The STEP (Supportive Transition Enrichment) Program hosted their first Art Show of the school year led by STEP OUT 2 teacher, Shereece Geanmers.
Art therapy uses the creative process of art-making to improve and enhance the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages. It is based on the belief that the creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps people to resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem, and self-awareness, and achieve insight. Many people with autism have an extraordinary ability to think visually “in pictures.” Many can turn that ability to good use in processing memories, recording images and visual information, and expressing ideas through drawing or other artistic media. Art is a form of expression that requires little or no verbal interaction that can open doors to communication.
“I have always been a big believer in integrating art into schools. This I believe should be taught from when the child begins pre-school to adolescence. There are so many benefits to giving our students the opportunity to explore their creative nature. Integrating art with other disciplines reaches students who might not otherwise be engaged in classwork. I often tell my students, ‘Nothing you create can turn out bad. There is abstract art, and you can make it whatever you want it to be.’ Giving these young adults the opportunity to create art validates their own uniqueness and gives them a sense of accomplishment and feelings of self-worth. There are no limits to art. Students can create whatever they desire within the realms of their imagination. Ifthey can see it, they can create it! It is rewarding to see the pride the students exude after seeing what they have created. It is truly a beautiful process to witness. Through the process of preparing for this art exhibit, there had to be creative ways to keep the students engage and excited. In order to keep students interested and creative minds engaged, different materials and tools were used in the creation of some of the art pieces. They used materials such as the blow dryer, heat gun, and other objects from nature. They explored several mediums to create different artwork. The mediums which were used are acrylic paint, tempera, watercolor, pastels, cardboard, and paper. Our next art exhibit will be on April 21, 2023, and I am looking forward to incorporating other mediums such as clay and paper art. In continuation of students’ enjoyment of art, and as they use art as an outlet of self-expression and creativity, the end goal is to bring it to the wider community.” – Shereece Geanmers, STEP Program Lead Teacher/Art Teacher
Thanks to the generous contributions made by our Board, JSA Families an Staff, the STEP classes were able to raise $2,500 which will go directly to support future art projects! Save the date for April 21, 2023 for the next exciting Art Show..ALL ARE WELCOME!