MEET KARA ASHLEY-GILMORE, OUR ART THERAPIST IN THE SPOTLIGHT FOR AUGUST 2017!
Name: Kara Ashley-Gilmore
When and where did you receive your degree? Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY, 2007
What drew you to the field? I have been interested in psychology since childhood, when I used to read my mom’s old psychology textbooks. However, it wasn’t until I started taking interior design classes in college, and witnessed my own healing surface in the art I was making, that I connected with the healing power of art and discovered the field of art therapy. I switched my major, and it’s been an art therapy love-affair ever since.
What kind of work are you doing currently? I am currently in private practice in Hendersonville, NC, where I specialize in helping women nurture their creativity, cope with anxiety and panic, and live free from shame and the effects of past trauma. I facilitate a weekly anxiety support group, teach art workshops for self-care and creativity development, and lead art therapy groups for seniors in several local assisted living and senior centers.
Are you creating your own art? Favorite media? Inspiration? I love working in mixed-media—combining collage, acrylic paint, watercolor crayons, and text onto canvas and other surfaces. I’m inspired by nature and the colorful blooms I can’t grow in my shady garden. I sell my work at art festivals in Western NC and at a local art gallery in Hendersonville.
What do you like to do in your free time? I spend my free time reading, playing in my art studio, camping with my family, and daydreaming about new business ventures and art workshops to teach.
What are your hopes for art therapy in North Carolina? My hope is that art therapy—provided by trained and licensed Art Therapists—spreads throughout every county in NC, so that more individuals who can benefit from non-verbal treatments will have access to the care they need. I also hope for more art therapy training programs throughout NC, more job opportunities for art therapists, and licensure for art therapists.
Anything else? (favorite quote, etc) “Be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less that the trees and the stars. You have a right to be here, and whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.” ~Max Ehrmann