Embracing and Celebrating Differences

UCF Healing Art Exhibition Reception

Embracing and Celebrating Differences

L-R: Simona Loh, Student Legal Studies SDES and artist with artwork in background; Patti MacKown, Associate Vice President SDES; Meredith Malkin, counselor CAPS and art curator Healing Art Exhibition; and Maribeth Ehasz, Vice President SDES

 When art and psychotherapy are joined, the scope and depth of each can be expanded, and when working together, they are tied to the continuities of humanity’s history of healing.”  —Shaun McNiff The Arts and Psychotherapy

UCF Healing Art is an annual, juried art exhibition created through Counseling & Psychological Services in collaboration with the School of Visual Arts and Design that showcases artworks created by UCF students, faculty, staff and alumni. The UCF Healing Art Exhibition mission is designed to create campuswide awareness of the CAPS at UCF, increase inclusivity across campus and to create an open exhibition space for creativity and healing. There were 160 artworks submitted with 99 accepted into the exhibition. All winners received a plaque and ribbon along with prizes:

  • Best of Show: Tina Gardiakos “Thought Map: Celebrating Diversity” ─ Student received $100  Sam Flax gift card and gift certificate for one dozen mini cupcakes from Sweet! By Good Golly Miss Holly 
  • First Place: Danielle Pavlat “Inner Beauty” ─ Student received $75 Sam Flax gift card and gift certificate for one dozen mini cupcakes from Sweet!
  • Second Place: Anaeli Ramos “Red=Passion” ─ Staff received a gift certificate for five mini cupcakes from Sweet!
  • CAPS Staff Selection: Cecillia Lin “Human” ─ Student received a gift certificate for Ice Cream from Sweet!

Each artist accepted into show received two free ice cream certificates from Sweet!.

Approximately, 200 students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members attended the exhibition reception on February 28. The exhibition theme, “Embracing and Celebrating Differences,” focused on diversity of self and diversity of others, embracing differences and different identities, whether it be race, culture, religion, sexual orientation, gender, age, disability, etc. and promoted respect and celebration of differences. 

The exhibition brought awareness to decrease mental health stigmas, provide a safe and creative place for students to feel comfortable in all types of expression, and promote the healing powers of art and how art can be used for healing purposes. Art has a way of speaking across all languages and helping people connect to themselves and each other. 

“The Healing Art Exhibition’s aim is to further UCF’s vision of fostering a community where we welcome differences in people and ideas, enhance creativity, and inspire others to connect with one another,” said Meredith Malkin, licensed mental health counselor CAPS and art curator Healing Art exhibition.

CAPS is a department in the Division of Student Development and Enrollment Services.  Watch for the next call for artists beginning August 19 through Nov. 1. For more information, visit: caps.sdes.ucf.edu/art.