Art Therapy and Art Within Art

Art Proposal by Nick Lemos


Art therapy is an established mental health profession that uses the creative process of art making to improve and enhance the physical, mental and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages. It is based on the belief that the creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps people to resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight.

Art therapy integrates the fields of human development, visual art (drawing, painting, sculpture, and other art forms), and the creative process with models of counseling and psychotherapy. Art therapy is used with children, adolescents, adults, older adults, groups, and families to assess and treat the following: anxiety, depression, and other mental and emotional problems and disorders; mental illness; substance abuse and other addictions; family and relationship issues; abuse and domestic violence; social and emotional difficulties related to disability and illness; trauma and loss; physical, cognitive, and neurological problems; and psychosocial difficulties related to medical illness. Art therapy programs are found in a number of settings including hospitals, clinics, public and community agencies, wellness centers, educational institutions, businesses, and private practices.


I propose that art can be developed even further out of the artwork already being created through art therapy. With consent of the patient/artist, equipment will be connected to the patient that monitors brain activity and brain functioning while they are creating art. This technology will record the changes occurring in the brain while the artistic therapy is taking place.  A variety of different types of patients( i.e.: addiction patients, depression patients, p.t.s.d. patients) will have their brain activity recorded with medical technological devices.

 After all the necessary brain functioning has been recorded through visual representation, it will later be displayed in a gallery type setting.  Patients’ brain activity will be projected against the gallery wall on a constant loop while their artwork is displayed directly underneath the projection. Therefore, you will be able to see exactly went on in that artist/patient’s brain while they created the artwork you are currently observing. You will also observe that if by creating that specific piece of artwork, it somehow aided in the healing of their illness.

What the display will look like: