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  • MossRehab’s Art Therapy Program Becomes Community Partner of Philadelphia Museum of Art

    Published: 02/08/2013


    MossRehab’s Art Therapy Program and the Philadelphia Museum of Art have long been dedicated to the important place art has--and should have--in the lives of all people, including those with physical and cognitive disabilities. And now the two venerable organizations are pairing up to combine their art accessibility initiatives as community partners.

    Starting this winter, participants in MossRehab’s Art Therapy program started going on group outings to the Philadelphia Museum of Art where they take customized museum tours. Then, back in their art therapy sessions, they create art based on what they experienced and were inspired by. Patient work will then be displayed as part of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Community Partners Annual Exhibit in the Education Corridor held each fall. (The next tour is scheduled for Thursday, March 7.)

    But what makes this program stand out from similar community partnerships is that these art works by MossRehab patients will also be displayed at the opening night ceremonies of MossRehab’s annual juried exhibit of works by professional artists with disabilities, All About Art. Attendees will have the opportunity to comment on the pieces and help decide which patient pieces will represent MossRehab at the Community Partners Exhibit.

    MossRehab’s Art Therapy Program, headed by art therapist Marya Camilleri uses the art making process to help patients express themselves, cope with their new limitations, and develop fine motor skills and dexterity. The Philadelphia Museum of Art has worked diligently to remove any barriers that would keep those with disabilities from enjoying the works in their collection by creating specially adapted tours, wheelchair accessibility, and workshops that allow those with disabilities to experience art and then create art themselves based on how it has inspired them.

    “I’m very excited for our art therapy patients," said Art Therapist Marya Camilleri. “Imagine having the great paintings and sculptures in the Philadelphia Museum of Art available to you, to have it inspire your own work and then have your work shown in the Education Corridor, just steps from the galleries where the piece that inspired you is displayed. And the fact that patient work will be shown at All About Art first, where patients will get to meet professional, working artists with disabilities and draw inspiration and confidence from them is amazing. This partnership really makes our art therapy program comprehensive.”

    “I agree with Marya completely,” said the Museum’s manager of Accessible Programs, Street Thoma. “The combination of these four perspectives of the visual arts (gallery tour, art making, conversations with artists and peers, and exhibiting in All About Art and at the Museum) will allow the art therapy patients at MossRehab a unique experience and hopefully spark some exciting thoughts and conversations and works of art. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is proud to be a part of this team and is looking forward to seeing what people create and hearing what they have to say. Come and see for yourself.”

  • Communications Team