Part II: Art of Connection

“Art therapists are professionals trained in both art and therapy. They are knowledgeable about human development, psychological theories, clinical practice, spiritual, multicultural and artistic traditions, and the healing potential of art. They use art in treatment, assessment and research, and provide consultations to allied professionals. Art therapists work with people of all ages: individuals, couples, families, groups and communities. They provide services, individually and as part of clinical teams, in settings that include mental health, rehabilitation, medical and forensic institutions; community outreach programs; wellness centers; schools; nursing homes; corporate structures; open studios and independent practices.” American Art Therapy Association (Still […]

Art of Connection

Part I “Art therapy is the therapeutic use of art making, within a professional relationship, by people who experience mental and/or physical illness, trauma or challenges in living, and by people who seek personal development. Through creating art and reflecting on the art products and processes, people can increase awareness of self and others, cope with symptoms, stress and traumatic experiences; enhance cognitive abilities; and enjoy the life-affirming pleasures of making art.” AATA (In tha flow . Unedited) I pressed my way. Didn’t dress up. Looked like I’d been in the art studio all day engaging art materials, but I […]

Endow Me

Art making: It started with quotes from Mamas Angelou, Brooks and Morrison. I was in the bed flipping through a magazine and came across the wisdom of these Black womyn organized in perforated boxes on a glossy page. The words were perfect, but the boxes were too neat and structured. I started tearing the edges because their words don’t belong in boxes, they’re limitless. With the quotes at the forefront of my thoughts, I kept turning pages. In my mind’s eye: images, words, colors and patterns, unrelated to the ancestors’ and elder’s wisdom, were suddenly responding to the quotes. I […]

personal day . . .

(c) 2009 vpb collage mixed-media And sometimes, you need to call in Black and womon. A mental health day to, as the sista says in the video, “reaffirm my humanity to myself.” A day to yeah, um, yuppers . . . just be, reflect . . . a personal day.  And sometimes, while you’re reflecting you get to thinking about why . . . and who . . . and what. Okay, not you, but me. As I parlayed in bed scrolling through social media I started thinking about why I’m an art therapist and why I work with youth, […]

doodle . . .

words take form – a love poem. Kiss inside. Save my scent. Accept me flawed. Ease my splinters. Soak my pains. Protect my heart. Love my simple. Alert me first. Sing me joy. Walk outside. Keep me balanced. Be my edge. Honey my wrongs. Query my rights. Arch my back. Ink my tongue. Carry my fall. Tell me truth. (c) 2016 nicole jhanrea

giving birth . . .

I’m all into birthing stories. Not just physical, human babies, but stories of folks giving birth to ideas, projects, visions, empires, love…etc. Dec 31, 2015 I sent my sista-friends a text asking them to be my focus group. Okay, I didn’t ask. I told them, “You be my focus group.” I wanted, maybe even needed, their input. Not for validation, but these sistas are my angels here on earth and even when they don’t know it, they make me stronger, and strength gives me courage. I also knew they would keep it real with me. Really real! I sent them […]

why nicole jhanrea?

i digress… why nicole jhanrea? i was blessed with many names at birth—each with a story, each with sustenance.  in the spirit of blooming and uncovering, i chose to focus on the nicole and jhanrea parts of me in 2016. the meaning of the name nicole: victory of the people! both names carry the energy of sisterhood and lifelong friendships—three of my mama’s closest friends.  one chose the name nicole for me, and for the other two, my mother creatively combined their names to create, jhanrea. the irony about nicole is that two of my closest high school and college […]