This literally brought a tear to my eye. It ‘s an older video, but it really showcases the effect art can have on people. In this particular video, the focus is on people from the Mississippi State Hospital and their Community Services Program for people with mental illness. And while this may or may not be professional art therapy, it sure is tough to deny the therapeutic benefits art has on the seven people featured in this video. We can debate where art ends and therapy begins all we want, but if a person believes there is therapeutic benefit from the art they’re creating, why should anyone tell them differently? This video was inspiring, touching, and heartfelt for me. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Art Therapy & Art Show at a Mental Hospital
Did the best I could here. Some parts were a little tough to understand. Feel free to add any corrections in the comments.
“If it wasn’t for art, I don’t know what I’d do…”
Art…I did a lot of things in my life, that you know, from working on cars…I don’t get nothing out, like I did when I’m doing my artwork. I don’t know…if it wasn’t for art, I don’t know what I’d do because…the cars – they make it so now I can’t work on ’em so now my art just…I hate to brag on it, but it’s fantastic. It relaxes me. It gives me something to think about when I stop doing it. I think about my next move I’m going to make. When I’m drawing something, I don’t draw it exactly like it because I want to put something different in it. You know you ain’t got be no certain…anybody can be an artist. But it helps to have a (?) to go to. You may say I don’t feel like doing this, I dont feel like drawing, but once you do it you can’t hardly get over it ’cause it’ll be beautiful.
“Art services has really helped me.”
I tell you…art services has really helped me. (?) has really been a part of my life for a while. And I’ve really enjoyed being her student. Well art is just…it makes me feel great. There’s always a positive sign…always…and I just enjoy that. The artwork that I do is just freestyle. But I know some people like to get into a pattern of work…the outlet for my feelings to be more positive and to really enjoy art. My artwork is really good because I do enjoy the art. It really helps me as far as people helping me and expressing their feelings. It makes me proud of my paintings and my collage that I’ve made.
Well, being born in small (?), went to school in a little one-room schoolhouse, going to church. I remember the windmill, we was picking cotton and drinking water from it. The army material, which I wanted to join the army, but mostly I dealt with the farming equipment ’cause that’s where we had a farm. And then worked on a farm for the people that had a tractor. And then racing with the road machine there. I remember the bulldozer from my first job…(?)…picking up sticks. And I like to go fishing. But that’s not a fishing boat, but this way I like to go fishing by the outhouse and the trains and things was passing through town. (?) Sort of like shaping things and molding cars…So, that kinda describes me…(?)
…I paint every day…that’s about it.
“It tends to make me forget about my disability with bipolar disorder – and that I’m a normal person.”
My name is Ronny Rolin (sp?) and I’ve been attending Caper’s art class for over 5 years. I was hesitant to go into Tony’s class, but when I did, I started enjoying it. I don’t necessarily want to copy paintings because I want every painting I do to be original. I guess that’s why I try to paint within my soul and heart…because I want something different and original. But a lot of times I feel like the good Lord is directing my hand when I’m doing something freehand and I don’t know how it’s going to turn out until the picture is actually complete. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment, and it makes me happy. It makes me proud to be who I am. It tends to make me forget about my disability with bipolar disorder – and that I’m a normal person.
“Anybody who draws…they will feel a portion, or maybe better, or the same, as what I feel. I guarantee that.”
I’m fresh out of jail and looking around for work. I found this center called The Opportunity Center just looking for (?) to help me get some more work and maybe help me get my life back together. I met this guy named Tony who comes to this center something like every Wednesday and he’s an art teacher. And he looked at some of my work and thought it was okay, so he asked me to join his class. Well, I’ll tell you what I feel. I didn’t know what kind of feelings I was going to have when I drew something…’cause I always was doing it for myself. But now I feel…I’m surprised at how I feel after I finish something after somebody’s asked me to do something for them. And the outcome of what I’ve set out to do is, to me, is a lot more fulfilling than I thought it would ever be. I don’t care how small or large it is, it’s a good feeling. You can feel it. Anybody who draws…and…after they’ve completed something, they will feel a portion, or maybe better, or the same, as what I feel. I guarantee that.
“I have found art and decided that I love it. I can get lost. I realize it doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be fun. You just have to enjoy it…and I certainly did.”
I’m 44 years old…I just wrote art off…as much as I would have liked to have done it. And here I am in the most unlikeliest of places, the Mississippi State Hospital, I have found art and decided that I love it. I can get lost. You know that hour, or sometimes the class will go on maybe a little bit more than an hour and that is the best hour. It’s peaceful, and it’s childlike, and it’s new and it’s fresh, and it’s whatever you want it to be. I realize it doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be fun. You just have to enjoy it…and I certainly did.