Art Therapy for Social Justice

Barbara Fish

Bearing Witness: Art as Social Action

In spring 2009 I juried an exhibition

at the ARC Gallery in Chicago.

The show looked at images used for social action by

contextualizing them in their life stories.

May 30 through June 20, 2009

Harm’s Touch and the Burden of Care: Juror’s Discussion

          May 30, 2009

Perspective on Art as Social Action: Artists’ Panel

          June 13, 2009

A video of the panel:

Perspectives on Art as Social Action will air on CAN TV

Please check their website for more information and for future cablecasting dates and times.

          Sunday, July 26th, 2:30 PM, Channel 21

          Thursday, July 30th, 10:00 AM, Channel 19

          Friday, August 14th, 8:00 AM, Channel 19

“Degenerate Art” Film Screening and Discussion

          June 19, 2009

For a digital catalogue including my juror’s statement, the images and their life stories contact:

The exhibition prospectus is available at:

The Witness, 2008

Envisioning Change:

An Art Therapist’s Activism in Child Welfare Reform

American Art Therapy Association Conference, Sacramento California, November 2010

for information contact

   My work in the Mental Health Policy program at the University of Illinois challenges me to support the quality of care provided in residential and hospital programs for children who are wards of the state.

    My knowledge as art therapist and educator is valuable, but the essential strengths that I bring to my work are my ability to use response art to see things clearly and my imagination to envision change.  Joseph (1997) an artist, art therapist, and activist described the artist’s obligation and opportunity; “Art has a sacred function as a vital expressive power that can inspire humanity to expose and confront the dehumanizing, life threatening forces of our time and can set into motion creative, life respecting alternatives” (p. 54). 

Joseph C. (1997). Reflections on the inescapable political dimensions of art and life. In P. Farris-Dufrene (Ed.). Voices of color: Art and society in the Americas. (pp. 46-54.) Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey: Humanities Press International.

Envisioning Change Abstractfile://localhost/Envisioning%20Change%20Abstract%20AATA%2010.doc

Barbara Fish (4)

© Barbara Fish, PhD, ATR-BC 2009 All rights reserved worldwide.