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  • “10th Anniversary” Online Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for a..
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  • 15th Solo Art Series – Online Solo Art Exhibition Opportunity

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces its 15th “Solo Art Series”..
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  • Urgent issue of The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge

    Location: Mississauga, ON

    CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: URGENT ISSUE OF THE SOCIETY FOR THE DIFFUSION OF USEFUL..
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  • 2020 Social Distancing Exhibition

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    $1,000 in Artist Prizes. We know, you’re stuck at home. While many are stocking..
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  • 10th Annual

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for the..
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  • Call for Art - 5th Annual Animal Kingdom Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 5th Annual Animal Kingdom online art competition. For..
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  • Call for Art - Still Life Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art invites submissions for its 14th Quarterly Art Competition – Still Life. For..
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  • 2 ARTIST/ 2 PERSPECTIVES

    Location: Windsor, ON

    The workshop offers an opportunity to have access to two outstanding painters who..
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  • National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society 2020 Spring Online International Exhibition

    Location: , ON

    $4500 in Awards - The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS) invites..
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  • Beacon Original Art Spring Show & Sale

    Location: Calgary, AB

    Annual spring 2-day art show and sale with different artists in attendance each..
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  • Nooks & Crannies Outdoor Art Festival: Call to Artists

    Location: Okotoks, AB

    Okotoks Culture seeks proposals from artists to create temporary public art installations in..
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  • BORDERS - ITSLIQUID International Art and Architecture Festival

    Location: Venice,

    CALL FOR ARTISTS BORDERS | Venice July-Nov 2020 ITSLIQUID International Art and Architecture Festival Deadline:..
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  • Acrylic Painting Workshop with Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    April 4/5 2020. Learn how to quickly develop rich colour and surface in..
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  • $550.00 Innovate Grants — Call for Artists + Photographers

    Location: , NY

    Innovate Grant is now accepting submissions for the Spring 2020 Cycle. Innovate Grant..
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  • CALL FOR ARTISTS: CANVAS International Art Fair

    Location: London, UK,

    CANVAS International Art Fair THE LINE Gallery, London | May 07 – October 30,..
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  • 27th Lemonville Group of Artists Show and Sale

    Location: Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON

    Please join The Lemonville Group of Artists for their 27th Annual Art Show..
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  • “Sensuality” International Call - Art & Literature Journal - Deadline April 30, 2020

    Location: Toronto, ON

    | Theme: A glance, touch, dance, flower, scent or piece of chocolate can..
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  • Artwork Shipping Scam

    Location: , AB

    This week an artist on our site was corresponding via email with an..
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  • Geoff Farnsworth: Colour Worker

    Location: Niagara-On-The-Lake, ON

    Join the Niagara Pumphouse for the opening reception for the exhibition entitled, “Geoff..
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  • Call for Entries: Art at the Pumphouse

    Location: Niagara-On-The-Lake, ON

    The Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre is now accepting applications for participation in Art..
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  • Exaltation : Niagara Pumphouse Instructors' Exhibition

    Location: Niagara-On-The-Lake, ON

    Niagara Pumphouse is proud to host the Instructors’ Exhibition as its first show..
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  • Art, Wine, Interior Design Show

    Location: Winnipeg, MB

    Art, Wine, Interior Design Show! Exhibitor opportunities for Visual artists, Interior Designers and Wineries. Finding..
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  • National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society 2020 Spring Online International Exhibition

    Location: , ON

    The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS) invites oil and acrylic painters..
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  • Land and Sky - 2 Artist/2 Perspectives

    Location: Windsor, ON

    PAINTING WORKSHOP AT SHO ART STUDIOS APRIL 3rd 4th and 5th 2020..
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  • Love At First Sight

    Location: Regina, SK

    Love At First Sight / Regina Art Collective members: Dave Gedjos / DeLee Grant..
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  • In Other Words

    Location: Regina, SK

    In Other Words / Regina Art Collective members: Nikki Jacquin / Derek Olson / Mark..
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  • Call for Art - 4th Annual Black & White Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 4th Annual Black & White online art..
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  • CALL FOR ARTISTS: VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2020

    Location: Venice,

    CALL FOR ARTISTS: VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2020 Venice | April 09 – May..
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  • CALL FOR ARTISTS: THE EXTENDED BODY 2020

    Location: London,

    CALL FOR ARTISTS: THE EXTENDED BODY – MIXING CULTURES ITSLIQUID International Art Exhibition THE..
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  • Appreciation of the Arts

    Location: London, ON

    Three day art and music event to recognize local artists in London, Ontario...
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  • Call to Artists - 2020 Sooke Fine Arts Show

    Location: Sooke, BC

    Artists are invited to submit work for consideration to the 2020 Sooke Fine..
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  • ACAF (Accessible Art Fair) 2020

    Location: Brussels,

    ACAF (Accessible Art Fair) is back on October 15-18, 2020 for its 14th..
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  • Call For Artists: The Other Art Fair Toronto

    Location: Toronto, ON

    The Other Art Fair are thrilled to present the newest edition of The..
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  • Marlene Kawalez and Corynn Kokolakis

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Presented by: Cedar Ridge Gallery. Part of the Cedar Ridge Gallery Contemporary Exhibition series. March..
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New Legacy in Canadian Art Community through Art Therapy

By Evelyn Greenhalgh, AIC Writer, Montreal January 25, 2014

Art Therapy

Canada’s long-lasting legacy in the arts has stemmed from a diversity of tradition ranging from First Nations cultures to the distinctive Group of Seven followed by their contemporaries and modern descendants, and enhanced by a rich infrastructure that makes up the core characteristic of cities and small communities across the country. More than ever, art isn’t simply a monumental piece of work to be revelled at in a museum, but an integrative and interactive experience which is taking many forms throughout the nation, from the indie-themed festivals of Montreal to the local programs and workshops that highlight special times of the year in rural areas such as the Maritimes, a hotspot of treasured traditions. Canadian recognition of visual arts in particular is reflected through an extensive catalogue of working painters, sculptors, printers, photographers, and craftspeople that are situated from coast to coast, as well as the celebration of art itself.

A Healing Hand

Art is evolving, as well as drawing on its past lives in becoming a vital element to the essence of a community. Art therapy in particular is a profession as well as an art in itself which is involved in outreach programs on both a collective and individual level; at recovery.org  , a group of rehabilitation and treatment specialists, they believe that therapy is key to helping individuals overcome their challenges and take steps towards a comprehensive healing and empowerment process, and art therapy – just like its counterparts dance and music therapy – is integral to this process. The Canadian Art Therapy Association takes this theory into practice, working with “individuals, couples, families or groups in settings such as counselling agencies, schools, treatment centres, rehabilitation facilities, hospitals, correctional institutes and elder care locations.” Not only is it an effective treatment for those facing particular challenges, but it also realigns a sense of personhood by helping the individual to focus on themselves and use a very natural form of expression.

How Does Art Therapy Work?

For the same reason that many artists pursue this eclectic and liberal medium of expression, art therapy works on the premise that a person can express their thoughts and feelings through “imagery, colour and shape” which would otherwise be difficult to communicate by spoken word. Because art is unbounded, an individual is free to explore the possibilities and use the canvas as a sounding board, experiencing a kind of catharsis as well as a “translation” of their anguish which leads the individual – as well as their therapist – to reach a better understanding of what is going on in their mind. It is a way to enhance a deep connectivity of the self, and can be also be used as a technique for escapism and removing oneself from their turmoil as well as become a safe venue for exploring it. Some clients may go beyond using art therapy as a healing treatment, and use their art to make a statement about their journey – this is particularly effective for spreading awareness about mental illness, or conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

With art’s multisensual and synaesthesic capacity, cultural symbolism and scope for individuality, as a therapy it has been hailed as one of the most fulfilling and intuitive approaches to healing. As a study, leading institutions across the country are beginning to offer programs with the most extensive one held at Concordia University in Montreal. Not only is this beginning to place visual arts back on the table for more successful career opportunities, but it is redefining the visual arts’ place within the Canadian community as both a medium and effective intervention, healing, and empowering tool.

In the summer of 2014, the Art Gallery of Ontario will feature “Art as Therapy” masterminded by British pop-psychologist Alain de Botton, who argues that museums no longer provide the connection with their public which is so essential to art. “In Art as Therapy, we argue that art is a tool that can variously help to inspire, console, redeem, guide, comfort, expand and reawaken us,” de Botton argues. And that in itself tells the story of art therapy, as well as disclosing the core of art itself.
 

Evelyn Greenhalgh                                                                                                                                                                                                                     AIC Art Writer, Montreal

Also thanks to Donika Wimalaratne for her visual inspiration for this article. To see more of her computer generated work please see her website also FineArtAmerica.