Haug and other WLU creative art therapy students showcase work at Wheeling Towngate exhibition

Junior West Liberty Student, Juliana Haug, is one of several creative art therapy (CAT) students to have their artwork displayed in the Wheeling Towngate Theatre Exhibition. WLU CAT students are invited to showcase their work at the exhibition each year to bring attention to the discipline and increase awareness of its many benefits.

Haug currently has four pieces up on display, all of which have unique inspirations and a different style of artwork. “The first piece is giant lips with this green goo dripping off of them on a black and white background – it’s kinda chaotic,” said Haug. “Basically, I did this as a little art therapy project for myself. It was during a time where toxic words were starting to get to me and I just needed to get it all out of my head and onto a canvas and just let it go.” This piece exemplifies what the discipline of creative art therapy is all about – expressing yourself through the creative process.

The second piece Haug has hanging up is based on the Shakespearean tale of Ophelia. It depicts the character of Ophelia drowning like she does in the play but with Haug’s own twist to it. “The prompt itself was to take an old art history painting and recreate it in a lino cut, in my own storyline. I had Ophelia still drowning but in the play it was like an accident – in this it’s almost intentional or suicidal.” The process of creating the “Ophelia” piece took hours of work and concentration with the medium being relatively new to Haug. The outcome was worth the patience as the final product is very impressive and succeeds in portraying Haug’s interpretation of the story.

Haug’s last two works on display are part of a series she calls “Woman in Rings”. The two pieces are side-by-side one another, one in pink, and one in indigo. Each is layered with a variety of textures demonstrating different layers of commitments and allowing the audience to create their own interpretation. Haug discussed how various women in her life were getting engaged or married so the woman in the centre of the piece is surrounded by different commitments. The circles also have a second significance. “Circles, in art therapy, represent infinity or a journey… so that adds another element to it,” Haug said.

After completing her undergraduate degree, Haug hopes to complete a Master’s in art therapy at West Liberty which will become available from next semester. After being inspired by her youngest brother, who deals with ADHD and sensory processing disorder, Haug aspires to work with children in a clinic or children’s hospital. “Growing up, he and I had a different connection. We would work through art pieces to express ourselves and it would help him throughout the day to cope,” she said.

The WLU art therapy student’s work is still on display at the Towngate Theatre for public viewing. If you are interested in art therapy, contact Susan Ridley by email at [email protected].