Oct 02, 2019
NYC Health + Hospitals/Correctional Health Services (CHS) today announced the opening of its fifth annual art exhibit, “Where I’m From.” This multidisciplinary art exhibit features the powerful narratives of incarcerated individuals, showcasing the work of the Creative Arts Therapy Program participants – the oldest and largest jail based arts therapy program in the nation. This year’s exhibit comprises of approximately 40 collaborative pieces, ranging from visual art to music and poetry, developed during the course of the past year with instruction from creative art therapists. The program aims to support patients’ mental health and well-being by empowering them through self-expression of reflections on their experiences.
The “Where I’m From” exhibit is made possible with the support of the School of Visual Arts (SVA). The exhibit is on view on the fifth floor of the School of Visual Arts Gallery, located at 132 West 21st Street in Manhattan, from October 2 through October 25, 2019. Gallery hours are as follows:
Other viewings are available by appointment by calling (212) 592-2610. Images of select artwork from this year’s exhibit are available upon request by emailing CHSCommunications@nychhc.org.
“We are grateful for the continued, generous support of the School of Visual Arts,” said Dr. Patsy Yang, Senior Vice President for NYC Health + Hospitals/Correctional Health Services. “The gallery provides a great space in which our patients can convey their humanity and dignity through works of artistic self-expression.”
Creative arts therapy, a therapeutic intervention that has proved effective in correctional settings, uses art, music, movement, poetry, or drama with the goal of supporting patients’ mental health and coping skills through the encouragement of self-expression. Correctional Health Services’ Creative Arts Therapy Program provides voluntary group sessions for interested patients receiving mental health services. The sessions in the program are facilitated by a team of 12 licensed creative art therapists. The program’s creative art therapists are part of the Correctional Health Services clinical mental health team, and coordinate with other staff on mental health care and treatment planning. This year’s theme, “Where I’m From,” encouraged program participants to reflect on their community and identity with freedom to interpret as they saw fit. Their individual identities were unified into larger community pieces of artwork with fellow program participants, providing a therapeutic environment for self-reflection and healing through collaboration.
“Creating art, as we know, can be a profoundly healing, inspiring, and transformative process. For people experiencing the challenges and trauma of incarceration, we’ve seen that art has the potential to save souls,” said State Senate Crime Victims, Crime and Correction Committee Chair Luis R. Sepulveda. “I commend the work of NYC Health + Hospitals/Correctional Health Services, and look forward to witnessing this meaningful exhibit.”
“Creative art therapy is a valuable component of mental health treatment,” said Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried. “NYC Health + Hospitals/Correctional Health Services is a national leader in providing a comprehensive and diverse set of mental health services in correctional settings, and this partnership with SVA will give more New Yorkers the opportunity to see the great art the participants in these programs produce.”
“Innovative programs, such as Creative Arts Therapy, help incarcerated individuals improve and rehabilitate themselves. Already in its fifth year, New York City’s successful jail based arts program will highlight untold stories of identity and self-reflection by people in custody on Rikers Island,” said Assembly Correction Committee Chair David I. Weprin. “I applaud Dr. Patsy Yang, Senior Vice President for NYC Health + Hospitals/Correctional Health Services for recognizing the transformative power of art and implementing groundbreaking mental health services in our City’s jails.”