Each summer, the LMU Marital and Family (Art) Therapy Department’s (MFT) Helen B. Landgarten Art Therapy Clinic coordinates a therapeutic art camp to serve middle and high school students from underrepresented communities. This year, the Summer Arts Workshop invited youth artists from Dolores Mission School in Boyle Heights to visit LMU and work with MFT faculty, staff, and graduate students to create symbolic lanterns that represent finding light within themselves, others, and their community.
Artists have historically risen to be a beacon of light for others during uncertain times and this project aimed to seek inspiration from the artists who have paved a path of understanding and light. Youth artists worked on their lanterns every day for a week, adding layers of meaning and personal significance with the following prompt – “What helps you find light?”.
“This year we spent a great deal of time thinking about our curriculum and theme,” said Amber Cromwell, Summer Arts Workshop program director and MFT clinical supervisor. “We wanted to offer acknowledgment that while there are cultural and societal events that offer space for reflection on what needs to change in our communities, it can feel quite dark or impossible to be or make this change happen.”
“We aimed to validate that when we find light within ourselves and embrace our culture and who we are, we can access the strength to be there for our community,” Cromwell continued. “Buddha said, ‘If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your path’. This quote really exemplifies the role mentorship plays in our program and one of the major aspects involved in the strong bonds that form after only one week.”
Learn more about the Summer Arts Workshop