What started at the beginning of 2017 as a partnership between students at Adler Graduate School and Lifeworks artists culminated in a lively spring art show on May 26.
After traveling to Adler’s Richfield campus bi-weekly from January to May to learn about art techniques from students and participate in art therapy, Lifeworks artists proudly displayed their work.
Community members, family, and peers all attended the event, enjoying refreshments as they perused the artwork.
“It was so rewarding,” said Amy Miller, one of the student instructors from Adler. “Everybody was so sweet. I think it was a great group.”
Ranging from masks and paintings to clay sculptures and murals, participants showed off their broad range of talents.
For Adler students, it was a chance to gain real-world experience.
“Sometimes I think I would be surprised how they responded to different art,” Miller said. “Like you could tell maybe it was clay or maybe it was something that really made them light up when they were doing it, so that was neat to see.”
For the participants from Lifeworks, what made the experience with Adler unique was the ability to work in an art studio and learn from mentors in virtually a 1-to-1 ratio.
In total, there were five student artists from Adler working with six Lifeworks participants.
“They enjoyed everything,” said Lifeworks Service Facilitator Dia Thao. “They enjoyed painting, drawing, they enjoyed doing the clay, they enjoyed doing the masks, pretty much everything art wise. Just being able to sit there, and learn something new, it’s a great thing.”
As a reflection activity, Lifeworks participants filled out a survey indicating their favorite aspects of the experience. Responses ranged from “everything” to “clay sculpture,” “masks,” and “mural.”
This year’s partnership was the second time that the Adler Graduate School art therapy program and Lifeworks Bloomington have collaborated to put on a spring art show.
But the partnership hasn’t been limited to just that. Deb, one of the art therapy students who worked with Lifeworks artists, enjoyed the experience so much that she will be completing internship hours at Lifeworks Brooklyn Park.
In 2018, Lifeworks and Adler hope to collaborate once again to bring together a new group of art therapy students and people with disabilities.