Herron art professor is in the healing business, bringing hope to veterans and others

Juliet King

Juliet King

Juliet King has never spent a day in military service during war or peace times.

But the Herron School of Art and Design assistant professor and licensed art therapist has taken up the fight to improve the lives of veterans facing emotional adjustments after their time on the battlefield.

Most recently, King, director of Herron’s art therapy program, signed on as the point person for the “Veterans Coming Home” campaign at the art school on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus. The school has joined forces with WFYI Public Media and the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library for the yearlong multimedia, arts-focused awareness campaign to support Indiana’s veterans and their families.

Veterans Coming Home,” was funded with a $25,000 Corporation for Public Broadcasting grant and includes WFYI broadcasts of the stories of veterans such as Andrew Schneiders, Kris Bertrand and others.

In a Richard L. Roudebush Indianapolis VA Medical Center pilot group art therapy project spearheaded by King and Dr. Brandi Luedtke of the Veterans Affairs, Schneiders has found healing power in “illustrating his troubled Iraq experiences with art” and then talking with fellow vets, according to a WFYI report.

And as part of an arts intervention program, Bertrand, who was sexually assaulted while serving in the Navy 25 years ago, found an emotional salve in throwing clay on a potter’s wheel.

“That’s because art is inherently therapeutic,” King said in a “Veterans Coming Home” broadcast, now available online.

“Engaging in the creative process is something that typically is going to be a life-enhancing experience for you,” King said. “It gets your blood moving; it gets your brain working in different ways. It helps you relax, it helps you get distance from what it is that you might be living with in your life at the time.”

King’s hope is that the success stories of Schneiders, Bertrand and others will raise the awareness of the value of art therapy in helping soldiers and others deal with trauma.

The ultimate goal is to draw the support of lawmakers and service providers who can both advance the licensing of art therapists across the state and promote the employment of such professionals as clinical counselors. Female veterans would in particular benefit from an expansion of art therapy services since they have traditionally voiced a reluctance to attend co-ed therapy groups and cited the lack of art therapy services for women.

Art therapists hold master’s degrees in art therapy and are eligible for licensure as clinical mental health counselors who are trained to use art to help clients find ways to express things they might not be able to say with words, King said. Art therapy is an effective treatment intervention for helping anyone facing issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder, which can affect not only war veterans but also victims of rape, torture, child abuse, car accidents and natural disasters, she said.

“We need more licensed art therapists,” King said. “(‘Veterans Coming Home’) is one way we are going about raising awareness. Hopefully people at the state level will pay attention and see the need.”

King is available for media interviews discussing her art therapy work with veterans. For interviews with King, contact Diane Brown 317-274-2195 or habrown@iu.edu.

Popular Combat Paper workshops return to Herron School of Art and Design in November

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Paper making at a combat paper workshop Image courtesy of Combat Paper project

This November, Drew Cameron will return to Herron School of Art and Design with his internationally successful Combat Paper workshops, where veterans or anyone touched by war may bring uniforms or other cloth to be turned into paper and then made into works of art.

Established in 2007, the Combat Paper Project has grown from its San Francisco base to an international phenomenon that has helped to heal war-torn people from Canada to Kosovo.

In his own post-combat search for meaning, Cameron, the project’s co-founder, discovered that papermaking could be a transformative process that broadens “the traditional narrative surrounding the military experience and warfare.” The workshops are returning to Indiana at the urging of Juliet King, director of Herron School of Art and Design’s Art Therapy Program.

With the support of faculty and students from bookbinding, other fine arts programs and art therapy, the workshops will take place on Thursday and Friday, November 6 and 7, at the Eskenazi Fine Arts Center, 1410 Indiana Avenue, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Lunch will be provided from noon to 1:30 p.m.

Attendance is free, but reservations are required. Anyone interested in attending the workshops may reserve a seat by contacting Juliet King at kingjul@iupui.edu or 317-278-5466 by October 30.

Cameron also will be providing a lecture series to graduate art therapy students where they will engage in an interactive discussion on the similarities and differences between therapeutic art experiences such as Combat Paper and the clinical profession of art therapy.

IUPUI is a three-peat winner: Campus receives award for exemplary diversity initiatives

Insight Into Diversity Magazine Honors IUPUI

INDIANAPOLIS — For the third year in a row, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis was selected to receive the 2014 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award from Insight Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.

As a recipient of this national award that honors U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion, IUPUI will be prominently featured in the magazine’s November 2014 issue.

“We are pleased to be recognized for all of the energy that has been built into distinct cultures, which has created and instilled diversity into our institution’s consciousness through practices and programs designed for all members of the IUPUI community,” said Karen Dace, IUPUI’s vice chancellor for diversity, equity and inclusion. “While we know there is still much work still ahead of us, we have opened more doors of opportunity for our students, faculty, staff and community partners.”

Insight Into Diversity also recognized IUPUI for its ability to embrace a broad definition of diversity on campus including gender, race, ethnicity, veterans, people with disabilities and members of the LGBT community. IUPUI was commended for making strides in the enrollment and graduation of minority students and for putting in place some distinctive diversity initiatives and inclusion programs. Highlights of the recognition include:

Diversity Enrichment and Achievement Program: Assists students of color in pursuing and obtaining their college degrees through an intensive retention program that addresses personal, academic and social experiences that have an impact on student success.

  • Office for Veterans and Military Personnel: Provides comprehensive resources to veterans and Veterans Affairs benefit recipients to aid in their overall success as IUPUI students.
  • Diversity Plans: Outlines goals for improving the climate for diversity in each school and administrative unit across campus.
  • Faculty and Staff Councils: Facilitates interaction, addresses issues and motivates, encourages and promotes the professional development of IUPUI faculty and staff. The Faculty and Staff Councils include Asian American and Pacific Islander; Black; Latino; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender; and Native American.
  • Faculty and Staff Diversity Awards: Recognizes faculty and staff who promote a campus climate where diversity is valued, energizes the appreciation of world cultures or champions for social justice.

“We hope the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award serves as a way to honor those institutions of higher education that recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion as part of their everyday campus culture,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of Insight Into Diversity magazine.

Other awards

IUPUI was recently ranked as one of the nation’s top universities, as well as ranked No. 7 “Up and Coming” school and “Best College for Veterans” by U.S. News & World Report in its 2015 edition of Best Colleges. The campus was also recognized for its learning communities and first-year experience for the 13th consecutive year by U.S. News, which highlighted IUPUI for offering programs that help ensure a positive collegiate experience for new freshmen and undergraduates.

For the second year in a row, Minority Access Inc. — a national nonprofit educational organization dedicated to improving diversity in education, employment and research — has recognized IUPUI for its commitment to diversity as a result of the programs and activities it has on campus that both enhance and promote an environment of inclusion.

Additionally, IUPUI was named among the 30 best non-Historically Black Colleges and Universities for minorities in the United States by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, a critical source of news, information and commentary on the full range of issues concerning diversity in American higher education.

Lecture: Nicholas Rattray, “Altered Bodies and Relocated Dreams: Understanding reintegration and care for student veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan”

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013
12:00-1:00 pm
Campus Center 309
Nicholas Rattray, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor, IUPUI Department of Anthropology
Presented by Medical Humanities and Health Studies Seminar Series
“Altered Bodies and Relocated Dreams: Understanding reintegration and care for student veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan”

This talk will explore issues of community reintegration for student veterans whose bodies have been altered by psychological and physical injuries. Drawing on long-term ethnographic research, I discuss the tensions that lie behind labels such as “reintegrated,” “disaffected,” and “disabled” and how they are negotiated in veterans’ everyday lives. In seeking to manage new embodiments and the tensions between care and the cultural dislocations of military service, many veterans have been forced to create new pathways that diverge from their prior plans — dreams both deferred and transformed.

Free and open to the campus and public, but space is limited. Please RSVP to: medhum@iupui.edu to save a spot.