Who We Are
The Art Therapy Studio is a non-profit organization that provides innovative therapeutic art
programs in a variety of settings, where people can benefit from the healing power of art. We
use the expressive arts to help children and adults communicate their feelings, tell their
stories and experience themselves as unique individuals. Because our focus is on personal
expression and image making, art centered therapy is especially helpful for people who
cannot use words to express themselves. Incorporated in 1967, the Art Therapy Studio is the
oldest arts therapy program of its kind in the country. We currently provide comprehensive
art therapy services that range from programs for Metrohealth inpatients to community
based wellness classes.
The Art Therapy Studio was founded in 1967 by George Streeter, M.D., a psychiatrist/artist,
and Mickie McGraw, ATR-BC, an artist/therapist. Both had used art as a way to cope with
serious physical illness, he with tuberculosis and she with polio, so they had a personal
understanding of the healing power of art.
The first Art Studio was established in collaboration with Highland View Rehabilitation
Hospital (now MetroHealth Medical Center) as a creative arts program to help patients and
their families cope with the life changing effects of trauma, chronic illness, medical treatment
and permanent disability. The Studio was a place to congregate, relax and be involved in the
creative process. Patients had choices in the Art Studio-they could choose when to visit the
studio, what art projects to work on (or not), and what colors to use. The control was left in
the hand of the artist.
In 1977, the mission was enriched to include community programming to serve patients after
their release from the hospital, recognizing that people needed a touchstone, somewhere to
continue to have socialization, and to continue to learn new artistic skills.
Our major programs today include:
Hospital Based – providing art therapy services to brain injury and stroke patients as part of
the MetroHealth Rehabilitation Institute of Ohio's team.
Community Based – a creative therapeutic arts program providing watercolor, acrylic,
drawing, collage, and clay classes. We invite people with special physical, emotional,
cognitive or behavioral needs, and individuals seeking a wellness approach to healing to
come “Discover the Artist Within You”. Classes are held at Fairhill Partners near Shaker
Square (our administrative offices are also located here), on the campus of Ursuline College
in Pepper Pike, at River’s Edge on the west side near Kamm’s Corner and at MetroHealth
Off-Site and Contracted Services – we will send an Art Therapist off-site to provide services
directly to clients (individually or in groups) with a wide range of institutions (such as the
Cleveland Clinic, New Directions, Mentor High School, United Cerebral Palsy and VA Medical
Center). This has proven especially beneficial for agencies interested in enriching their
existing programs and for frail elders and physically challenged clients who cannot
participate in programming outside of their institution.
Professional Education – we provide programs such as our “Making a Creative Connection
Workshop” and "Art & Health Symposium" for Social Workers, Activity Professionals,
Counselors, and other professionals to earn Continuing Education Units. Workshop
participants learn about expressive arts (art, poetry, and movement) and gain ideas how to
implement a more creative environment for themselves and their clients.
From the beginning, the Art Therapy Studio programs have been developed around the
philosophy that art making is central to the healing process. In the safe, creative space of the
studio, a person is invited, encouraged and shown how to rediscover him or herself through
art. The emphasis is on the art, not words and control is left in the hands of artist. According
to Dr. Streeter, “Art offers uncontaminated opportunity for being yourself; for revealing your
identity as a person…the world of art therapy offers patients a chance to be that utilizes a
broader spectrum of opportunities than words alone make available.”
|12200 Fairhill Road Cleveland, OH 44120 216.791.9303
Enhancing the quality of life
for those with physical,
cognitive or emotional
challenges through the
therapeutic use of art.