The Crestiad

Cedar Crest College newspaper since 1923

Art Can Paint a Smile, Too

By Rebekkah Parsons, Staff Writer

No matter where we look in the world today, art is there.

It could be a design on a shirt, graffiti on a wall, a picture that we took, or even the music that we listen to. Art is all around us. But what many people might not realize is the true effect that art has on us.

Rebekkah Parsons/Crestiad Amy Frey, graduate art therapy major, painted her VW Beetle.

Rebekkah Parsons/Crestiad
Amy Frey, graduate art therapy major, painted her VW Beetle.

Rebecca Arnold, assistant professor and director of art therapy, said that her definition of art has changed throughout the years as a result of becoming an art therapist. “Art includes the engagement of the process as well as the final piece that develops. Collectively, art is the product revealing that work has been done,” she said.

A piece of art seen daily on the Cedar Crest campus, is a painted Volkswagon Beetle usually parked in front of Curtis. Amy Frey,  graduate art therapy major, is the owner of this work and has spent countless hours painting the car herself. When asked why she painted her car, Frey answered quickly. “To beat the car companies. But, seriously, my Beetle is my first car and I paid it independently so I decided that I could do whatever I want to it.”

Frey has also noticed the reaction that driving her car brings to onlookers. She said, “Driving around and seeing someone’s expression go from sullen to smiling because they saw my car indicates to me that I have the ability to brighten someone’s mood, even for a few seconds, and it makes me feel good in return and inspires me to continue to paint.”

Sophomore Abigail Ormiston commented, “Every time I look at Amy’s car I can’t help but smile. It’s full of colors and life. I look at it as I pass by and am happy that she expresses herself and had the courage to do so on her car. I love the idea. I’m glad there’s light like that on campus.”

Art is something that many individuals use in order to express themselves, yet it can still be a therapeutic activity whether the person intends for it to be that way or not.

“Everything about art is therapeutic,” Frey said without hesitation. “It amazes me how art can be a bridge between the subconscious and the conscious; allowing there to be a creative and insightful process and product.”

Ormiston also said that art, including music, is a huge part of her life and has helped her through some tough times.

“Different songs or genres could have an effect on how I feel at times. Watching or reading a play in the theatre can influence my mood as well. Dialogue and the actors emotions can change mine at times,” Ormiston explained.

Although the influence of art on any person’s life might be a completely different situation, the influence is always there. It’s just a matter of how the person defines art and how they use it.


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This entry was posted on November 10, 2014 by in 2014, Arts and tagged , , .
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