February – March 2022
Open to: BIPOC Queen's students and community members
Free + virtual program + art packages provided
Beyond Words was created by BIPOC for BIPOC. Beyond Words aims to foster a safe and creative space centred in art healing for Queen’s University students and members of the Katarokwi-Kingston community who identify as Black, Indigenous, and people of colour. We will be using art as a tool for expression and discussion in order to help facilitate healing within our mind, body, and spirit. Art as healing is a growing movement that has a lot to offer to individuals working through emotions that can be difficult to put into words.
In this session, participants are invited to come together and begin a dialogue with their younger selves, through mediums of art-making, healing and conversing with other participants. Participants will explore their current connections with their younger selves, explore the ways they can embody their younger selves, and actions taken to maintain a safe space to allow their younger selves to play, laugh, and thrive.
In this session, the Union Gallery is partnering up with Queen’s Collage Collectives and invites participants to reflect individually and collectively to create art collages that relate to their experience with mental health, their breakthroughs and struggles with mental health, and reflect on practices that have impacted them. Please note that participants do not have to be diagnosed to be part of the session; this is a time to come together and share our various experiences.
Art therapy is the use of the creative process partnered with psychotherapy which offers a chance for self-exploration and understanding. Art allows us to explore things we may not have words to explain. While art therapy can be a deep and intense form of counselling, this group will focus on a lighter form of art therapy—“art as healing.” We will be using art as a tool for expression and discussion in order to help facilitate healing within our mind, body and spirit. In this series, Melanie will use innovative methods of art therapy and mindfulness to guide students on how to express themselves through art.
The Winter 2022 Beyond Words series is led by registered art therapist Melanie Gray and coordinated by Fatou Tounkara, Union Gallery Program Coordinator and Yashfeen Afzaal, Program Assistant. Beyond Words is supported by Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre and in partnership with Queen’s Collage Collectives.
Please feel free to refer to our Wellness Package during Beyond Words, or anytime on your art healing and wellness journey. From therapists to wellness organizations, this wellness package provides resources and safe spaces for your wellbeing. Recommended therapists are listed based on direct or indirect relationships between UG staff.
Alyssa is one of the founders and co-chairs of Queen's Collage Collectives is in her final year of study at Queen's in the Concurrent Education program. For her undergrad, Alyssa majored in Gender Studies with History and English teachable. Alyssa is a collage artist and teacher candidate who advocates for marginalized students and believes in the power of art as resistance and anti-oppressive education.
Queen's Collage Collectives is a club on Queen’s campus. Their events are for healing, expression and the strengthening of mental health through creating art. They aim to provide an accountable space to facilitate anti-oppressive conversation.
Melanie graduated from Queen’s University in 2016 with a BAH in Art History and Indigenous Studies. She went on to complete her graduate program at the Toronto Art Therapy Institute where she graduated in 2018. Her thesis was titled The Ohén:ton Karihwatéhkwen Project: Introducing Art Therapy to Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory using the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address. As an Indigenous Art Therapist, Melanie continues to be grounded in her Haudenosaunee culture and uses this understanding in her art healing practice.
Fatou is a fifth-year international student at Queen’s University and currently pursuing her BAH in Politics with a minor in Philosophy. Fatou is passionate about exploring how advocacy and the arts can complement one another. Fatou has previously worked as the Program Assistant at Union Gallery, President of the Queen’s Student Diversity Project, and as the Outreach Coordinator for the Queen’s Black Academic Society, during which she helped coordinate events such as The Soul of the Black Artist. She is currently working on a new initiative called Queen’s International Student Society.
Yashfeen is a first-year Bachelor of Arts Honours student at Queen’s University with plans to major in Art History. She was born and raised in Markham, Ontario and has a deep fascination with art history, especially regarding the relationship between fashion and art and how the two interact with one another. She is interested in exploring the cultural and social changes that have occurred in fashion and how that has influenced us in modern-day society.
© 2021 Union Gallery | All Rights Reserved