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Psychiatric Ward

When I was director of a program for artists with
mental illnesses, I often visited them in psychiatric wards.
I must admit, it was never like anything I saw in the movies.
It was quiet with spurts of activity.  Moments of reflection.
Psychiatric Ward art
A conversation in the Psychiatric Ward, 2006 
I was allowed to bring art supplies and we 
would color and draw --
in silence or with conversation. 
Art and Mental Illness
I would sit at a table and the artist would normally sit next to me.
When I first started I would give them a sheet of paper and wait.
I quickly discovered that they would talk and create more when
I too had a sheet of paper in front of me and would draw.
As one artist said, "It is our conversation."

This is one of my conversations with an artist at a Psychiatric Ward 
East 19th Street, NYC.

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