The Organic Creation of Circle

The circle is a universal symbol for totality, wholeness, the Self, and cyclic movement.  We have chosen this shape to represent the many forms of art creations for our guests in the OAW program.  The circle is represented in our kids group through teaching songs such as “You are my sunshine” to the coloring and creation of nature mandalas.  The kids art therapy group also begins each session with being seating in a circle where we teach salutations and order in the room.  In the adult art therapy groups we have seen individuals working in pairs to create beautiful shared works of art from murals to circular weavings. 

Our objective with the artistic creation of circle is to restore vitality to the guests. The purpose and intent of shapes in artistic value is to meet the guests where they are with the intent to listen, learn, and heal.  The circle serves as a container of chaos where the artist is able to bring order in a world that is uncertain at best.

Art Creations: Woven mandalas, mandala murals, nature mandalas, coloring mandalas, mandala on a wood block.

Art Therapy Task: Tree of Hope

Trees are a timeless symbol of the cycle of life from the planting of seeds, falling transition of leaves, to the setting of roots.  There are many shared references with our OAW guests and their life experiences.   After listening to OAW guest experiences we developed a simple story we titled “The Little Tree” that depicts a great storm that requires moving from home, finding strength, hope, and resilience.  Youth and adults listened to the story in a directed group experience and then draw a “little tree”. Guests are encouraged to stand up and lengthen their body feeling the strength of their spine and core muscles.  At the end of each group they are invited to complete the story by hanging a small tag with their hopes and dreams written on it to place on a tree.  

Experiential exercise: The children and adults were also invited to create their own individual trees of hope using paper bags.

Please stay tuned for more information on how you can be apart of our Little Tree's journey in 2023!