The Day at VATA’s Annual Conference

This Years Annual Conference “Materials Techniques and Technologies” was great! The day started off the day with Keynote speaker Matthew Bernier MCAT, ATR-BC, a professor at Eastern Virginia Medical School. Matthew’s presentation on the Expressive Therapies Continuum (ETC) was wonderful. I learned about the ETC in school, however, the presentation provided a lot of new information. I think what peaked my interest the most was talk about new research related to the ETC and neuroscience! After Matthew’s Presentation the room was transformed into 3 stations which mirrored ETC concepts and the experiential began!

Alyssa Miller, MS  presented “Maker, Destroyer, Creator”. Alyssa shared her take on Lynn Kapitan’s work  and discussed how she adapted it to fit the population with which she currently works with.  The process involves the creation of artwork that reflects an emotion, the destruction of  it, and then the recreation into something new.  Alyssa took the group through the process in order to provide us all with insight as to how the process would feel for clients.  The presentation and experiential elicited great discussion which stemmed into a wonderful exchange of ideas.

Last, but Definitely NOT least,  was Gretchen Graves MS, ATR. Gretchen Presented “Innovative Interventions with Medically Ill Children”. Gretchen’s  passion for her work is contagious! She works with a wide range of children that have numerous needs and she has found wonderful ways of helping them experience art and art making. She is so inventive and creative I wish she would write blog entries for VATA! Gretchen has found ways to help her blind clients paint utilizing their other senses, such as smell and touch. Gretchen talked about her use of the various technologies available for handicapped individuals and how she adapted them for art making. She had so many wonderful case examples which really demonstrated how going outside of the box could truly benefit the children she works with.  I was inspired!

The day left me eager and excited to hear from all of these presented again!

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