The American Art Therapy Association represents a diversity of professionals, students, and organizations across the nation. We recognize and celebrate the work of our members at all levels through our Featured Member series.


“Unselfishness” by Janeane Grisez

Silk mandala painting. 2019.

 “I create the silk mandalas as an act of self-care to process my day after providing art therapy for my clients. I choose the mandala as it is a container for my feelings, a center point for my process, an ongoing spiritual guide in the work that I continue to do. The silk absorbs the paint, as it absorbs my thoughts, feelings and letting go, unselfishly, so that I might be refreshed to give again.”

“Tightrope” by Pooja Bakri

Acrylic, collage and ink on paper. 2017.

“Memory is a focal point for much of my work as an artist and art therapist. I am interested in memories that we experience first-hand, as well as memories that are passed down to us. My creative process involves the layering of imagery and mediums. Patterns and symbols are often erased and distorted, while always building over a foundation of what has come before. Some characters are clear and in the foreground, while others are muted and pulse beneath them. It is this process that aids in giving visual form to the complex and ephemeral act of recollection.”

“Tension of Home” by Megan Gunkel

Acrylic paint on cardstock. January 2018.

“As I create, I am influenced by the nature around me in Juneau as well as scenes from different places I have lived or traveled. My artwork consists of themes regarding human nature, commonalities in the human experience, and serves as a type of visual journey of my life. When I create, I desire to make pieces that will resonate with others and create connection between the viewer and the art, or spark a conversation among viewers. I believe my desire to connect with others through my work is part of what led me to the profession of art therapy, as it is a venue where art connects the client and therapist to promote healing.”

“Coverage” by Iman Khatib.

Mixed media. 2017.

“My voice is amplified by the layers of my identity.  A Muslim, a woman, a Palestinian-Malaysian.  I find strength and guidance through my heritage and this mask provides coverage from hatred and animosity.  In my work as an art therapist, I strive to recognize and support the layers of identify within every client. Together, we discover the path towards well-being.”

“Mākua” by Lauren Kim.

Acrylic paint on canvas. 2017.

“Mākua valley, located on Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi, was a vital docking point for canoes in ancient Hawaiʻi, and opened to vital fishing grounds. It was and is still a sacred place for Native Hawaiians. Sadly, during WWII, Mākua valley was (and continues to be) occupied by the U.S. military as an ordnance testing site. The destruction of Mākua valley left ancient temples, fishing shrines and wildlife desecrated. Though the military has not conducted live-fire exercises in Mākua valley since 2004, the valley remains full of unexploded ordnances.

As an art therapist, I hope to act as the mountains that protect and surround a valley; providing a space for safety, acceptance, nourishment, and growth. Like the clients I work with, Mākua survived extensive trauma yet it still stands and continues to flourish today.”

“Untitled” By Annie McFarland.

Alcohol ink and metallic pen. 2018.

“Needing a Home” by Michelle Anne Hololob.

Mixed media.

“This is a response piece to the continued frustrations dealing with my patients suffering with the broken shelter system. More and more people are coming in dealing with homelessness, and, as a therapist, it is hard not to feel powerless at times. I painted with acrylics, dispelling some frustration and finding it unfinished, found the collage piece that seemed to contain all that energy.”

“Metro Riders” by Jordan Potash.

2018. Acrylic on canvas.

“I started sketching people in public places as a way to pass the time and liven up an otherwise dull commute. What I found was that I developed a remote sense of intimacy with each subject. Public transportation is an odd space in that we all share it, but try our best to interact with others as little as possible.

This scene comprises several sketches from my commute over months. I sketched some of the individuals for almost a full commute, while others were only on the train for a few stops. Even though I do not know anything about any of these people, as I reviewed my sketches and translated them to the canvas, I felt as if I was painting the portraits of long forgotten friends.”

“Ruby” by Kortney Malone.

From nursing home portrait series. Pastel on paper. 2004.

“As an artist, my creativity is my voice. It sustains me mentally and emotionally in my best and worst moments. Growing up and in my adulthood, I often find art is my free space in life where I can recharge and gain self-awareness, have a window into myself where I choose to be at ease or be challenged, but ultimately art making for me is a place of change to use to connect with others.”

“Staying Afloat” by Ashley Rivera.

February 2018. Tissue paper, water-soluble oil pastels, yarn, and cardboard.

“I Am Enough” by Trica Zeyher.

Mixed media. January 2019.

AATA 2018 Conference Logo Artist Contribution by Nina Hausfeld.

“This watercolor was created during a demo for one of my art groups.  The technique we used incorporated wet on wet watercolor painting and plastic wrap.  This technique allows for the beautiful blending of colors while also making space for the emergence of the unintentional and often surprising shapes, marks and patterns left by the lifting of the paint by the plastic wrap.

In a sense, this process invites us to be completely present and intentional while also letting go of control and trusting in the power of the creative process to reveal to us it’s beauty and meaning.  I find that the approach required to complete this project is a wonderful metaphor for approaching life in general: maintaining presence in the face of the unknown and trusting in the outcome.”

“The Struggle” by Charles Anderson.

Acrylic Painting.

“The sun represents the overpowering pressure of opposition.  Notice the arms and body postures for some individuals in the painting as they enter the struggle.  One individual is about to overcome and in the process begins to sink into the earth.  Another individual notices the person sinking and prepares to help the individual from sinking deeper.

Each individual in the picture represents many individuals who will one day overcome their struggles, but the impact leaves a sting that changes their view.  A view of how they see themselves and the world around them for they will never be the same.”

“Untitled” by Christianne Strang.

2016.  Mixed media/watercolor.

“I’m able to create art fairly frequently. Most often I use a mixed media technique that I call reverse coloring.  The first layer is wet-on-wet watercolor that, when dry, can serve as the basis for a design.  It can be as simple as outlining the gradations of colors to create an abstract design – a doodle that results from the outlining of colors instead of coloring in the lines.”

“Self-Reflection" by Kyla Berry

2011.  Oil painting.

“As an artist, one of my favorite things to do is to create self-portraits.  It’s interesting to see how my style and interpretation of myself change over the course of time.  Progression is such an integral part of therapy, so creating art about me helps me as a therapist and challenges me to think about what clients might feel if presented with a similar directive.”

“The Tractor" by Peggy Gulshen

2017.  Mixed media.

“I am partial to collage and mixed media because I utilize these materials so often with my clients. “The Tractor” allowed me to revisit a childhood memory and to reframe it in a more self-empowering way.

The smallness of the tin has a secret treasure-feel about it. The altered tin holds my reconstructed memory safely…and tenderly.”

“Capable Hands" by Lisa Lounsbury

January 2019.  Acrylic and graphite on paper.

“This art piece was made during our first Focus Group on Maggie and as I was trying to keep all the pieces together, facilitate the group, and not freak out about the things that had gone wrong before people showed u., I could see the image of hands appearing around the chaos. I immediately brought them out more with color and felt like I was being held by the strong, capable hands of my Creator and I could rest.”

“Untitled" by Phoebe Whisnant

December 2018. Watercolor.

“In recent years I’ve gravitated towards watercolor painting as a mindful self-care practice. I find that focusing on the way the colors mix together and flow across the paper keeps me grounded in the present moment. I enjoy letting go of expectations and seeing what unfolds.”

“Degas's Beach" by Lynn Cukaj

2015. Oil paint.

“In honor of Edgar Degas. The serenity and peacefulness of the ocean is balanced with the incoming storm cloud. This piece was part of a juried art show, ‘Up Jumped Spring’ hosted by New Rochelle Council on the Arts in 2017.”

“Beautiful Reach," NYxGA DEF Project by Rob Belgrod

January 2019. Double-Exposed Kodak Gold 200 film.

“Water Break" by Melissa Fannin

March 2018.

“A painting of my daughter taking a drink of water on a hot day.”

“Comfort" by Mollie Borgione

2016. Watercolor.

“I realize as I look at this now, that to people on the West Coast, ‘Comfort’ may not be their title of choice for this watercolor.  However, this painting began as random colors being dripped into a circle. As the colors ran together, a tree began to emerge, and I elaborated on that.  I see it as a Yin and Yang balance of intensity and coolness, passion and peacefulness, destruction and growth.  That opposites can coexist in the same space brings me comfort.”

“Archways" by Julia Culkin

January 2018. Acrylic paint.

“Evolution" by Laura Bauder

May 2018. Acrylic paint.

Iman Khatib, MA, RIC

Iman Khatib, MA, RIC

May 30, 2019

“My voice is amplified by the layers of my identity.  A Muslim, a woman, a Palestinian-Malaysian.  I find strength and guidance through my heritage and this mask provides coverage from hatred and animosity.  In my work as an art therapist, I strive to recognize and support the layers of identify within every client. Together, we discover the path towards well-being.”

Lauren Kim, LGPAT, LGPC, ATR-P

Lauren Kim, LGPAT, LGPC, ATR-P

May 23, 2019

Born and raised in Hawaiʻi, Lauren is a multicultural art therapist and artist who is grounded in nature and works from an integrative approach. “My hope for the future of the art therapy profession is that art therapists are as diverse as the populations they serve.”

Annie McFarland, MS

Annie McFarland, MS

May 16, 2019 

“Art therapy allows people to break down barriers and connect with their inner self in a more fluid and creative way,” explains McFarland.  “It allows people to explore things that they haven’t been able to access before.  In this way, it helps with healing and rebuilding after trauma, loss, and recovery.”