past art therapy & community art PROJECTS

Peace Room, established by Rochele Royster, Jessie James, myself, and sixth- and seventh-grade students at Drake Elementary School in Chicago, IL.  Students from the middle-school Diverse Learner classroom attended individual and group art therapy sessions in the Peace Room, working toward goals aligned with their Individual Education Plans, as determined by a team of art therapists. The Peace Room operated in the style of an Open Art Therapy Studio, where students were empowered to direct their own course of therapy through structured experimentation with art materials and techniques.

that's my boundary! series of collage response art, documenting my navigation of emotional boundaries during my work as an art therapy intern at a children's inpatient psychiatric hospital. Response art is defined as "artwork created by art therapists in response to material that arises in their therapy work" and is used by art therapists to "contain difficult material, express and examine their experiences, and share their experiences with others" (Fish, 2012).


Healing Doll made for a women's art therapy group, facilitated by Jordan Ferranto and myself, at a shelter for survivors of domestic violence. I created this doll alongside group participants in order to visually lead them through the activity; later, I sewed beads and trinkets to the doll's head and arms to symbolically "hold" stories of survival that clients shared with me. Strapped to the doll is small piece of green paper, folded, with a wish written on the inside.

Community quilt created by a family at Su Casa in Chicago, IL, during a soup kitchen art program facilitated by myself and community volunteers. Neighbors who attended weekly Sunday lunch at the soup kitchen were invited to make art together after their meal.

Pages from a personal art therapy sketchbooks that I keep as part of my art therapy practice, documenting peer discussions, work-related questions, and ideas for future art therapy activities. Creating and re-visiting journal-style illustrations helps me think through and continually find inspiration in my role as an art therapist.

Video featuring members of Creatively Empowered Women (CEW) Design Studio, an art therapy social enterprise led by Bosnian refugees and South Asian immigrant women at Hamdard Healthcare in Chicago, IL, where I completed my first clinical internship.