By Deborah Schroder
Sometimes I think of art therapy as a wild, colorful plant, and I most often think in “plant words”, not “garden words” – which to me speaks of art therapy’s ability to grow and thrive in surprising, unexpected places. Although many have planted, nurtured and tended to it (garden words) over the years, including me, it does take root where it wants to grow.
And it’s growing beautifully at Meow Wolf in Santa Fe. Established in 2008 as an art collective, Meow Wolf has become a premier destination here. It’s an immersive and interactive art experience, and along with the art adventure there’s the David Loughridge Learning Center. The learning center, under the leadership of Southwestern graduate Craig McAdams, has partnered with Southwestern College’s Art Therapy/Counseling program to offer unique open studios and art therapy workshops, including art therapy groups for a variety of local community people of all ages, and visitors from all over the world.
Southwestern interns and practicum students have been able to offer art therapy to people who might not ever have had knowledge of it or access to it. Accessibility to art making and its healing benefits is an important gift to our community.
I’m so pleased that this partnership between Southwestern and Meow Wolf has created this lively, vibrant growth for art therapy. And now we nurture what took off rather spontaneously!