Growing and Healing Through Art and Reflection

NYU Steinhardt’s graduate Art Therapy students showcase artworks in the “Art Affect” exhibition.

Under the Arch

Growing and Healing Through Art and Reflection


NYU Steinhardt’s graduate Art Therapy students showcase artworks in the “Art Affect” exhibition.


by: Yuna Baek

From Feb. 25 to March 8, NYU Steinhardt’s graduate Art Therapy program hosted an exhibition in the Commons Gallery of the Barney Building. This year’s exhibition, titled “Art Affect,” featured works in a variety of media that respond to each artist’s life experiences and emotions during their time in and out of the program. While developing their professional, artistic and clinical practices, the graduate students work in hospitals, social service agencies, public schools, nursing homes and more. Ultimately, through displaying their works, they hope to remind us to better understand the well-being of ourselves and others. Although everyone has different experiences, everyone shares the emotions those experiences can bring.

Samantha Kim


“Journal: January,” 2023, collage on paper

Samantha Kim’s “Journal: January,” is a visual diary of her days in the month of January. Kim shares her personal perspectives by using vibrant colors and abstract shapes. Kim says she created each collage “in the morning after waking up or at night after returning from school or work” by layering gift-wrapping paper, Korean hanji paper and origami paper onto mixed media paper. Although Kim said January was a challenging month for her, she managed to channel her feelings into art. She was then able to integrate this self-care regime into her daily routine.

Mercy Weiss


“Space,” 2019, sumi ink on watercolor paper

Mercy Weiss’ “Space” painting depicts a nighttime scene she remembers from her trip to one of California’s deserts — the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The painting consists of various textures and patterns, creating a depth of field that invokes a sense of expansion. Given the title of her piece, Weiss found herself at peace while being present in an expansive natural landscape, a space where she felt most free. Through this painting, Weiss encourages the viewers to “invite ideas out of our minds and into our environments,” according to the gallery description.

Stephy Hsu


“Gifts,” 2023, resin, acrylic, found objects

Stephy Hsu’s “Gifts” features several natural and artificial objects floating within a bowl. While representing the complexity and beauty of relationships through this work, Hsu uses the fish navigating its way among the different objects as a metaphor for the experience of students exploring their role among different people. She also shares her appreciation for the therapeutic benefits that come with creating art. Even though we may be presented with obstacles and placed within a new setting, the concept of this piece inspires us to be willing to adapt and to remember to process our emotions.

Jasmine Ka Lam Li


“Novice,” 2023, plaster and paper

Jasmine Ka Lam Li’s “Novice” displays two hands forming arch-like positions encapsulating a colorfully patterned cube. In this piece, Li focuses on the essence of what it means to craft with contrasting media, in this case plaster and paper, while highlighting her personal progress as a current graduate Art Therapy student. She compares her memories of being embraced by her school community to the qualities of plaster, as they both strengthened overtime. She also emphasizes the importance of repair through the display of the cracks glued together and acknowledges the relationship she has with her clients as an art therapist: to assist with her clients’ needs through finding ways for them to heal.

Miki Belenkov


“After the Battle (Requiescence of A Fly),” 2023, oil paint and oil pastel on reclaimed wood

Miki Belenkov was inspired to create “After the Battle (Requiescence of A Fly),” after viewing photos that they had photographed of their students during recess in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The painting depicts a group of students holding a funeral for a fly. In addition to emphasizing the feeling of tension of the students’ childhoods during the pandemic, Belenkov also incorporated qualities of Baroque art into the details of contrasting colors and smoke in the background. Being in a shared space can also bring a community together — this occurrence was a chance for both Belenkov as a teacher and their students to consider each other’s perspectives from inside and outside a classroom setting.

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Produced by Yuna Baek.

Developed for web by Samay Dhawan.