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Peter and the Starcatcher Tour Company photo by Jenny Anderson

Jackie Biggs, MA ’13 storm. The New York run was so successful that Price is preparing the show for a

Art Therapy, continued

Students must participate in internships in

2015 world tour. To what

While a widely respected academic discipline,

both community-based and clinical settings,

does she attribute her success

art therapy still faces challenges winning

and work with youth and adults. “Many of our

under the bright lights? “My

acceptance in the health care world. Only

students come here with their minds made

classes taught me how to

seven states currently license art therapists. In

up that they are only going to work with, say,

become a critical thinker,

many cases, graduates with art therapy degrees

adolescents,” Bardot noted. “We encourage

observer and communicator,

end up applying their skills to counseling or

them to keep their options open. It may

and those are the basic

teaching positions. “We still have to constantly

dawn on them that what they really love is

tenets of being a Broadway

prove that what we do has value,” Biggs said.

communicating with the elderly.”

creates an environment that

Biggs said GW’s Art Therapy Program, one of

Biggs had little experience with combat

teaches you to go for your

the first in the country, prepared her to

veterans before joining Fort Belvoir’s team,

dreams and take chances.”

thrive in a challenging environment through its

but she relished the challenge of helping

unique “trauma track.” The intensive focus on

soldiers connect with their feelings through

people who have suffered traumatic incidents—

art. She eases client skepticism by stressing

from car accidents to violence to the loss of

that the focus is not on skilled artistry or a

loved ones—includes hands-on experience

polished product. “I’m not here to critique

counseling clients at the program’s clinic.

work,” she said. “I guide my clients, but it’s

producer,” she said. “GW

College Well Represented on Alumni Board


he GW Alumni Association named Jeremy Gosbee,

ultimately up to them to choose a direction. I “Art therapy helps you access painful memories

help them make sense of what they’ve created.”

BA ‘98, MBA ’02, as its new

in a nonthreatening way,” said Heidi Bardot.

president, and five Columbian

director of the program. “The brain stores

Sitting across from the reluctant Kentucky

College alumni were added

traumatic images in a visual context. Through

soldier at her Fort Belvoir art table, Biggs

to the association’s Board of

artwork, you can examine and process those

encouraged him to relax and be spontaneous.

Directors. They are Joseph

disturbing images at a safe distance.”

“Grab a palate knife and a color you’re drawn

Altenau, BA ’08, Beth

to,” she calmly instructed. “Don’t think, just

Furtwangler, BA ’08, Stephen

Biggs pursued an art therapy degree in the

do what feels right.”

Roche, BA ’06, MA ’08, Julie

hope that her professional path would guide her

Silverbrook, BA ’09, and

toward working with women and children.

The soldier used his tools to apply seemingly

Rachel Talbert, BA ’94, MA

After her first year, she joined Bardot on a

random splotches of red and blue paint across

’98. The new members work

summer-abroad program in India, providing

a canvass. The end product was stunning to

with other volunteers from

art therapy services to homeless women.

both him and Biggs: The soldier recreated

across the university to engage

Biggs’s second-year project on combatting

what he had seen through his sniper rifle’s

alumni and implement new

bullying through art won her the program’s

scope just before he first killed someone.

alumni programs and services.

prestigious Kwiatkowska Award, given annually

There are now 31 Columbian

to students with exceptional strengths in family

“It was amazing,” said Biggs. “He was expressing

College alumni board

assessment or group research.

the anger and regrets he’d been holding

members, including outgoing

inside. That’s the thing about art therapy.

board President Steve Frenkil,

Like all GW art therapy students, Biggs was

Your subconscious gets going and reveals

BA ’74, and Columbian

required to work with a range of clients.

what’s going on inside your head.”

College representative Scott Dantley, BS ’92.

columbian college of arts and sciences alumni & friends page 41

GW Arts & Sciences Fall/Winter 2014  
GW Arts & Sciences Fall/Winter 2014