RSCO Feature: Art Therapy Club

Gillian Mazur, Staff writer

An outlet for creativity and relaxation, Mercyhurst University’s Art Therapy Club is not one to be missed.

Art Therapy Club began sometime within the past ten years with Heather Denning as the club’s advisor for the past three years. The mission statement of the club is to create a warm and welcoming environment for students of all majors to come and make art.

For the 2018-2019 school year, the officers are Julia Detota as president, Morgan Karcher as vice president, Kaitlyn Kirchmeir as secretary and Allison Brusk as treasurer.
With some members ready to graduate, the next school year’s board will include Kirchmeir, Detota and Brusk, but the club currently has openings for the positions of secretary and social media coordinator.

The club seeks to have both majors and non-majors learn more about art therapy through trips, exercises and workshops, as well as actually applying the therapeutic qualities of art during events.
The board hopes that each person who spends time with the Art Therapy Club leaves fulfilled, relaxed and with a newly invigorated appreciation for how comforting art can be.

“We want to expose the community of Mercyhurst University and Erie to the many benefits of Art Therapy and to also broaden our appreciation for our chosen future field,” reads the club constitution.

In collaboration with MSG, the Art Therapy Club has hosted a variety of popular MAC/SAC craft events over the years.

Most recently a Paint and Sip night entitled “Coffee and Colors” involved members of the Art Therapy Club leading a painting session for students where they painted their own rendition of an Erie lighthouse.

“I would say that this was our biggest project,” Kirchmeir said. The event had almost 70 students sign up to take part and was one of the most well attended MAC/SAC events of last year.
The Art Therapy Club plans on partnering with MSG to host another art session again in the future.

One does not have to be an Art Therapy major to join the club because the projects chosen for each meeting are specifically tailored to be easy and enjoyable for all. The club also provides snacks for its members at every meeting.

When asked why members should get involved, Kirchmeir said, “People should join this club because art can be very relaxing.”

Within the coming weeks the club has some exciting activities and collaborations lined up.

Art Therapy students and club members are encouraged to submit entries in the Mosaic of Life art show which is sponsored by the Cohen Health & Counseling Center. This show is particularly in line with the club’s mission because art will be displayed in the Counseling Center, the home of therapy on campus. Rooms are available to use for art creation for the event.

Elections for the vacant officer positions will be held in late March. To get involved with the club as an officer or club member, contact president Detota.