(Bri)anna Beck
 
 

Bri is an Art Therapist, Practicing Artist, Graphic Designer, and Disability Activist

 
 
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About

Bri obtained her Master of Arts in Art Therapy and Counseling from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2019. She also holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication from Ball State University. In her personal art practice, Bri plays with color, pattern, shape, and scale to show emotional states and create alternative environments. As a self-identified disabled artist and art therapist, she is committed to utilizing her career for the betterment of disabled people though art therapy and activism.

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Art Therapy + Counseling

Art therapy is a mental health profession that uses the process of art-making to assist individuals, groups, and communities in expanding their emotional, mental, physical, and social health and well-being. Art therapy can help people express themselves, communicate with others, find direction, and can inspire creative transformation in individuals and groups.

My personal art therapy and counseling practice takes a relational cultural, trauma-informed, and feminist approach. I acknowledge with my clients how power systems, both systemic and relational, work in their lives to produce harm, and provide a safe place to process their lived experiences both artistically and verbally.

The artwork above was created during individual and group art therapy sessions.

 
 
 
 

Micro + Macro

 
 
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Activism

Healing does not occur in a vacuum and self-care can only go so far when systemic power structures repeatedly traumatize marginalized bodies. Though I practice art therapy and counseling with individuals and groups in a therapeutic setting, I balance that with social justice based art therapy and activism. As a physically disabled woman, I primarily utilize a disability justice framework to advocate on behalf of the disability community and other marginalized groups through art-making or public speaking. I also work within these communities to teach new skills, create awareness campaigns, and take political action.

Photos from Sixty Inches from Center Magazine, Belonging and Disability Panel, and Dis/Art + Justice Museum Talk.

Click here to read about my recent “Disability Art Showcase + Maker-Space” as an example of art therapy meeting social justice.



Resources:

CHICAGO DISABILITY ARTS AND CULTURE ORGANIZATIONS:

Access Living Arts and Culture Project

Bodies of Work

UIC Department of Disability and Human Development

RELATED EVENTS:

Disability Art Showcase and Maker-Space - April 16th at Access Living from 6 - 8pm

Voices Embodied: Cosmoses - April 18th to May 9th | Hyde Park Art Center | Opening Reception April 18th from 6 - 8pm

GOOD READS:

“Brilliant Imperfection” by Eli Clare

“Radical Intersections: Art Therapy and Social Justice” Edited by Savneet Talwar

“Feminist Queer Crip” by Alison Kaefer

“Care Work” by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha