The Cerebral Palsy Association of British Columbia (CPABC) strives to offer a range of programs and services to our members as well as individuals with any sort of disability. In the fall of 2015, the association launched its first ever art program in Burnaby. The art sessions took place over a six week period on Wednesdays at Artists Helping Artists, an accessible studio space that provides materials and mentorship to artists of all abilities. The classes were instructed by Heather Korlak, a long time educator who recently finished an expressive arts therapy program at Langara College in Vancouver. In the words of Heather “[expressive arts] uses your imagination to promote healing, expressing and feeling engaged.
[Expressive arts] uses your imagination to promote healing, expressing and feeling engaged.” – Heather, expressive art educator
Member and program participant Stacey explains how she enjoyed attending the program, how the program was “a stress reliever. It gets your mind off everything you have to deal with and everyday life for about an hour…I didn’t get much out of other classes because they’re so structured but expressive art wasn’t.” Stacey attended most of the program’s weekly sessions alongside her friend Lauren. The social aspect of the class was a big draw for the participants. Participants and their families were excited to attend an adapted art program, expressing that it can be difficult to find affordable, accessible art programs, especially in Burnaby.
I didn’t get much out of other classes because they’re so structured but expressive art wasn’t.” – Stacey, program participant
Expressive art – unlike your usual arts & craft class – is about the creative process and is not limited to visual art forms. As individuals with disabilities may be interested in art but constrained and frustrated by traditional modes of instruction, this program was a breath of fresh air. Stacey beams with praise for Heather & the atmosphere at the class, “The instructor was good. Everyone seemed really happy and social. We listened to music and it help because I find music therapeutic.” Stacey looks forward to her continued involvement in the New Year as the program begins again in February.
Learn more about our expressive arts program
Life Without Limits Art Program.