November 18, 2021


The American Art Therapy Association congratulates this year’s distinguished recipients of awards in art therapy leadership, scholarship, research, clinical practice, and legislation. We also thank our generous funders whose contributions make it possible for AATA to offer these prestigious awards each year.

During the AATA’s virtual awards ceremony on November 10th, President Margaret Carlock-Russo, EdD, LCAT, ATR-BC, ATCS, and President-Elect Girija Kaimal, EdD, MA, ATR-BC, bestowed the following awards and distinctions.

Honorary Life Membership

The AATA’s highest recognition for lifetime achievement, went to Dr. Mercedes Ballbe ter Maat with Honorary Life Membership, the AATA’s highest recognition for lifetime achievement. Dr. Ter Maat has worked decades internationally as a school counselor, expressive and Art Therapist bringing art therapy across the globe. Dr. ter Maat served 3 terms on the Board of Directors, as Secretary, from 1999-2001, and President Elect, and President of the American Art Therapy Association from 2009 to 2013. She also served on the Education Program Approval Board of the AATA from 2017 through today. She provided 30+ years of service on various committees of the AATA including various conference committees, Editorial Board Member of the Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, and member of the Multicultural committee. Her work with the Red Pencil International Humanitarian mission has brought art therapy programs and training to parents, art therapy students, and other mental health professionals across the globe including Peru, Lebanon, and Singapore. Mercedes continues to work to enhance the quality of life of immigrants and refugees internationally and as a professor here is the U.S. at the Department of Counseling at Nova Southeastern University in Florida.


Distinguished Service Award

The Distinguished Service Award, went to Janet Kempf for her service as chair of the Accreditation Council for Art Therapy Education. Janet has been involved with the Accreditation Council for Art Therapy Education (ACATE) since 2015, and has worked as their Chair from 2019 to present.





Pen & Palette Award

The Pen & Palette Award went to Lisa Hinz for her contributions to the field of art therapy, specifically as one nominator put it, “Dr. Hinz has carried on the work of her former professors and established international interest in the Expressive Therapies Continuum as a unifying model of art therapy assessment and treatment…her professional endeavors have left her fingerprints upon the field of art therapy—in addition to other creative arts therapy fields—around the globe, and for that she has earned the opportunity to be recognized by her peers as an influencer of visionary proportion….the future and the unification of the art therapy profession here and abroad are indebted to Dr. Hinz for taking the Expressive Therapies Continuum to new heights when the time was right.”



Outstanding Applied Creative Practice Award

For the first time this year we are excited to present the  Outstanding Applied Creative Practice Award. This award was inspired by the innovative and creative contributions of art therapist, artist, author, and puppetmaker Dr. Lani Gerity Glanville. This year’s inaugural Outstanding Applied Creative Practice Award went to Dr. Simone Alter-Muri. As one nominator so eloquently stated, “Simone creates an awareness of art in community, and her art reflects national and international issues pertaining to social justice, standing as a testament to the power of art for social change…. Through her own art-making and collaborations with students, Simone provides the model of an art therapist-as-artist that is essential for the field, yet too often becomes secondary.”

Thank you to our volunteers in the Honors Working Group, and Chair, Erin Partridge PhD, ATR-BC for reviewing all the nominations this year.


2021 President’s Award

The 2021 President’s Award went to Judith Rubin for her extraordinary and sustained efforts to build and launch an online film library through the non-profit, Expressive Media, that Judy co-founded. Her efforts and determination have provided the art therapy profession with a treasure trove of rare titles, session vignettes, and historical pieces that document the development, efficacy, and importance of the arts in healing.






These important scholarships help support the next generation of art therapists who will transform the future of the profession:

  • Prasad Family Foundation – International Student Scholarship – Cui Jing
  • Student Scholarship to the AATA Annual Conference – Anna Proia
  • Student Scholarship to the AATA Annual Conference – Jessica Borchert
  • Student Scholarship to the AATA Annual Conference – Caitlyn Hall
  • Student Scholarship to the AATA Annual Conference – Eric Norris
  • Student Scholarship to the AATA Annual Conference – Shayla Hayward-Lundy
  • Student Scholarship to the AATA Annual Conference – Cynthia Scott
  • American Art Therapy Association Anniversary Scholarship Fund – Brittany Bishop
  • Rawley Silver Award for Excellence – Asli Arslanbek
  • Myra Levick Scholarship – Marina Shama Ali
  • Cay Drachnik Minorities – Chelsea Faulkner
  • Ellen G. Horovitz Spiritual Art Therapy Scholarship – Ashley Abigail G. Resurreccion
  • Irene Rosner David Medical Art Therapy Scholarship – Bani Malhotra
  • Laura Greenstone Memorial Scholarship – Brandi Taziyah


Thank you to our volunteers on the Scholarship Committee, and Chair, Denise Wolf, ATR-BC, ATCS, LPC, for reviewing all the applications this year.


The Agell Research award

This year the Agell Research award went to goes to Courtney Duff for their study on the effects of sharing art on self-esteem.

Thank you to our volunteers on the Research Committee, and Chair Jill McNutt, Ph.D., ATRL, LPC, ATCS for reviewing all the proposals this year.




Best Paper Award

The best paper award went to Dr. Huma Durrani for her article, “Art Therapy’s Scope to Address Impaired Attachment in Children With ASD and Comorbid SID.

Thank you to our Journal Editor, Jordan Potash, PhD, ATR-BC, LCAT, LCPAT, for selecting this year’s best paper.





Pearlie Roberson Award

This year the AATA Multicultural Committee presents the Pearly Roberson award to Ruth Guttfreund and Kimberly Picerno for their research proposal to provide art therapy services in Comasagua, El Salvador, a small town close to the capital city San Salvador, in hopes of empowering girls and their mothers

Ruth Guttfreund (left) and  Kimberly Picerno (right).

Thank you to our volunteers on the Multicultural Committee, and Chair Craig Siegel, ATR-BC, ATCS, for sponsoring this award and reviewing all the proposals this year.

Nancy Schoebel Distinguished Legislative Service Award

This award went to Paige Scheinberg and Catherine M. Harris in recognition of their efforts on the licensure campaign in Tennessee over the past several years. As one nominator stated, “Catherine and Paige have worked tirelessly to campaign to get legislation passed for an Art Therapy license in our great state of Tennessee. This enables thousands of people struggling with mental health and medical diagnoses to get qualified and professional care. This also opens the doors to art therapy positions in mental health agencies, hospitals, schools, community agencies, and more!”

Paige Scheinberg (left) and Catherine M. Harris (right) 

Thank you to Elizabeth Hlavek, DAT, LCPAT, ATR-BC, Assembly of Chapters Speaker, for reviewing the nominations this year.