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The Joy of Art

It’s a three-letter word that can have more power and meaning behind it than many other three-lettered words in the English language. According to, art is defined as: the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.

What the definition doesn’t tell you is that, according to many research studies, art is also valuable in helping people overcome issues, troubling emotions, and expressing themselves in general. And making any kind of art work can be therapeutic.

Did you know that Dove’s domestic violence program has an art group that meets every Monday? This has been going off and on for a few years now. The groups are led by an art therapy intern from Millikin, and there’s always a staff member that sits in, as well. Usually I am that staff member. I always look forward to the group because art has this amazing way of bringing people to a new sense of awareness and helps them to get out of their own minds for awhile—and that’s something that everyone needs occasionally.

Here’s an example of one project we did a few weeks ago. The concept involves pouring some paint of various colors on half of a piece of thick paper, then folding the paper. It turns out looking something like your own “ink blot” test designs:

And then you try and see if you can see any particular images in the paint. It was a really fun exercise that went over very well with clients and staff (me!) alike.

If you’d like to know more about our art groups, please call 217-428-6616 and ask for Angie. Or if you have some art supplies that you aren’t using, such as unused painting canvases of any size, scrapbooking paper, or even a good set of markers that you no longer need, we’d be thrilled to have them! And if you’d like to talk about an idea for a project, I’d be thrilled to listen!


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