On November 24th “Mirrors of the Mind 7: The Psychotherapist as Artist” re-locates its annual event to the Santa Monica Art Studios this year. The group exhibition features artists who also happen to be working within the psychology community. Students working to receive a degree have always been welcome to submit to the juried show.
Co-founded by colleagues Pamela McCrory, PhD, and Terry Marks-Tarlow, PhD, the event is sponsored by the Community Outreach Committee (COC) of the Los Angeles County Psychological Association (LACPA). The exhibition will include painting, mixed media, collage, photography, sculpture, etc.
“The quality of the art remains high, and we continue to be happy to launch our artists out into the world,” said Marks-Tarlow, co-founder and curator, has been participating as an artist in the event since inception. Pamela McCrory, co-founder and co-curator, said it has been an honor to watch the event evolve through the years. “My own creativity has grown, and making art is now a part of my week, a sanctuary for well-being, play and personal growth.”
The group exhibition will feature a variety of artists such as the work of painter Kristen Wright MFT, who has been painting since she was five years old. She currently works in oil, acrylic, and water color. Wright said she believes visual art is a representation of emotional experiences and a way to process and discover things that are not always found in cognitive dialogue. “As art has the capacity to release emotions, so I feel my role as a therapist is to facilitate my clients to make meaning of and bring understanding to their emotions.” Wright will be exhibiting a work entitled Soul Awakening (Water color 18” by 12”). She explains, “Water colors were layered on each another because it depicts how often our emotions are layered within us. This water color represents an awakening of a soul into a higher consciousness. While yet submerged in the mind, the soul or individual is attempting to extricate themselves from their surroundings.”
Photographer Pamela Kirst, PhD, will feature a work called Infinite Folds, which is the final image in a series of photographs called The Fungi Family. “My fascination with them came about because they just appeared one day in my psychology office (found sharing the pot of one of her plants) to my consternation and then amazement…and refused to leave.”
Claire Vines, PsyD, has participated each year since “Mirrors of theMind,” was first created. She said she found it both honoring and validating. She added “Creating art is part of my life journey.”
Robin Walker LMFT, is another painter included in the show. “I make stories with my paintings – they have a strong sense of narrative.
He is currently working on a series called “Strongmen” featuring men lifting weights, wearing power suits / military uniforms. “I’m attracted to this image because, psychologically, they just want to be liked, but it’s hard for men to admit to this,” said Walker.
Robin went on to say that he allows himself to be guided by principles of composition or color so that he can step out of his own way and fully engage the unconscious. “I have to trust that I’ll get to the final image only if I stay genuine and am motivated by the search for something new.” After adding unexpected colors, he draws over it with charcoal, then collages in pages from fashion magazines, and then edits. The story will soon appear. “This may sound crazy, but I understand it’s just me listening to myself and trying to stay genuine.”
This year’s opening art party takes place on November 24th 2018, from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. at Santa Monica Art Studios, 3026 Airport Avenue, SM, 90405. Enjoy live music and poetry. Admission to the event is $10.00 per person or $5.00 for students and LACPA members. The exhibition will remain on view from November 21st through December 1st, 2018. There is no admission charge during daily viewing. The gallery will be open from Wednesdays through Saturdays from 1- 6 p.m. (except Thanksgiving). Visit the LACPA website to find out more about the organization and the upcoming exhibition. All photos courtesy of the artists and organizers of the event.