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Opening exhibit from the Montana Art Therapy Association at the Phoenix Building

The Montana Art Therapy Association cordially invites you to attend the 3rd annual MTATA Art show at the ForeGround Gallery (next to Oro Fino Coffee in the Phoenix Building) Uptown Butte. The Opening reception is June 7th, which will include a conversation about Vincent Van Gogh, what we know about his mental health journey and how his life as an artist informs the current profession of art therapy. The show will be up until July 19th.

Who is MTATA and what is art therapy? The Montana Art Therapy Association became a chapter of the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) in 2009. It was founded by dedicated Art Therapy professionals from Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Hamilton, Kalispell, Missoula, and Whitefish, MT.  One of the many goals of MTATA is to offer creative educational opportunities to Montanans about mental health and the profession of Art Therapy. Our annual traveling art shows are the primary ways we meet our goals of engaging others and teaching about our profession. MTATA has FaceBook and Instagram accounts in case you'd like to check out our web presence.

Art Therapy is a Master's degree level mental health profession that utilizes the creation of art to help people improve psychological health, develop interpersonal skills, increase self-esteem, achieve insight and process trauma. (Excerpt from AATA, 2016). 

MTATA's current show "Bridges" is inspired by the ways in which life offers us bridges, physically and metaphorically.  Bridges allow us to move from one place to another, to avoid water, the rough terrain below or other obstacles. Likewise art itself can be a bridge from one state of being to another. This show includes art depicting the many forms of bridges (seen and unseen)  by art therapists (from Montana and Wyoming) and their clients.

The images here are a glimpse into the show. The first is titled "The Bridge of the Unknown" by S. O'Neal. This image can be seen as the bridge of crossing over.The Raven is the Gatekeeper for the afterlife. The artist's statement: "There are a million bridges that connect us all together. They can take us back into the past or lead us to our future. Some bridges you build and some you have to burn. It is up to us to choose wisely".

The image  "The Guardians. It is a painting of an inspirational sculpture by Frederick Franck (the nationally known artist). The sculpture is titled Seven Generations and resides on a hill top at Boulder Hot Springs (40 miles from Butte). This image was painted by an art therapist shortly after her mother had died. Creating the painting felt like a bridge to her own ancestors and especially her dear mother.

The "Bridge of Grief" by Kim Brown Campbell, LCPC, ATR-BC Ph Ed, invites the viewer directly onto the bridge of grief. 

Other images you will be able to experience at the show include "Client Response #1" By Jason Heisey, LCPC, ATR-P. Responsive art is a bridge between the client process and the art therapist. Two ways art therapists respond to clients are joining in the art making process and creating art as a response to client art. This piece is an example of both. 

"Burning Bridges" by Julia Wessling is another powerful image that will greet you if you attend the show.

"Peaceful Warrior Day 205" by Kelly Fitzgerald is about the artist's journey of sobriety.

Art, and other creative forms, can be a bridge to our loved ones through time and space. 

Visit the ForeGround Gallery inside the Phoenix Building (68 W Park in Butte) to see the show from June 7th- July 19th.

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