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Art for Health & Healing Program

In response to the growing need for expressive art therapy services in Stark County, Canton Museum of Art began the Art for Health and Healing Program in December. This unique hands-on program was conceived and developed by the CMA staff and local art therapy consultant, Gail Wetherell-Sack.


Group leaders and therapists from local service organizations use the museum’s exhibitions and art therapist-led experience in conjunction with existing therapeutic efforts as a way for their patients to visually express themselves and focus on positive life experiences. This program would not be possible without the lead sponsor, Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery.





The museum has displayed community artwork in CMA's lobby by clients from Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery. CMA plans to display expressive community art exhibitions in the classrooms and public lobby at different times throughout the year. Many participants from the Art for Health and Healing Program want to be a part of something, and inviting them to the museum to participate in exhibitions helps with their self-esteem and their recovery process.


“Expressive therapy that utilizes the visual arts has proven itself as an indispensable tool in the field of mental health treatment,” said Max Barton, Executive Director of CMA. This program makes the most of CMA’s resources and expertise in the visual arts, offering a safe environment in which people can begin the healing process.”


Art is an important communication channel––an expression of thoughts, emotions, reactions and opinions. It can be a culmination of a person’s life experiences and struggles. A portion of the artist is invested into every creation. The Art for Health and Healing program focuses on the expressive act of making artwork in a relaxing atmosphere.


To learn more about putting an art therapy experience together, contact Dianne Papes at (330) 453-7666 ext. 107, or email her at dianne@cantonart.org. For more information about supporting this important community resource, contact Libby Doss, CMA Development Director, at (330) 453-7666 ext. 103, or email her at libby@cantonart.org.

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