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Teens paint away the blues with art therapy project

first_imgA brick wall was painted in black puffy paint on an old pair of blue jeans, along with the words anger, confusion, stress, depression, hurt and laughter.“They don’t need to be interpreted,” said Lisa Lowe as she observed the handiwork. The jeans used to be hers.Lowe is part of a giving circle called Empower Women + Girls that partially funded art therapy at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Washington. Art therapist Jocelyn Fitzgerald spearheaded a project where girls in her group at the O.K. Clubhouse used old jeans as a canvas to show what it’s like to be them for a day.In other art classes, they’ve created masks and self-care items such as stress balls and lotions with essential oils.“Stress happens,” Fitzgerald said. “I would ask ‘how much are you stressed?’ And they would say ’24/7.’”She asked the girls how they think adults view teens. Fitzgerald said, “I got a whole bunch of really negative things. ‘We’re disappointments. We’re hardheaded. We’re stubborn.’”Community leaders like Lowe donated old jeans and then visited the O.K. Clubhouse on Thursday night to see the teens’ final products, which took a couple of nights to complete.Joy Cowan, 17, drew cartoon characters on paper and stuck them onto the jeans to convey the emotions she feels throughout a day.“Art therapy is the best kind of therapy,” said Cowan, who takes a couple of different classes every week. “I feel like I’m making a change for the better in my life.”last_img read more