/movement therapists joined to defeat a bill that would have prevented creative arts therapy providers from practicing as master’s level therapists. Continuing with political advocacy, Kristine became an active member of the Oregon Art Therapy Licensure Task Force and helped draft legislation for licensing and title protection of credentialed art therapists in the State of Oregon. House Bill 2432 was signed into law by Governor Kate Brown on May 25, 2017. 

Personal Statement

My passion lies in the healing power of the creative process. Whether I am teaching graduate students to understand the therapeutic components of art therapy or engaging a homeless youth impacted by violence who is learning to safely navigate their world, I come from a person centered art therapy orientation.  Change is possible and offering each individual I encounter with the dignity and respect they deserve offers a platform for trust, growth, and transformation. 

Academic Credentials