Art for Cancer Wellness: Young Adults Group with Em, Fall 2022

Artwork by March 2022 participant Corinna Woodard.
Artwork by March 2022 participant Corinna Woodard.

Workshop Title: Art for Cancer Wellness
Em Jones, MA, BFA, LGPAT
Wednesdays, 6 PM to 7:30 PM ET

  • October 12, 2022
  • October 26, 2022
  • November 9, 2022
  • November 23, 2022

In this biweekly fall workshop series facilitated by art therapist Em Jones, participants (ages 19 to 29) will be invited to take part in an art therapy group series that focuses on creative self-exploration for young adults with cancer. Each week, group members will be guided to creatively explore their thoughts, feelings, and current experiences with the aim of facilitating self-expression, fostering hope and strength, and encouraging support in a creative and healing virtual group atmosphere.

Week-by-Week Overview: Each workshop will be structured as follows: check-in, introduction to theme, art-making, discussion, and closing thoughts.

Week 1: Mood Portrait
Materials: Mixed-media sketchbook, watercolor paint, paint brush, water cup; option to include various other art materials (colored pencils, markers, pens, crayons, etc).
Group introductions, review of consent, and space to discuss group expectations and goals. Check-in: each participant selects a soul card image that resonates with them, then writes three words that they associate with the image. Create artwork responding to how the soul card connects with their current experience. Discussion about artwork and descriptive words, associations, and the process of reflecting on their experience using soul cards. Closing thoughts.

Week 2: Mandala
Materials: Mixed-media sketchbook, circular template (plate, cup, etc), pencil, various art materials (oil pastels, colored pencils, watercolor paints, etc).
Check-in; Mandala meditation; Introduce concept of mandala; Demonstrate drawing circle with template; Create artwork using the shape of a circle. Discussion about artwork, associations, and the experience of creating a mandala—reference research that supports healing elements of mandala-making. Continued discussion and closing thoughts.

Week 4: Visual Swamp
Materials: Mixed-media sketchbook, various art materials (oil pastels, watercolor paint, colored pencils, crayons, etc).
Check-in; Introduction to the theme of visual swamp: exploring fears and anticipated challenges in life journey using the metaphor of a swamp. Create artwork in response to the theme, reflecting on obstacles and fears as well as resources and supports that help us on our life journey. Discussion of artwork, associations, and the process of using metaphor to reflect on fears and resources. Closing thoughts.

Week 4: Lessons I’ve Learned & Wisdom I Can Share: Touchstones
Materials: Mixed-media sketchbook, collage materials (magazines, catalogs, clear glue, scissors). Option to include various other art materials (colored pencils, markers, pens, crayons, etc).
Check-in; Introduce themes of personal wisdom and possible lessons learned during cancer journey or life journey. Create artwork using collage materials to reflect on lessons learned and wisdom that could be shared with others on a similar journey. Discussion of artwork, associations, and the process of artistically reflecting on wisdom gained from life experiences. To close, group members will use collage materials to create a touchstone that contains a word or phrase that reminds them of a piece of personal wisdom. Participants will be invited to share their collage and touchstones. Closing thoughts about experience in the group and the six-week series.

Week 5: Art Hive: November 30, 2022, 5:30 to 7 PM ET
Materials: Bring any and all art materials to work on any artwork of your choosing
Group members are invited to share in a session of open artmaking with members of the group and the broader Kits to Heart community. There is no specific theme or direction, but rather open time for artists to share in a time of collective creativity to close the fall workshop cycle and commemorate the end of the year. This session is optional and open to all members of the Kits to Heart community, including family and friends.

Fall 2022 registration is closed. Registration for the next cycle in spring 2023 will open in early 2023.