The program I have created is called, “Expressive Arts.” Essentially, expressive arts, in a broader term, is labeled “Art Therapy.” I am combining art, psychology, and writing courses to create this successful program. I transferred to Plymouth State University from College of the Atlantic at the beginning of my junior year. At that time, I was not entirely sure what I wanted to major in. I transferred with 45 credits in various subjects and, when I declared my Studio Art Major, most of those transferred courses only counted as electives. Honestly, I was very disappointed that I had taken all those great courses at College of the Atlantic and only a couple of them counted towards the Studio Art Major. Throughout my college years, I have also had a difficult time in tying myself down to one major. I enjoy a lot of different subjects. Therefore, when I found out about the Interdisciplinary Studies Major, I was overjoyed because I had the chance to integrate some of my transfer courses with my Plymouth State University courses to create a program that is valuable to my education. The reason why the Studio Art Major, or in general, any major offered at Plymouth State University will never satisfy my needs, is because my interest for other subjects besides art is very important to me. I strongly believe that this will impact my success in the future. I am much more interested in pursuing an Interdisciplinary Studies Major and have three focuses, rather than pursuing a Studio Art Major and
have only one focus.
Within my contract, I have included a variety of amazing art, psychology, and writing classes that I have taken at College of the Atlantic and Plymouth State University. There are even a couple classes that I still plan to take at Plymouth State University. For my art courses, I have included Introduction to Art and Design because demonstrating the basic concepts of art, perspective, color theory, and understanding how to give constructive critiques, is an essential skill. It is also an integral part of learning how to express yourself, your ideas, and your style. I have included Art Foundations 2D Design because of the importance for an artist to help a client successfully view their artwork in beneficial way. This is an important concept for an expressive artist because clients are going to be creating their artwork and you want them to create visuals that are not bothersome to them. I have included Art Foundations Drawing Line and Language because it is very important that clients investigate, visualize, and create their own ideas through sketching, drawing, or using any medium that allows for them to represent themselves. I have included Art Foundations Digital Media because this generation always seems to be connected to some type of social media, and I believe that it’s useful to learn about the emerging trends in new media technology, and how those trends effect the artistic world. I believe that after graduate school, when I begin my art therapy practice, I will use social media to generate an audience. I will most likely create a website in where I will need the knowledge to create an ascetically pleasing website. Painting Theory and Process has taught me a lot about color and mark making. Through my experience, painting is very therapeutic and it is also a great way to
relieve stress. Relieving stress through creating art can come in many different forms. It can serve as a distraction (even if it’s just for a couple of minutes), it has the ability to create a sense of relief, creating art can help clients express fears and through displaying these fears comes a sense of empowerment. I have included Painting Personal Themes because this course has helped my personal growth as an artist. As a soft-spoken individual, I rarely feel comfortable giving feedback during critiques because I am fearful that my opinion might not agree with the artist. However, since the class size is so small (there are four of us), I have been giving constructive feedback, and that has led me to work better with other artists. I put Advanced Drawing in my contract because the course is essentially self-guided. You are required to come up with your own project ideas and to communicate with your classmates. Effective communication is an important skill. I included Foundations of Sculpture: Representing the Body because in this society the image of the body is distorted. I believe that the “body” can be represented in many ways without an outline. It will be helpful to understand representations of the body, when interpreting future client’s artwork. For my last art class, I have included The Art of Sustainability. This course will help me find a better understanding on how sustainability can be a form of art. This is important because this course integrates science and art.
For my psychology courses, I have included Child Development, because I will be working with children of all age levels. This course gave me fantastic insight on the different theorists and the different styles of childhood growth. I taught a kindergarten art class and a sixth-grade art class at Mount Desert High School in Bar Harbor, Maine. Through that experience, I have gained an incredible amount of insight on how one age range behaves versus a whole different age range. I have included Personality and Social Development because the course explains the importance of the emotional, cognitive, social and behavioral development of human beings. I found this course to be beneficial in understanding basic social development, personality disorders, and educational theories. I have included Abnormal Psychology because this course will give me a better understanding of what the causes and methods of treatments are for neurosis, psychosis, personality disorde
rs, addictions, and psychophysiological problems. The last psychology course that I have included is Adolescent Psychology because it is essential to understand the physical, emotion and social development between puberty and adulthood. During the time of adolescence, many changes are occurring, this includes relations with parents and peers, which can be helpful to understand.
For my writing courses, I have included Starting Your Own Novel because being able to expressive yourself through writing is an important aspect of expressive arts. Being able to write a story that you came up with yourself involves self-expression, creativity, personal experience, courage, and imagination. These attributes are what art therapists are trying to bring out in clients. The second course that I have included is Creative Writing because I know through experience that being able to communicate your story/ideas and collaborate with others, is important when giving feedback and helpful criticism. You want your clients to have a sense that you care about their well-being, ideas, and thoughts.
My program is interdisciplinary because I am integrating three different disciplines to create my Expressive Arts Major. I am combining art, psychology and writing courses because they have helped me in many different incredible ways. They have led me to self-express, find creativity, and inspiration. They have helped me to understand how the human mind and emotions work. They have given me a better understanding on how to communicate and collaborate more efficiently with others. My expressive arts program will benefit me immensely in the future. The program will prepare me for Graduate School. Proceeding Graduate School, I will be prepared to help clients resolve issues as well as develop and manage their behaviors and feelings. By doing this, it will help clients reduce stress, improve self-esteem and awareness, through creative processes and artistic expression.