Clients at the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre (SRC) will enjoy the benefits of Art Therapy as Bahamian multidisciplinary artist, Kelley Knowles–Charlow, is partnering with the Sandilands Occupational Therapy Department to host the first annual Art competition for clients and residents of the institution. The competition will be held Wednesday, 24th April, 2019, and organizers encourage the public’s support for this innovative therapeutic program.
Mrs. Sunitha Pati, head of Occupational Therapy at SRC stressed the significance of Art in mental health rehabilitation. Referring to research by Cathy Malchiodi, a licensed art therapist and clinical counselor, she observed “…art making can be soothing and stress reducing, a way to transcend troubling circumstances or life’s problems. Others have experienced how imagery helps to solve problems, release powerful or distressing emotions, recover from traumatic losses or experiences, or alleviate pain or physical symptoms.” Pati noted that Art Therapy is based on the belief that people can process life experiences through art.
The Art Therapy program at SRC began working with twenty (20) clients from the various wards and programmes, however, both Pati and Knowles-Charlow point out that additional help is needed if it is to be sustainable. Mrs. Knowles-Charlow has extended an invite to local artists to consider coaching clients of SRC as they prepare for the competition. Interested persons from the community are invited to volunteer to assist with the Art Therapy program by contacting the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre at 364-9600.
Mrs. Kelley Knowles–Charlow lives in Miami, Florida. She earned a 4- year Bachelor’s degree in sculptural Fine Arts from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn New York and a Master’s degree from Long Island University in Art Therapy. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. as a doctoral candidate in Marriage and Family Therapy.
In the future, Knowles-Charlow hopes to dedicate more time to connecting her art process with her personal interests regarding marginalization; and social justice issues. The Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre is honoured to have the assistance of a Bahamian artist of such talent who is also equipped with the necessary qualifications guide the new program to success.