Art therapy in museums and galleries
Traditionally, art therapists have worked in clinical settings, such as hospitals and private practices. In recent years, however, they have extended their practice into public, non-clinical environments, including museums and art galleries.
Art therapists, as well as museums and galleries, strive to increase public access to the arts, involve the public in the creative process, and improve their local communities. Since collaboration between the two seems inevitable, I have set out to create a framework for partnership, particularly for adolescent audiences as a mental health treatment.
The end-product of my research is a plan to develop an art therapy program for adolescents in an Indianapolis-based museum or art gallery. Community-based art therapy is unique in that it aims to resolve the stigma of mental health and to increase access to care in a supportive, public setting, rather than a closed and conventional environment.
It is my hope that art therapists will use this framework as an inspiration and as a guide to implementing programs in their own local museums and art galleries.