The George A. Streeter Gallery, established at Judson Park in 2014, is living up to the vision of its namesake as evidenced by the quality and diversity of its upcoming exhibitions. As a respected psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Streeter was well aware that verbal communication was a vital part of his therapeutic practice. But, as a lifelong artist, he used art to cope with traumatic events throughout his own life, finding himself empowered and more able to express his feelings through art than with words.
Recognizing the therapeutic benefits of making art, Streeter became one of the pioneers in the field of art therapy, co-founding the Art Therapy Studio at Highland View Hospital with artist/therapist, Mickie McGraw, in 1967. His seminal, studio-based approach to art therapy is now nationally recognized and is the model for many programs around the world.
Today’s Creative Arts and Art Therapy Program is Streeter’s culminating gift to Judson’s senior living communities. When he and his wife Brigitte moved to Judson in 1999, he embraced the opportunity to promote and grow their modest arts and therapy program. He had an able and willing advocate and partner in Judson’s art therapist, Cathy Bryan. With Streeter’s mentorship and generous support and Bryan’s leadership and creative expertise, the Judson Creative Arts and Art Therapy Program has prospered and grown.
Drawing upon the talents of professional staff and community artists, Judson offers engaging and supportive opportunities for creative expression – art and media exploration demonstrations, guest artists, Family Art Days and interactive classes with members of the Artist-in-Residence program.
As Streeter often said, “Art offers untainted opportunities for being yourself, for revealing your identity as a person. Art therapists see that the world of art offers people a chance to just be themselves. Art utilizes a broader spectrum of opportunities than words alone make available.”
Cathy Bryan established the George A. Streeter Gallery as a showcase for art created by Judson’s residents, families, staff, volunteers and students, and to provide important ways to learn about each other through the language of art. Mitzi Faye, the exhibiting artist and volunteer says this about her work, “I have been on a journey…I have been searching. I let my memories float. With tiny bits of magazine scraps, I create a world familiar to me. At 93, perhaps I shall come face to face with my 20 year old self…where it all began.”