School of Social Work MSW Student Hosts Art Therapy Exhibit for Local Children

School of Social Work MSW Student Hosts Art Therapy Exhibit for Local Children

School of Social Work MSW student Logan Brantley hosted an Art Therapy exhibit in McNeill Hall for children of all ages, from pre-kindergarten to late adolescence.

Art therapy is the utilization of 2D and/or 3D art to assist individuals or groups in expressing their emotions, thoughts and behaviors. This therapy is especially helpful when working with individuals who have experienced trauma because sometimes words do not adequately describe such intense experiences.

“To me, art therapy is an opportunity to free your mind onto paper, clay, or whatever you please,” Logan said. “It is an opportunity to let others see the world from your perspective, to externalize emotions and grow from them. Really, it can be anything you want it to be.”

Logan became interested in meshing art and her passion for helping others through an internship she acquired as an undergrad at UNCW at the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, Calif. for class credit during the summer of 2015.

There, she observed an exhibit focused around PTSD experiences and artistic expression. Since that experience, she has sought opportunities to recreate a sense of awareness and expression.

“Through independent studies, continuing education and networking, I have been able to broaden my knowledge of art therapy and using art within therapy in a competent manner,” Logan said.

Many agencies from around the community were involved in putting the event together, including the CHHS MSW Program, The Carousel Center, DREAMS of Wilmington, YWCA, independent art therapists, Open Gate Domestic Violence Shelter and a local elementary school. 

Logan said her experience at the exhibit was amazing. “I had hoped people would be moved from their experience and that the turn out would be good,” she said, “but I could never have anticipated so many people or so much impact. It was really surreal to have worked so hard and have your hopes come true!”

She had always dreamed of meshing art with a cause, and this idea came to her as the perfect combination. Additionally, the event was an opportunity to raise awareness and prevention of Child Abuse during National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

During her time in the MSW Program, Logan became close with faculty, who portrayed a supportive and open-minded environment. In particular, her Direct Independent Study with Field Education Coordinator Angie Vandenberg helped her to maintain the determination to see a project like this turn from an idea to reality.

Logan said she hopes to open a gallery one day or some sort of museum partnership where she can host events like these on a regular basis.

“I would like to thank everyone at UNCW for their support and open-mindedness that made this event possible, as well as shine,” she said.