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Creative ID: 128

Art form(s): Community Art, Visual Arts, Craft/Object.

Based in: Porirua, Wellington.

When I'm available: I am available in 2020 during terms 1 and 2. I am available weekly on Mondays and Tuesdays from 8am–4pm.

Where I'm available: I am available in Porirua, Wellington.

My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)

Having completed a bachelor in Fine Arts, I am well acquainted with visual art processes including installation, drawing, painting, sculpture and craft. I have a particular interest in expressive painting, with an ongoing painting practice. My particular area of interest, however is the field of arts therapy. Having recently trained as an arts therapist, I am passionate about providing others opportunities to engage in the arts, and believe that all people have great creative capacity. Arts therapy is a growing field in New Zealand. It uses creative processes such as painting and drawing to cultivate self-awareness and improve physical, emotional and mental well-being. It engages the imagination to help resolve inner and outer conflicts, increase self-esteem, and reduce stress and anxiety. Arts therapy offers people different ways of communicating and experiencing. Within my art therapy practice I view the relationship as foundational. My willingness to be present to others with a sense of curiosity and openness is a strength that I bring to this work. I am motivated and inspired by the sparks of joy I see in other people when they are engaged in the creative process. 

My track record of experience and success - or the track record of experience and success of the creative or artist that I will partner with

I have a bachelor in Fine Arts, and a Masters of Arts in Arts Therapy. I have exhibited work in a number of Fine Art exhibitions, as well as do commissioned painting work. During my art therapy training I have been on placement as an intern at a number of settings, including both primary and secondary schools. In these settings I have facilitated therapeutic art spaces for young people to explore well-being and self expression. I have worked both with groups and individuals. These placements include multiple schools, a support centre, and a theatre company.

Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes

I have been working with young people for the past 10 years. My early experience in working with young people was through being a gymnastics coach and volunteering in schools with reading and art programmes. I was a nanny for 2 years. I also worked as a facilitator for a holiday programme which provided art experiences for primary-school children. During the last 2 years I have worked as a teacher aide at a school. This has involved working individually with children as well as providing classroom support, ESOL support and facilitating groups. At this school I have established a programme that provides the children an opportunity to engage, express themselves, and connect through the arts. My art therapy training in various placement settings, in particular, has allowed me to develop therapeutic skills to support children and youth from many walks of life. The age range of children I have worked with is 5–17. I am also working with the older population at a retirement village, where I am facilitating creative workshops.

Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice

As I have experienced the transformative power of engaging in the arts for myself, I feel excited about providing these experiences for others. I believe that children develop holistically (physically, socially, emotionally and spiritually) through engaging in the arts. I have seen first hand how the creative art process can help children develop self-awareness, self-confidence and increase positive engagement in their worlds. As an art therapist I am passionate about the intersection of well-being and the arts – and this Creatives in Schools programme is such a fantastic opportunity to bring these together. Developing and facilitating a programme through Creatives in Schools will be a great chance for me to deepen my art therapy practice and to learn from the children and their whānau about the very best ways to engage with the arts in this way. Engaging with others, and being open to learn and change also provides great fuel for my own creative practice and artist identity. Therefore, it is for this multitude of reasons why I would deeply appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the Creatives in Schools programme.

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