FSU art therapy master’s program graduate and art education doctoral student Jessie Spraggins Rochford collaborated with Dr. Ann Rowson Love, Museum Education & Visitor-Centered Exhibitions/Ringling Liaison, and Maureen Zaremba, Ringling Curator of Education, to develop a workshop for the Ringling Education department and a small group of Ringling docents and volunteers.
The workshop, called “Art Therapy & Museums,” took place at The Ringling on November 7th, 2016, and focused on art therapy and its use in art museums. Participants engaged in several experiential activities, including a mindful walk through the Ringling grounds to explore the Banyan trees, a visit to Ringling’s new Monda Gallery to experience Anne Patterson’s “Pathless Woods” exhibition, and an art directive. For the art directive, participants were given long strips of paper and were asked to create Banyan roots using shapes, line, and color to reflect their experience walking through the Banyan trees and “Pathless Woods” exhibition.
Spraggins, Rowson Love, and Zaremba then assembled the strips of paper onto a hand-made tree and processed the participants’ experiences during the nature walk, visit to the exhibition, and art-making. The participants described new insights about themselves, the Banyan trees, the exhibition, and the art-making, and several noted how the experiences helped them focus on the present moment and feel more connected with nature, art, and themselves.
Commenting on the experience of developing and directing the art therapy workshop at The Ringling, Spraggins stated:
It was a wonderful experience collaborating with the Ringling, getting to the know the workshop participants, and spreading the word about art therapy and its use in museums!