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.
|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.
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.