Each week, all residents spend an afternoon exploring and creating artwork through a variety of media. Residents learn techniques such as drawing and painting, scratchboard, mosaic, printmaking, and yarn. The natural world and its seasons, personal experience, and imagination guide teens in creating original mixed-media pieces.
Projects include mask-making, yarn painting, and weaving, Ukrainian egg decorating, and Chinese painting with traditional bamboo paint brushes and ink. One ongoing project is a mural painting on the walls of the recreation hall. Each resident chooses a theme or group of images and, in the process of working through the subject matter, leaves their imaginative contribution in the space for present and future residents to enjoy.
At ironwood, we’re dedicated to the creative and explorative process of art. The art program also has a definite healing component. Art therapy involves creative self-expression to help residents resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight. This practice integrates the fields of human development, visual art, and the creative process with models of counseling and psychotherapy. As our young artists master new media and techniques, they gain insight into themselves and the outer world. In time they may realize that they can shape their own life with the same thought, care and imagination they devote to a singular work of art.