WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Jan. 20, 2021 — West Liberty University Creative Arts Therapy students are enjoying an opportunity to display their work locally at Towngate Theatre. A safe, socially distant opening reception is planned for 6 – 8 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 23.
This exhibition includes studio arts as well as work created from art therapy assignments.
“I am so grateful to Oglebay Institute for giving us the chance to display our students’ artwork in a public setting. I encourage everyone to stop by and see what our students have created,” said Dr. Susan Ridley, who is the director of the Creative Arts Therapy program at WLU.
“This exhibition not only showcases the talent of students, but also raises awareness of the power of the healing arts to help others.”
Students exhibiting their work includes Savannah Allen, Rosie Brill, Elizabeth Eames, Juliana (Juju) Haug and Manuela Hoffman.
“I think it’s important to share our experience as art therapy students because what we learn is valuable in self-development and in healing,” said Hoffman, an undergraduate student in the CAT major who is from Wheeling.
“Our art gives us a voice that we may not be able to express otherwise. By sharing this experience, we allow others to see facets in growth and development. Plus, it shows people that therapy doesn’t just require words.”
Art Therapy is a mental health profession that uses art media and the creative process to explore feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem.
Art therapists are master-level clinicians who work with people of all ages with various abilities and disabilities. Guided by ethical standards and scope of practice, their education and supervised training prepares them for culturally proficient work with diverse populations in a variety of settings.
West Liberty University is the only public university in the State of West Virginia offering an undergraduate degree and will offer a graduate degree in Art Therapy and Counseling in the fall of 2021 (pending approval). The degree program at WLU is housed in the College of Arts and Communication and is under the direction of Dr. Susan Ridley.
Towngate is located at 2118 Market St. and follows strict guidelines for safety.