• Publicity image by Julia Volonts

  • Julia Volonts

  • Lība Bērziņa

  • Picture from the senior days of KIM? Contemporary Art Center under the guidance of art therapist Lība Bērziņa. Photo by Lība Bērziņa.

  • Julia Volonts

  • Picture from the senior days of KIM? Contemporary Art Center under the guidance of art therapist Lība Bērziņa. Photo by Lība Bērziņa.

Call for Young People and Seniors to Apply for Art Therapy Sessions at Contemporary Art Institutions

This year, our educational programming is shaped to encompass not only people interested in art but also promote understanding and tolerance of mental health across different social groups. 

Through employing methods of art therapy in the international contemporary art shows Mobile Museum. The Next Season, Survival Kit 12, as well exposition by the artist Anna Priedola Dairy Diaries, we want to address two target groups that are surely among those that suffered the most during the pandemic, namely young people, teenagers from the age of 12 till 18 who have faced depression through the year, as well as seniors with dementia and/or other cognitive disorders who have been isolated for a long time.

We accept applications until 11:59 PM, 25 August, 2021.

>> Application form for teenagers <<

>> Application form for seniors <<

Sessions will be held both online and on-site from September 10 to November 28 , 2021

· Sessions for seniors will be held in Latvian

· Sessions for young people will be held in English, with English translation provided if necessary

· On-site sessions will take place in two separate exhibition spaces in Riga

· One session lasts two hours with a tea break

· Sessions are free of charge and materials are to be provided with all necessary art materials

The therapy sessions will be held by two art therapy specialists: Lība Bērziņa and Julia Volonts. The art therapy sessions will be held inside exhibition spaces and/or online and will be based on the artworks featured therein, held in Latvian (for the seniors) and English (for the teenagers). Participants for each group will be selected in advance, with 10 therapy sessions organized separately for each group. The sessions will be held weekly, on Fridays.

The art therapy sessions will be held un Riga at the Mobile Museum. The Next Season art park and the annual international art festival SURVIVAL KIT; its topic and public program will be based on the current social circumstances in which elderly people, particularly during the virus situation, are being excluded from society. Another venue will be the exposition Dairy Diaries by the artist Anna Priedola. It is going to take place late this year as part of the international project Agents of Change, dedicated to the seniors in Latvia affected by dementia.

Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy, which combines creative art and discussions on art to promote emotional, physical and mental satisfaction. Integrating art therapy into art education programs at museums gives visitors an all-encompassing art experience and the chance to interact with the exhibition in a visceral, sensorial way. It also provides a safe space to create a connection with the public and discover the ways in which art can help us recognize our own emotions, feelings and thoughts that can be difficult to express in words. In art therapy, art and creative processes are used within a therapeutic context in order to improve and promote an individual’s mental, emotional and physical well-being (Latvian Art Therapy Association, 2003). Holding art therapy sessions inside museums and exhibitions is a practice popular around the globe. Preparatory work has been done in Latvia, with some attempts made in the art environment, but these have not been followed by a sustained effort. This is an opportunity not only to improve people’s mental health but also to socialize, as therapeutic sessions are held during times when the exhibition is open (Serga, 2019).

In case you have questions, please email or call: 

> Lība Bērziņa +371 28649014, berzina.liba[at] or

> Māra Žeikare +371 29586893, mara[at]

Before the sessions start, individual meetings on Zoom are slated for late August.

About the art therapists:

Julia Volonts is an art therapist from New York. She has a master’s degree in art therapy from the School of Visual Arts and recently held a post at the New York Creative Arts Therapists, a long-operating group therapy clinic in New York. She has clinical experience in education, as well as social and private practice, where she has worked with children and families as well as teenagers and grown-ups. In 2019 Julia received a Fulbright Scholarship to conduct art therapy research in Rīga, Latvia, where she is residing at the moment. During the pandemic, she has worked with nonprofits and social organizations, facilitating art therapy workshops and groups in order to process this uncertain time. In Latvia this cooperation took the form of working with the MARTA center, the Rīga Stradiņš University, the ISSP Gallery and the LGBT House Rīga. In addition to clinical experience, she is an active member of the European Federation of Art Therapy (EFAT) and a former board member at the New York Art Therapy Association, a subsidiary of the American Art Therapy Association (AATA). She has also been a collaborator for several art therapy exhibitions in New York and took part in the artists’ residence for graduates of the School of Visual Arts in 2017.

Lība Bērziņa is a participant of the LCCA group of mediators with expertise in art therapy and years of experience in managing different projects (in organizations such as Apeirons, the Colorize NGO and the Say! NGO). She has a bachelor’s degree in arts from the University of Latvia, specialized as a graphic designer, as well as a master’s degree in art therapy from the Rīga Stradiņš University. She has experience in leading groups of people of all ages. She has worked as head of the educational program at the Kim? Contemporary Art Center. She also obtained international experience in art therapy while working in Poland and has partaken in projects and training abroad (in Turkey, Italy, Spain and elsewhere), mostly doing informal education related to mixed groups (people with various disabilities, such as impaired vision, hearing, mobility), inclusion, art, improvisation and circus techniques. Lība is also an ambassador for diversity and art in Latvia.

Art historian Māra Žeikare is curating the LCCA education program.

The LCCA education program is supported by the State Culture Capital Foundation, the Latvian Ministry of Culture and the Rīga City Council.

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