“We do art classes because there are limits to our words. The process of expression actually helps us process our lived experiences,” shares Kirsten Norslien, Program Director at Gilda’s Club.

Art therapy has long been a part of the programming at Gilda’s Club Madison. Fortunately, these programs have been able to continue virtually.

Art therapy provides an additional way that people are able to process their cancer journey. It also provides an important outlet for people to learn a new skill or to simply take their mind off of the challenges they’re currently facing.

Kirsten explains, “Sometimes people need to focus on something entirely different…a respite. Something we can actually do and get done. It’s healing.”

The classes also have a social aspect, whether people are working on a group project or working alongside each other (even if “alongside” is virtual).

Classes have explored drawing, including a recent class on drawing eyeballs; a women’s art workshop series; guided painting; art journaling; and classes for kids.

One of our members recently shared what she was able to gain from the art journaling class: “Art journaling is a new approach to getting through the difficult times in life. I enjoyed the session; it gave me new ideas and ways of viewing the world.”

Another member, Angela, shared, “The drawing class has made me realize I am more creative than I ever thought. I have learned to be more observant. I looked through my sketchbook of what I have learned and thought ‘I’m an artist’.”

Do you want to support our art therapy and creative expression programming? Contact Lindsey at (608) 828-8862 or lindsey@gildasclubmadison.org to learn how.

Photo caption: Artwork from two of our members who have taken art therapy classes.

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