Art Therapists work in the mental health and human services field and are responsible for providing therapeutic treatment to a wide variety of patients by having them use the creative process and actively make art. Art Therapists must work to find the best ways to treat their patients engage them in helpful ways to visual art processes. To become an art therapist you need an educational background in human development, psychological and behavioral disorders, counseling theories, therapeutic techniques, and visual art. The American Art Therapy Association requires that therapists have at least a master’s degree from an institution recognized by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs or the American Art Therapy Association. It addition to this schooling and clinical training, art therapists must obtain credentialing by the Art Therapy Credentials Board and some states require a license to practice art therapy, not Virginia however.
In order to become an art therapist you must receive your master’s degree in art therapy, for your undergraduate degree, however, you just need to choose a major that includes psychology, sociology, communication, and studio art classes. The only two accredited art therapy programs in Virginia are at George Washington University and Eastern Virginia Medical School. Some of the top programs for art therapy are at New York University, Florida State University, and George Washington University.
I watched the RVArt Talk with Stanley Rayfield and it was a lovely interview because not only did I learn more about his work, but I also learned about his approach to art and how I can apply some of the same ideas to my artist pursuits. Rayfield makes portraits and through his art attempts to bring people closer to God. Rayfield explained that he has an idea ahead of time of a specific series or a process that he is doing and compared his preparation to the writing of a script for a movie. He finds his subjects like a writer finds an actor and in addition has to feel spiritually led to choose them. I felt like this was a very effective analogy and reminds me of Vermeer's use of the model in the Girl with a Pearl Earring painting. The model was embodying a character than Vermeer created, rather than herself. Rayfield also talked about how he got into art in the first place. Inspired by peers in his school who could draw amazing things, Rayfield challenged himself to draw everyday and he improved quickly and grew to love making art. I think I should attempt this challenge as well as I have been doing less observational drawing recently and I know how beneficial it can be. Additionally, I want to create a habit of drawing everyday, so that when I move on from high school, art becomes a foundation/ sanctuary when I feel lost or confused. Finally, Rayfield talked about his artistic journey and emphasized the fact there there is not just one path to success, and we should follow where our work leads us, rather than taking the most common path. This really resonated with me and will definitely come into play as college decision time comes. The thing that resonated with me the most, however, was Rayfield's comparison of his search for artistic purpose to a race. At the beginning you can't even see the finish line, but as you keep running you slowly begin to see how to achieve your purpose. Right know, as a high schooler, I don't really know what my purpose is, but I can be content in the fact that I am moving forward, both artistically and otherwise, and will eventually know where I am going.
An art historian studies and tries to understand both works of art and artists from history. One of the responsibilities of an art historian is to analyze art artifacts, identifying their origin and importance by using research and historical knowledge. These people also work with art in museums by studying and preserving art pieces. It is a heavily research based career, historians frequently publish their findings and review research of others in the art history field to ensure true information. Finally, art historians are sometimes required to assist museum curators in the exhibition or presentation of art collections.
To become an art historian you need to earn at least a Bachelor’s degree in Art History, however many prospective art historians also pursue a Master’s degree or a Ph.D. To be involved in the restoration and preservation of artwork, historians often have to earn an additional degree in fine arts. In addition to these degrees, art historians should have good writing and interpersonal skills and should try to get experience in the field through internships. Some universities that have really good art history programs are Arizona State University and Pennsylvania State University.
Museum Curators have many responsibilities such as finding and buying art, cataloguing the art, assembling a comprehensive exhibit, and overseeing the management of the exhibit. A curator must organize collections of art, often to create specialist exhibits. Not only must a curator organize these exhibitions, they must research and find these pieces, keep records and write about each of the pieces, and ensure the collections are preserved correctly. Curators are usually hired by national, local, and independent museums. In order to become a curator you need at least a good undergraduate degree, however the job can be very competitive so many aspiring curators also get a graduate degree. People can technically become a museum curator with any degree, but the degrees that are most helpful include anthropology, art history, exhibition management, history, art, archaeology, or arts administration. Some colleges in Virginia that offer good preparatory degrees are George Mason University (Art History and Arts Management), Sweet Briar College (Arts Management), and Virginia Commonwealth University (Art History). Some of the colleges highly regarded for their Museum studies programs are Harvard University, John Hopkins University, and Northwestern University.
This sculpture focuses on adaptive reuse in order to promote sustainability. I reused pieces of plastic, aluminum, cola cans, old t-shirts, and dried flowers to convey the ecological issue this world is facing. The clothing industry is responsible for not only human rights violations, but also pollution through microplastics, chemicals from shirt dye, and more. This rough sculpture, that could definitely hurt you, is meant to show what the world could become if we do not start to live sustainably.
“Through the Looking Glass” [Wildfires; COVID-19; Quarantine; Downturn; BLM; Beirut]
This collection of six paintings is an abstraction of events in 2020. I wanted to continue working with abstraction while addressing current issues. By playing with colors, shapes, textures, and layers, I painted my perceptions of this year.
For my second "head" project I again portrayed the theme of adaptive reuse. I drove through Richmond and found this run-down abandoned building. I had a vision for what it could be renovated to be and drew a pencil picture of the state in was in and went over in colored pencil and drafted my vision for a little bakery. The beauty of adaptive reuse is you can make a space functional for the present-day, while still keeping the character of the original building.
This was the first of my "head" projects. My idea for the head projects was the concept of adaptive re-use: taking a pre-existing object and adapting it for current use. I took things in my house that I did not use anymore in this quarantine and made them into masks. This piece highlights the adaptability of society and how we were able to function in this new world. Additionally, the materials I reused represent different aspects of my life that were cancelled or affected by this pandemic. A mask made of a shimmering fabric and running shoe laces for prom and track, a mask of an old church t-shirt for church and my choir trip, a mask of jean material for school, a mask of an old washcloth for childhood, a mask of a takeout bag for eating out, a mask of a bandana for Girl Scout camp. Pictured below are the six masks in a grid and the jean mask on me.
This was my second heart project were I continued to work in the process of abstraction. This time I decided to abstract different overlapping architectural forms by using intersecting lines. I also used formulas and key terms to show the math and consideration that also goes into architectural planning. I decided to use micron pens and markers in sleek lines to indicate professionalism. I decided to name this project with a cryptic number to emphasize the concept of abstraction, the number indicates that this drawing could correspond to many different architectural projects. In this case the number spells out heart, in honor of the assignment. Shown below is a process picture and the final result.
This was my first "Heart" project and I decided to work in the artistic process of abstraction. I took the renovated Historic Tredegar American Civil War Museum and I abstracted it into a collage based on its colors. I chose this building because its an important Richmond landmark and I have a lot of memories associated with it, from folk festivals to museum trips with my mom.