The creative art process has been used for hundreds of years to help people identify emotions, encourage communication and promote healing. Understanding this connection, a group of Charleston-area art therapists, educators, mental health professionals and artists joined together to create HEARTS MEND HEARTS in hopes of helping the Charleston community heal in the wake of the Emanuel AME Church tragedy. A new initiative, launched with Charleston County Public Library, is offering support to local residents faced with feelings of stress, dread or grief prompted by the church shootings.
Starting Sunday, July 26, local residents can work with experienced artists and mental health professionals during art-based sessions offered three days a week at Charleston County’s Main Library, 68 Calhoun Street. The goal is to help individuals use art as a tool to tap into their creativity, express feelings and ultimately work toward healing – all while in a safe environment.
Drop-in art sessions will be offered on Sundays from 2-4:30 p.m. and Tuesdays from 5-7:30 p.m., and more structured, art-related workshops will be offered on Thursdays from 5-7:30 p.m. All workshops continue through the end of September. There is no age limit and no art experience is needed. Art materials are being provided for the free sessions. Registration is not required.
Professionals will lead attendees through the steps to create mandalas, which are considered “healing circles.” This internationally recognized method encourages individuals to tap into their creativity, identify personal emotions, reconcile conflicts and ultimately work toward healing
HEARTS MEND HEARTS includes numerous art and mental health professionals, all volunteering their time. The organization was started by a small group that included Registered Art Therapist Dianne Tennyson Vincent, MAT, ATR; Psychiatrist Deborah Milling, MD; Psychoanalyst Sharon Martin, FNP, CNS, PhD; and Nationally Board Certified Art Educator Laura De LaMaza.
For more information, contact the Charleston County Public Library, (843) 805-6930.
Via: Charleston County Library