Starting April 28, the William Blizard Gallery opened its final exhibition, portraying the work of graduate students in the Springfield College Art Therapy and Counseling program.
Being a part of the Simpson Fine Arts Series, the gallery holds pieces of work from 13 students, demonstrating different techniques such as paintings, drawings and sculptures.
“These students will work in the field, in a variety of setting,” said gallery director, Ron Maggio. “They will work, but they use art as the tool for therapy.”
The Art Therapy and Counseling program is different than many other programs in the country. Each student is required to take a number of basic art classes while on their way to pursuing a degree in Art Therapy and Counseling. “It is important that they are not only therapists, but artists,” said Maggio.
Each of these students will work in a variety of settings, including outpatient units, clinics, schools and hospitals. They will work using art to improve the lives of others.
A lot of the pieces of art deal with social issues, including animal cruelty, but others entail paintings and photographs of populations and other personal issues.
“It is just a different way of communicating,” said Maggio.
Although a requirement for graduation, each piece is personal to either the artist or society, alike. According to the artist statement by Harlee Goodless, “My role with both the objects and with my clients is to facilitate a change.”
Some of the pieces of art have been worked on since the beginning of some students’ time here at Springfield College and some were started this year, but they are made for the benefit of the gallery.
“They are all personal expression,” said Maggio.
The gallery will run until May 17, which is the day of graduation, but is open to the student body until that day.