Chamberlain College of Nursing - Student Project

Donna Fox (instructor) for Chamberlain nursing students
thought up a wonderful project for the clinical portion of the 
program's mental health training and with the aid and support of Dina Queen (coordinator); 9muses members enjoyed a course filled with information and pie too. 

The project is named: A.D.P.I.E. a.k.a. Assessment, Diagnosis, Planning, Implementation & Evaluation.

We thank the students of Chamberlain for doing a wonderful job.  
Gracy Aponte
Nicole Arango 
Justin Bonilla
Cenide Donk
Shameka Meza 
Patricia Prado

See it live on YouTube

Hands of Hope

South University Occupational Therapy students completed their final project for the clinical portion of their mental health study and presented a self-esteem workshop to the members of 9Muses.

Members were given a chance to examine and draw or collage eight occupations and add them to illustration boards with a group discussion on goals and possibilities. All items were then placed in personally decorated envelopes for members to keep and add more hopes and dreams over time.

A Memorable Celebration

The Mental Health Association of Southeast Florida held its 60th anniversary celebration at Chima Brazilian Steakhouse

on October 18th. The event was a huge success with raffles, live music, and delicious food. We would like to thank; Chima, our Board of Directors, and Sponsors for their continued support on behalf of MHAs service to the community.

The Life of Art - Solo Exhibition by Olga Cardenas

Olga Cardenas has an eye for life. In landscapes and still life, in images of crow’s life in solitude. Of the narrative of building and places, Olga takes the living she sees and tells their story on canvas. She is a graduate of The Technical College of Columbia, as well as further studies at Columbia University in New York. Her artistic influences include Caravaggio, Gaugin, Van Gogh, Picasso, Obregon, Diego Rivera and Botero. Painting mostly in acrylics, Olga also loves watercolor, charcoal and painting on fabric. "When I was a little girl, I was always asked to draw for school projects. I have loved painting all my life. I get the urge to paint and it feels good. As I paint, I feel relaxed. But there came a time when creating art receded into the background of Olga's life. She is a widow and raised five children. As Olga relates, "It became hard to connect with people". What happened next in her story is a tale common to the history of 9Muses Art Center. "I was driving by and I saw the sign, saw it as an opportunity to paint, something I haven't done in a long time. This was the place to find my pleasure again."

Celebrating the work of artist Violet King

Dwight and Paul Williams traveled to Lauderhill, FL from Detroit with videographer Sascha Rybinski of GoodTastic Films to interview 9Muses member Violet King for a documentary on PBS. Violet King's paintings were found by Dwight Williams in his newly purchased storage unit. He loved the paintings so much, he has been promoting Violet's artwork ever since.  From left: Paul Williams, Dwight Williams, Sascha Rybinski, Violet King (bottom)

The Art of Seeing

When does the shape of a thing become the object of a thing? When does the curve of an arch become an expansive bridge across a valley or the entrance of a building? For Gallery Muse George Glover, art is looking deeper. "When drawing a chair, I don't see a chair, I see angles and shapes. That is what I paint and what the chair becomes."

George Clover, a native of Pompano Beach, FL, is an artist among artists. "My brothers and I would have contests to see who drew something the best." At home we started watching Bob Ross and other painting instructors on a television series."

Around ten years ago George began coming to the art center where he studied with past art instructors Peter Coccuza and later Shane Weaver. As ceramics instructor Nicole Storrs describes it; "It's all about the physical form, he does both painting and sculpture well. It is interesting how 2d art helps 3d art. When you can create depth of 
surface and light source on a flat surface it shows how depth and light affects a sculpture.

As current art instructor Pam Alaniz describes Georges' work: "He has a unique style. I have watched him perfect his craft over the last four to five years and I am amazed by how beautiful his work is."

George describes his own technique; "In choosing an object, I look for darkness and light, I look for shape. Self Portraits are exercise for the craft of art as physical exercise is for the body. How you see things, the way you see things, which technique you use creates the image."


The Artwork of Chris Nervi

Chris Nervi was born at Broward General Hospital in 1951, and has lived in Broward County ever since. Even though his life has had many struggles, he has funneled his experiences into creative expression. Diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 19, he began drawing after he attended his first Anonymous Meeting. He also enjoys inventing and creating. He actually learned wheel throwing after building a home-made kick wheel and is quite a skilled potter and ceramicist whose work includes candle holders, wind chimes, working fountains and an entire chess set. He also enjoys philosophical discussions, especially one-on-one.

Chris is known for his intricate and surreal drawings that often need to be studied for some time before you truly see what’s going on. For his third solo exhibit at 9Muses Art Center, he has created a collection of mandalas and moving illusions he calls “EYE TEASERS & EYE PLEASERS”. The show is divided in half between static images that allow the viewer to see illusory motion, a waving effect, a spinning effect, or an impossible position, due to color contrasts, patterns and shape position. The images that can be deceptive or misleading to our brains are the EYE TEASTERS. While the other half is composed of swirling, checkered mandalas that seem to convey emotions via kaleidoscope eyes. These are the EYE PLEASERS. No matter which piece you fall in love with, it is obvious that all of Chris’ art has been crafted with care.


9MusesArtCenter invites members to participate in Throw Away the Key, an exhibit that visually expresses how it feels to look beyond illness toward a forgiving future. Sometimes unspoken experiences lie at the root of behaviors. Beliefs can be misinterpreted by others forcing.. Read more

Contact: Nicole Storrs,

Entry Deadline: June 29, 2018


PH: 954-746-2055 FAX: 954-746-6373

Copyright © 2018 9Muses Art Center

Skilled Support Group Facilitator Joins 9Muses Art Center

Mental health peer specialist Ted Clulow trained as a support group facilitator with formal DMDA training in 1996 and former manager of the Peer Center of Fort Lauderdale from 2002 -2006 is now facilitating support groups at the Mental Health Association of Southeast Florida, 9Muses Art Center.

These weekly support groups are a vital part of the 99% improvement rate of mental health consumers at 9Muses Art Center.
Many members facing particular difficulty adjusting to life issues attend 9Muses support groups and receive valuable feedback from the facilitator and other peers experienced with similar challenges and feelings to instill hope and offer gentle guidance in a safe environment. Attendees are not required to speak at all outside of basic introduction and can simply sit and listen.


Attendees of the group are very grateful and hopeful for the experience shared by Ted due to his ability to perpetuate mental health awareness to attendees of the groups. A mental health diagnosis is not required to attend a support group. All are welcome.

Congratulations Violet King!

A long standing member and popular artist of 9Muses. Recognition of her work has been long in coming. 9Muses wishes to thank Goodtastic Films for the wonderful documentation of her life's passion.

Broward College Nursing Students participate in 9Muses activities.

Broward College RN Students attended a sampling of the center's program on May 3rd, 2017. Each student attended six classes for 15 minutes each. The classes included; Clay, Dance, Watercolor, Creative Writing, Drawing, and Peer Training.



Self-esteem is an important component that will enable one to have a more positive outlook in life. The way we feel about ourselves can directly impact our daily lives including the eight occupations; ADL’s, IADL’s, work, play, leisure, rest and sleep, education and social participation. Through purposeful activities in occupational therapy, such as; self-esteem bingo, one can improve their feelings of self -worth and confidence. Self-esteem bingo allows participants to engage in a fun game while identifying positive aspects about themselves and their lives. Focusing on your own strengths enables an individual the opportunity to recognize their importance.

In self-esteem bingo one game takes about 45 minutes. While still following the basic rules of bingo, participants answer questions geared towards self-esteem. By the end of the game participants will have reinforced positive self-attributes while socializing.

This activity was facilitated by the South University students in the Occupational Therapy Assistant program. Their hope is that this activity can empower each individual to recognize their own strength, and find value within themself to help cope with any obstacles they are faced with throughout their journey in life. 

Watch this important documentary regarding mental health and the criminal justice system.

More videos available on The Claude Pepper Center Channel as 9Muses members relate their story and experience here at the center.

9Muses Art Center - Final Friday Quarterly Sale

The Quarterly Final Friday Show was preceded by a successful artist's sale with a diverse selection of visual arts and specialty items.  People from the community visited 9Muses artists and were pleasantly surprised by the creativity and ability of the artists. 

Chamberlain College of Nursing C.O.P.E. Project

Create Outstanding People Everday

Chamberlain College of Nursing Students Presented the C.O.P.E. project for 9Muses members with exercises for increased cognitive abilities and stress reduction. The project taught members to engage in healthy and constructive activities including arts and crafts, a learning game, and meditation techniques.

This project is integrated with the nursing program’s mental health portion of the course curriculum

We wish to thank the following students for their participation and dedication:

Deysi Larramendi
Christina Presume
Camille Lewis
Paola Lopea
Carmelle Sevat
Veronica Anderson
Led by Professor Donna Fox and Program Director Dina Queen

News and Latest Events - behavioral Health through Art and advocacy

Please Donate to Mental Health Association and 9Muses

9Muses Art Center

C.I.T. International Conference

August 16 - 18 2017 at the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center

The Mental Health Association of Southeast Florida and 9Muses Art Center is proud to be a part of CIT (Crisis Intervention Training), a partnership between the mental health community and law enforcement. It is a training model for law enforcement professionals to provide those in crisis access to proper medical services and avoid incarceration. For more information visit:

CIT International

Portraits In Pencil
A Re-imagining of Lydia Stirlacci's Photography
The Artwork of Henry Ber

Faces are in our lives every day. They pass you on the street, they are behind the counter. You see them when you gather in a group. They are on your screens. They all seem so very common and yet so very different. But what if you saw the world in a shade of gray, how different would your perception be? For Henry Ber, life has always been seen in grays, all kinds of gray. He has monochromatism, a rare form of color-blindness, but that has never stopped him from painting, drawing and creating. He is very prolific in his work. As Henry puts it; "I like to push myself and seek out challenges." Self-taught, Henry comes from a family of artists. "My father was an amateur artist. I used to watch him, he was my first inspiration." Other inspiration came from European masters such as Rembrandt and Da Vinci, Monet and Van Gogh and other impressionists. American artists, like Norman Rockwell, influence his work as well. The portraits in the exhibit are members of the 9Muses family, past and present. Congratulations Henry Ber!

Mythological Creatures
The Artwork of Joseph Hecker June 15th – July 2nd 2018

I was diagnosed with bi-polar and later I was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Even though the illness tried to control me, I fought back. In fact, I succeeded in my ability to stay well and stable. This is when I found 9Muses. 9MusesArtCenter has helped me to not only grow as an artist, but as a person. I am thankful and grateful to have the love and support of the staff and membership. They help me to separate myself from my illness so I can move forward and be successful as a person. I have always been most passionate about the art movements of Realism, Impressionism, and Surrealism. I derived inspiration from these styles for my show, “Mythological Creatures”. 9Muses has helped me take my art to the next level and beyond. Once again, I dedicate my love and appreciation to the staff and members of 9Muses. If it wasn’t for them, I would not be where I am today. Read his full story at: 

Nova Southeastern University

Occupational therapy students upon completing the clinical portion of their study of mental and behavioral health at 9Muses interacted with members to help them assess needs and create goals. O.T. studies include; Active listening, recreational exercises, and practical strategies for treatment. 

Today an intentional peer support training model was initiated and a role play was presented in a situational setting as Client to Occupational Therapist for means of establishing professional boundaries without breaking the connection established by the O.T.. and avoiding damage to the client’s progress. The presentation exhibited some of the grey areas faced by behavioral healthcare professionals and the challenges of maintaining a cohesive relationship.

Fantastic Final Friday!

This quarterly event was a winner, from a wonderful art sale to the exciting and heart felt performances that followed. Acting, Singing, and Dance, along with lots of fun and creativity was celebrated by 9Muses Members and guests. Thank you for coming to our quarterly event! The next show will be September 29, 2017. Save the date and join us.

The Dream Book Project

Nova Southeastern University occupational therapy students completed the clinical portion of their study of mental and behavioral health at 9Muses.  They presented a "Dream Book" project for members.  Each member created a unique collage representing their vision and future goals for themselves.  The aim of this activity was to exhibit the power of positive thinking and visualization by creating a Dream Book. They were encouraged to take their books home as a reminder to follow through with their goals.

"Welcome to Prune Valley!"
The Artwork of Susan Prowler
“An idea is salvation by imagination” - Frank Lloyd Wright
“The Earth without art is just, Eh" - Andy Warhol

By her nature, Susan Prowler explores the world of the imagination. To her, Prune Valley is not just images; it is a housing development of the mind. In it there are separate neighborhoods complete with different styles of housing. There is a philosophy of lifestyle, as Susan puts it, “This is a community you want to live in, reminiscent of the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s.” There is one important rule to living there. You have to be nice. In Prune Valley there is even a house that is haunted.

Susan’s work on the wall is a form of conceptual art trending in idealism. The Tate Gallery defines conceptual art as “Art for which the idea (or concept) behind the work is more important than the finished art object.”

The genesis of this project started over a year ago in Pamela Alaniz’s drawing class. Susan recalls, “It took me forever to see how to draw a box, Skip Gauvreau would not give up on showing me different ways to approach it. I left art behind for some time to go to work and when that was done, I came back to the comfort of everyone at 9Muses Art Center. I worked on drawing boxes from every angle and every perspective possible. The boxes turned into buildings, which turned into houses and the city of Prune Valley emerged.”

And so welcome to a dream, to a place of imagination.

Welcome to Prune Valley...

South University "Show Me" Project

The students of South University presented “Show Me How: A Look into Occupational Therapy”. Just like an artist creates a masterpiece using tools they have available, an Occupational Therapy Practitioner uses tools to establish a fulfilling life. Occupational Therapists meet you where you are to treat the impact of your occupation. On November 30, 2017, Cohort 10 role played 4 ADL/IADLs (Activities of Daily Living / Instrumental Activities of Daily Living) with the members of 9Muses to educate and improve their own abilities. Fun had by all. Activities included, personal hygiene-handwashing with Adam R., safety-kitchen maintenance with Jennie F., play-participation with Harry S., sleep preparation-relaxation with Susan S.

Artwork Created by Skip Gauvreau

It has been a year since Skip Gauvreau had his first solo show and he has been busy.  He is on the Board of Directors for MHA of Southeast Florida as 9Muses Art Center’s member representative, he has participated in health fairs, Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) and attended classes to expand his knowledge on mental health issues, and he has performed with the Muses Band in the Creativity Café. As Skip puts it; “I am truly grateful for 9Muses and how it has helped turned my life in a positive direction…I have been able to give back to the community.”

Skip has been busy exploring art too. New media and techniques, including painting in 2D/3D, using molding paste. Learning new techniques in acrylics, watercolors and pastels, expressing what he’s learned in class. “I see the progress I have made. I see things with a different perception. I like to deconstruct what I see and change things around in my work.” All we can say is “WELL DONE!”

EPIC 2018

The 2018 EPIC Awards on May 9th 2018 was a smashing success. We would like to thank all attendees for their support of the Mental Health Association of Southeast Florida in celebrating champions of the mental health community in this annual tribute! Congratulations to this years' winners!

​Amy Lynn Osterwise, Debbie Perry, Erica Ricketts, 
David Scharf, Rita Thrasher, and Silvia Quintana

Table vases were made by 9Muses members.

This episode of Nova University's Dateline Health discusses the state of mental health and the role it plays in our schools. Please view this program to hear important information concerning the mental health crisis in Florida reported directly from our CEO Paul Jaquith.

Broward Health Bus & Magellan Complete Care!

The BH bus visited 9Muses today for on-site mini physical check-ups, HIV Testing, and other necessary services for all members of the community (not only Magellan members). THANK YOU for all of the care you give so freely.