The Therapeutic Value of Art
Earlier this year, Bonnie Brae hosted the 32nd Annual Tartan Ball with over 250 guests in attendance and nearly $40,000 raised through a Live Auction alone. The Live Auction featured an assortment of prizes including a chef dinner, a Metropolitan Seafood Experience, a Sunset and Champagne Cruise along the NY Harbor, and artwork contributed by Bonnie Brae boys themselves.
Whether you are looking to ease stress, improve happiness and relaxation, or overcome past traumas, art therapy is a wonderful tool. Art therapy can also help those who have experienced loss, been exposed to trauma, have mental health disorders, or who are working to overcome addiction. Hospitals have even used the practice for those with severe or terminal illnesses. Art activates our brains, allowing them to better handle future stressors.
The artwork created by our boys holds special importance, not only because of the funds raised but because of the therapeutic relief that art can bring. There is a strong psychological connection between art (and all things beautiful) and the human experience, which is why so many use art therapy as a way to enhance self-expression, coping skills, stress management, and a strengthened sense of self. Art acts as a beneficial alternative for those who need an outlet, yet are unresponsive or unfavorable towards traditional talk therapy.
Many Bonnie Brae boys have stressful histories and art therapy is just one way our guys learn to cope. They practice many different mediums including painting, drawing, sculpting, and even airbrush and pottery. Art provides our guys avenues of expression that do not require words, which many find difficult to articulate in traumatic times.
The incredible artwork created by the Bonnie Brae boys for the Tartan Ball(including a mosaic of Frank Sinatra!) not only gave the boys an opportunity to express themselves, it also helped build their confidence and facilitate their healing.