This January, six students from Pomfret Community School (PCS) exhibited paintings, masks, and handmade jewelry at the the Silver Circle Art Center in Putnam, CT. The students had just completed the first session of a special Therapeutic Arts Mentorship program, designed to increase self­expression, confidence, self­image, and social skills among girls in grades 5­8. This program is offered through a partnership between Silver Circle Art Center and PCS, and funded in part through a Regional Initiative Grant from the Windham Arts Council.

Over the course of their six weeks together, the students created art projects that allowed them to explore their ideas about confidence and relationships, bullying and self­image, and their own identities. In one class, students asked themselves, “What gives me wings?” and then created butterfly wings using the words that give them wings. This art project served as a springboard for the students to discuss larger questions, such as “How do people gain wings?” and “How can I help other people gain theirs?” Projects such as this one allowed students to explore their relationships with themselves and the world around them, to affirm their values and self­belief, and to cultivate positive self­image.

Three of the students in the fall Therapeutic Arts Mentorship session recently got together to describe their experience in the program. “We have learned that we can show our feelings by being creative,” they said. “We got to be ourselves.”

Taught by Art Therapist Johanna Pike, MA, ATR, in partnership with PCS Art Teacher Ana Lameiro, the Therapeutic Arts Mentorship program has just kicked off its second session, which will run through mid­February, followed by another exhibit of student work at Silver Circle’s Art Alley. A third session will be offered in the spring, and is open for enrollment for girls at PCS in grades 5­8.

“The impact of Therapeutic Arts for these girls has been incredible,” says Pike. “Many students are busy with school, homework, and other after school activities. Often there is little time left for them to talk about the many issues they all may go through at this age. This program allows them time to discuss and express themselves on these important topics in a safe, supportive environment.”

Silver Circle Co­Owner and Director Carly Sage Martin adds, “We hope to bring this program to other schools in the region.” Interested schools are encouraged to reach out to Silver Circle Art Center to explore options for bringing Therapeutic Arts Mentorship to their students. Meanwhile,

Silver Circle offers a full range of Integrative Therapeutic Arts Programs at its art center in Putnam.

About Silver Circle’s Therapeutic Arts Mentorship program at Pomfret Community School

The Therapeutic Arts Mentorship program works with girls in grades 5­8 at Pomfret Community School (PCS), with the goal of increasing self­expression, confidence, self­image, and social skills. It can be challenging for girls at such a fundamental and vulnerable age to discuss issues impacting emotional growth and development. By providing materials and therapeutic art projects based around specific topics, they have the support to openly address feelings leading to personal awareness and growth, independently and within their social setting.

The Therapeutic Arts Mentorship program is offering three six­week sessions at PCS during the 2016­17 school year. These programs are offered through a partnership between Silver Circle and PCS, with funding from Windham Arts. At the conclusion of each six­week session, students exhibit their work in an art show at Silver Circle’s Art Alley.

Using the arts as an outlet has been shown to be very beneficial for mental health. If you feel that your child or school could benefit from a program like this, please don’t hesitate to contact Silver Circle Art Center through e­mail: info@silvercirclegallery.com or phone: 860­928­2900.

About Silver Circle’s Integrative Therapeutic Arts Program (ITAP)

Integrative Therapeutic Arts Programs are led by Silver Circle artist instructors. The focus is expressive art and exploration with creative materials in a safe, supportive environment. Instructors use the language of color and symbolism as a way to facilitate creative and emotional expression through acrylic painting, watercolors, oil, drawing, and other visual mediums.

We believe the arts, creativity, and imagination are agents of wellness. Art creates a life­changing space for expression, release, and healing. Creativity through art becomes a tool for communication, emotional release, self­empowerment, stress reduction, social connection, and ultimately enhanced quality of life.

About Silver Circle Art Center

Silver Circle Art Center is located in the (not so) “Quiet Corner” of Northeastern Connecticut, New England, in the thriving and quaint downtown district of Putnam. Putnam

has enjoyed a recent cultural renaissance and is a vibrant area filled with acclaimed restaurants, boutiques, galleries, and antique stores.
Silver Circle was established by longtime NECT resident Carly Martin in 2008 as a dynamic place for local and regional artists to convene, connect, share, inspire and enrich our tightly­knit community. Now celebrating 8 years, Silver Circle has proudly become a respected establishment in the arts community that has positively impacted many people’s lives. It’s beautiful art gallery provides the community with a gathering place to contemplate art and creativity. Silver Circle recently welcomed local talent Christina Cirillo Schmidt as the new co­owner.

Silver Circle Gallery is a membership­based art gallery and art center meant to be a launching pad for local and regional artists at a variety of levels in their career.

For additional information please contact:

Carly Sage Martin
Silver Circle Art Center info@silvercirclegallery.com 860­928­2900 www.silvercirclegallery.com