ART THERAPY

Art is the fruit of human freedom. One must love art if one is to develop insight into its necessity for the development of full human potential. Life generally does not force one to love. Life seeks its own being within the non-coercive element.  ~ Rudolf Steiner

The mission of AAATNA is to serve our members by creating opportunities to exchange artistic experiences and undertake professional development. Through these commitments we will build a bridge to the wider world community, creating awareness of Art as an instrument for healing and social change.

What is ANTHROPOSOPHICAL ART THERAPY?
Anthroposophical art therapy works from the principle that illness often has its roots in the soul and artistic work is an expression of the soul. Artistic therapy works through the soul to strengthen and bring harmony and balance to the whole human being, stimulating healing forces (salutogenesis). A series of healing exercises is prescribed to lead the patient toward health. Artistic exercises are given to educate, or re-educate faculties, change old patterns and to develop new capacities. As well, social exercises in painting and clay modeling may be used to build communication skills in isolated individuals and awaken awareness and empathy for others.

A Short History • AAATNA, Association of Anthroposophical Art Therapists in North America, was conceived in 1997 by Martha Rowse Kelder and Karine Munk-Finser. It was brought to birth toward the end of 1999 in New York City by Martha Rowse Kelder and Phoebe Alexander. Phoebe continued to carry AAATNA through March 2002 when an inaugural meeting took place as part of the medical section conference in Toronto, during which a Canadian Section was formed. It was at this juncture that Regine Kurek (Arscura School for Living Art) became the able torch-bearer for the new AAATNA Canada.

In 2006, the first ever AAATNA conference, ‘Healing our Perceiving’ with keynote speaker Kenneth McAlister M.D., and first official AGM (annual general meeting) was held in Toronto. It was a great success with a mix of art therapists, students and others in attendance.

At this pivotal AGM it became apparent that AAATNA Canada, the once little off-shoot, had grown to become the stronger of the two sister associations. Since AAATNA’s original goal had been to serve all of North America, it was easily accepted that AAATNA Canada would now simply be AAATNA, and absorb the original (now US) association into itself. Currently the head office for all of North America is in Canada. Looking toward the future, AAATNA will continue its development as a voice for Anthroposophical Art Therapy in North America.
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