Professor Juliet King receives first Frank C. Springer Family Innovative Faculty Award

Juliet King, MA, ATR-BC, LPC and director of Herron School of Art and Design’s Art Therapy Program, is the first to receive the Frank C. Springer Family Innovative Faculty Award. The newly-created award is the school’s most prestigious and largest faculty research prize.

King will conduct a meta-analysis of art therapy and neuroscience studies to search for patterns and gaps in art therapy research. She expects to present her findings at the American Art Therapy Association national conference in 2014 and for her work to be published. Her research will also benefit Herron art therapy graduate students as she weaves it into the curriculum.

The Springer Family, including Cathy Springer Brown and Rick Brown of Indianapolis and Mary Ann and Scott Hillstrom of the Chicago area, devised the award to inspire Herron faculty members to expand their artistic, creative and scholarly work in innovative directions to yield new insights into the human condition.

The award honors the spirit of Frank C. Springer Jr., a beloved Indianapolis philanthropist and art connoisseur who was a great friend to Herron and many other organizations.

Cathy Springer Brown said “Uncle Frank would be pleased knowing the award will help support important research in the field of art therapy.” She encourages others to think about what their passions might be and explore ways to support Herron. “It’s powerful when you think about the impact your support will have on countless students and faculty,” she said. “Making a gift in honor of someone special makes the experience even more rewarding.”

Herron faculty will competitively submit research proposals for the Springer Award each fall. Herron’s Faculty Affairs Committee, this year led by Professor Eric Nordgulen, will select one proposal for the award annually.

Warriors-turned-artists facilitate healing with paper handmade from their own uniforms

Combat Paper
September 25 – November 16
Artist’s Talk: Wednesday, September 25, 6:00 p.m.
Combat Paper Project co-founder Drew Cameron
Opening Reception: immediately following Artist’s Talk, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Herron School of Art and Design, Basile Auditorium, Eskenazi Hall

Veterans achieve a form of catharsis through the transformative art of papermaking, pressing their own uniforms into service as the raw material in works of art. Papermaker, book artist and veteran Drew Cameron, who co-founded the Combat Paper workshops where the art is made, will speak on opening night and will be on hand for several additional public events between September 23-27.

“Coming home from war is a difficult thing,” writes artist and veteran Drew Cameron, founder of the Combat Paper Project. “There is often much to account for as a survivor.” In his own search for meaning, Cameron discovered that papermaking can be a transformative process that broadens “the traditional narrative surrounding the military experience and warfare.”

Since 2007, the Combat Paper Project, which Cameron co-founded, has grown from its San Francisco base and travelled to Canada, England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Kosovo providing workshops, exhibitions, performances and artists’ talks.

breaking rank by drew cameron

Drew Cameron, Breaking Rank

An exhibition of works from Combat Paper will open in Herron School of Art and Design’s Berkshire, Reese and Paul Galleries in Eskenazi Hall on September 25, running through November 16. Cameron will give an artist’s talk on opening night at 6:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Surrounding Cameron’s visit, there is a full slate of activities at Herron and in the broader community. At Herron, he will work with students and the public in a variety of ways, dovetailing with the school’s Book Arts and Art Therapy programs. In addition to the exhibition opening activities, Cameron’s visit is scheduled to include:

Tuesday September 24: A papermaking workshop open to the public from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Eskenazi Fine Arts Center, 1401 Indiana Avenue. Lunch provided from Noon to 1:30 p.m.

Wednesday September 25: Classroom visit at Eskenazi Hall with Art Therapy graduate students from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and Book Arts students in the afternoon.

Thursday September 26: A papermaking workshop open to the public from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Eskenazi Fine Arts Center, 1401 Indiana Avenue. Lunch provided from Noon to 1:30 p.m.

Friday September 27: Classroom visit with Book Arts students from 9:00 a.m. to noon.

Persons interested in attending the workshops can RSVP to Paula Katz at to reserve a seat and lunch. Participants may bring a piece of clothing that they would like to incorporate into the batch of paper that will be made during the workshop.

November 1-16, in the Marsh Gallery: Combat Paper companion show of veteran-made art.

November 9, 2:00 p.m. in the Basile Auditorium of Eskenazi Hall: “Veterans Reclaim Armistice Day”. National Book Award for Fiction winner Tim O’Brien leads a panel discussing literary expression as a means of coping with PTSD. A project of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library.

November 13, 7:00 p.m., in the Basile Auditorium of Eskenazi Hall: Screening of The Ghost Army

National audiences eager to hear about Herron School of Art and Design’s unique approach to Art Therapy

This summer and fall, professionals at national conferences from Seattle to Chicago and Louisville to New York will listen to Juliet King, Herron School of Art and Design’s director of art therapy, share tales from the frontier.

She’ll be speaking about art therapists’ pioneering work in developing sound clinical interventions that help people get better. She ought to know. She’s doing some pioneering of her own; for starters, by building an art therapy program housed in an art school.

Her speaking engagements include a June American Art Therapy Association Conference in Seattle; October presentations at the Illinois Art Therapy Association Conference in Chicago, and the Coalition for Urban and Metropolitan Universities in Louisville; and a November appearance at the Expressive Therapies Summit in New York.

Creative arts therapies are hot—whether visual, kinetic or musical—like a rock band laboring in obscurity, honing its chops for years before bursting onto the scene “overnight”. After decades of research, scientific evidence is forming a critical mass pointing toward art therapy’s efficacy. Continuing and deepening this research is important in a world where only outcomes-based evidence will do for healthcare and insurance providers.

Public awareness has preceded some of the science, but governments have not caught up with the public. “We as professionals are facing a practical and existential crisis regarding employment and authenticity of professional identity,” said King. “In some states, anyone still can hang up a shingle and call themselves an art therapist, even though Art Therapy is a master’s-level medical and healthcare profession.” She continued, “We are eligible to be licensed as professional counselors and are actively advocating for independent licensure. We have a lot more work to do in educating the public on what to look for in their practitioner.”

Despite a lag in ideal licensure requirements, strides on the clinical side continue. Wounded warriors are seeing the benefits of art therapy applied to their own struggles with sense of self and re-entry into civilian life. King’s presentations will include discussion of her work with combat veterans at the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis.

“Veterans returning from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom volunteered to be part of a mindfulness-based art therapy group,” King said. “Originally developed as a pilot project to provide a service that does not yet exist at the VA, indicators are encouraging that from this group our participants felt ‘some’ or ‘great’ positive change in hopefulness, and also in the belief that they could improve their own emotional health.”

King also will be sharing highlights from her graduate students’ experiences working alongside clinical staff, developing and providing art therapy in Indianapolis-area settings from prisons to hospice programs.

“With the technological resources and expertise Herron has available by being part of a large, urban, life sciences campus, we are poised to make significant research contributions to the study of Art Therapy as it relates to Neuroscience,” said King. “Intervening with Art Therapy and being able to assess its impact—especially on post-traumatic stress in veterans and children who are victims of abuse and neglect—is an exciting prospect for our graduate students and clinicians alike. There is so much promise for helping people in this field.”

For more information about Herron’s Art Therapy graduate program, visit