The Montgomery Museum of Art and History is offering self-help coping tactics and strategies by using art exhibits, materials, and spaces as helpful tools to address mental health issues. This interactive series entitled, “The Art of Happiness,” will focus on aspects of positive psychology and the role that art can play in general happiness and well-being. Now in its second year, this program series will be held at the Montgomery Museum on the first and second Thursday of each month, December through February, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The museum will remain open late on these dates to allow participants the opportunity to see all the museum exhibits and spaces. Space is limited, so early registration is encouraged.
“The goal of this program series is to highlight and raise awareness about mental health issues and accessibility in a non-traditional way while simultaneously offering unique methods and strategies to cope with things like stress, anxiety, and depression,” said Casey Jenkins, the museum’s executive director. “Making space for art therapy in a museum or cultural center can have very profound effects as it relates to experiential self-help. We are very grateful for the support given by LewisGale Hospital Montgomery.”
This past year, the museum garnered state-wide attention when it was awarded the 2023 Innovation Award by the Virginia Association of Museums. The museum was given this prestigious award for the Art of Happiness based on its merit as a new program series that created positive change in the community through innovation and creativity.
The sessions will be led and facilitated by Shelby Wynn, a registered art therapist and licensed professional counselor. Session topics include Found Poetry, Mindfulness Clay Sculpting, and Visual Music and Painting. “I am very excited to be partnering with the Montgomery Museum for the next few months,” Wynn said. “Art is such an integral part of mental health – be it fine art, movement, or music – and it is inspiring to have an organization such as the museum find it important to bridge the gap in mental health awareness. I am honored to be a part of something so innovative.”
All materials will be provided by the museum and no art experience is required. The series is designed to be a free community-building, self-help experience rather than an outpatient group patient therapy session. For more information on this program series and to register, visit https://montgomerymuseum.org/arttherapy.