Sharra

Sharra Walton (Class of 2022)

Blogger Role: Art Therapy

Major: Art Therapy

Minors: Painting, Ceramics

Clubs: Delight Ministries, Adult Learners Club/Alpha Sigma Lambda, Peers on Wellness, National Society for Leadership and Success

I chose Marywood because I wanted to be a part of a community with a firm spiritual foundation and whose core values matched my own values. I enjoy the fact that Marywood is also an arboretum, as environment is a limited resource and needs to be cherished as such. When I took a tour of the school, I fell in love with the Insalaco Center for Studio Arts Building and it felt like home to me. Plus, Marywood offers an art therapy program up to the master’s level and this was key for me in my educational goals.

I am majoring in Art because I wish to work with veterans as an art therapist with a focus in textiles arts. I am a late bloomer when it comes to art and was introduced to painting through a friend in my mid-thirties. I fell in love with it and it came as a surprise that I could create something that had value to myself and others.

When I’m not in class, I’m out walking in nature as I love to hike. I am also into a deep spiritual practice and try to incorporate putting my life based on a spirit-first, mind-next, body-follows discipline in everything I see and do. I am constantly reading, currently writing my second book, cross-stitching, and sketching in my art journals for project ideas. I spend a lot of time staying connected with friends over tea and coffee. 

So far, my favorite art class at Marywood was my ceramics class. I had never done anything with clay and as I am disabled with chronic pain disorders, so I was surprised at how good it felt to work with clay. I found I have a knack for hand building and carving clay. I loved this class so much I decided to add it on as a minor.

The coolest thing I’ve done at Marywood so far was start a club for older, nontraditional students called the Adult Learners Club for both grad and undergrad students; and revamped the honors society for nontraditional adult learner undergrad students, Alpha Sigma Lambda. We are a small population of the student body and I felt there was a need for us to have a place to still gain leadership skills and be a part of a community with peers that have more in common from having a long-life experience.

When I graduate, I intend to continue in the graduate art therapy program here at Marywood. I hope to dive deep into textile making as it seems to be a lost art that is starting to make a comeback and I feel this would benefit the veterans I would be working with in my future practice. I also want to continue to research and explore color therapy for the mind-body connection aspect of healing. I hope to have a first rough draft of my second book completed by the end of my undergraduate program too.  

I’d recommend the Art program at Marywood because the art program is a great place to start when exploring the arts in general. As well as the faculty is great at helping me gain confidence in my abilities as a painter and ceramicist. I have gained a lot of growth in my art therapy classes and love the fact that I get to try out the different approaches in the classroom so I can gain a deeper understanding of what my future clients will go through. I see myself as a living advocate and use my life as a model for how a person can change through developing artistic and art therapeutic skills. I know I am where I am today because of the positive impact of the Art program here at Marywood.

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