After a year of using art for group therapy sessions, a Counseling Center psychologist has created a program that allows students from different cultures to mix and mingle.
The Counseling Center and the Mysch/Hurst halls' International and Modern Languages Living-Learning Communities created Art Space: Culture, Collage and Fun, a program that has students use group collage to learn more about experiences on campus and in the classroom. The goal of this program is to bring cultures together.
Pei-Yi Lin, a psychologist at the Counseling Center, has been using expressive art in individual and group counseling. In the past two semesters, she has had an art therapy group and the outcome was very positive, she said.
"I started to think about using expressive art in outreach programming to benefit more students, which was my motivation to create this new outreach program," Lin said.
This is the first year doing this program. It is part of a three week series, which ends tonight. It is from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the first floor lobby of Mysch/Hurst.
The topic for the first session was "Living Experience in BSU," and the second session topics were "Diversity on Campus" or "College Life and Me." Students could choose one of the topics or develop their own as a group.
"This week, students will be using Play-Doh and finger-paint to make decorative collages," Lamees Galal, assistant hall director of Mysch/Hurst, said. "They can create any type of creative artwork that expresses who they are and introduce others to their culture."
Many students attending the sessions are eager to meet new people, create, draw and have a great time, Lin said.
For the two previous sessions, a total of 63 students attended, she said.
"We had about 38 students at the first session and produced five group collages," Lin said. "There were about 25 students at the second session and produced four group collages."
At each session, students get a chance to learn more about each other and meet new people.
"Students first do a mingling activity for 15-20 minutes," she said. "They then get into groups for 30 minutes and work on a decorative collage together.
"After [they] finish making their collages, students take 20 minutes to share their artworks with the groups [and] hang their projects on the first floor lounge," she said. "We encourage students to ask questions about the artwork."
Galal said by having students hang their artwork, the community can see it and learn more about their work of art. By having this program, students will be able to learn and work with each other to negotiate the ideas they want to present.
"Together, the final products will present a broad and collective culture of BSU students' living experiences, which could increase students' sense of belonging to their community," Lin said. "Through being involved in creative art, students could enjoy and discover their creativity as well as release their stress."