Sandy Hook, art therapy, and tile art

Kelly Roberts – famed child advocate and art therapist – writes, “Art therapy is about the creation and the discussion of the intent of the client.  It’s a different way of sharing.  No matter how healthy, verbal expression is the hardest thing to do.” Art, in other words, frees up the mind so that it may reconnect with the heart, creating a healthy atmosphere of sharing and understanding.  Art therapy is an exciting and relatively young discipline, helping people of all ages cope with issues all while exploring creativity.

Tile art is popular among many art therapists.  Hospitals and schools all over America utilize tile art as a means to commemorate and honor individuals, events, and tragedies.  I have done many tile art pieces for hospitals.  Therapy and tile art should really go hand-in-hand.

Sandy Hook is an unspeakable tragedy.  Parents and schoolchildren nationwide are frightened and attempting to understand the situation.  Some schools are even using art therapy.  In the article “Rapides students start art project to honor Sandy Hook victims”, Leigh Guidry of writes, “Students in Rapdies Parish are painting tiles to honor the victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.”

Many students at different schools are painting on 4-inch tiles.  Administrators will collect them all and send them to Connecticut.  The project’s inspiration comes from a similar one that honors the victims of Oklahoma City.  Joe Landreneau – the brains behind the project – says, “I wanted a lasting memorial where children could tell children it’s going to be OK.”

The students draw up a design at home.  They then bring the design to school and work closely with their art teacher.  The project will not only honor the victims, but also to help the students better cope with the senseless tragedy.  The article is an inspiring read and you can find it here.

Art therapy is a powerful tool.  It makes me proud to be an artist.