The introduction of course curriculums and levels of advancement for members presents an overall summary of what members can achieve while visiting 9Muses. Member participation in fine art, music, creative writing or performance arts introduces a framework for meaningful experiences and develops a process for personal recovery. Our four concepts, as they apply to art and their purposes towards recovery and wellness are described below:
EDUCATION — Finding and maintaining hope - developing abilities to organize ideas from the environment - believing in oneself, developing a sense of personal action and feeling optimistic about one's future.
PREVENTION — The re-establishment of a positive identity - developing the ability to express ideas in original works of art. Members find a new identity which incorporates illness but retains a positive sense of self-identity.
ADVOCACY— Finding meaning in life - developing an understanding of art and symbolism from a variety of cultures and historical periods in comparison with the historical treatments of illness, finding a new meaning in life despite a label or diagnosis.
EMPOWERMENT—Taking responsibility for one’s life – participating in critique and review of exhibitions provides members an ability to listen to constructive criticisms and verbalize opinions about personal artworks and the works of others while building good mental health. The above concepts function most effectively when naturally introduced in daily activities. These concepts in the fine arts programs are essential for staff, advanced membership and visiting artists as they develop and implement new curricula.
The following course outlines include descriptions of how and what members learn using the four concept goals and objectives of 9Muses Fine Arts Program. These course descriptions emphasize new media, techniques, and skills introduced for each membership level. Members continue to use media and refine skills introduced at each level accomplished. Open Studio times and advanced membership opportunities are available for those who qualify.
Members develop an enhanced awareness of their environment by identifying and describing objects both in their environment and in works of art. Participating members classify objects on the basis of characteristics such as color, texture, and form and develop a visual vocabulary of line, colors, and textures.
Using Creative Expression/Performance members use a variety of basic materials to intuitively arrange lines, colors, and forms in original works of art. Participating members produce two-dimensional artworks in media such as crayon and acrylic paint. Members use brushes and large paper.
Participating members discover that objects come from different cultures and places. By viewing the works of artists through books and prints, members identify symbols and recognize that works of art tell stories and express moods. They engage in brief conversations, describing the relationship to personal experiences in obtaining wellness.
Research & Self Empowerment
The evaluation takes place naturally as participating members share ideas about personal works and the works of others. They listen as others express opinions. Members help make decisions about which pieces of their work to include in display exhibits. Members are led in a discussion of how specific paintings demonstrate the criteria developed by participation in the class. Staff extends the discussion by asking how various colors used in the members work invoke emotion.
The program, as outlined begins with an introductory program and provides unique learning experiences in each member, defining the parameters of art instruction. Participating Muse produce creative and imaginative work that reflects: Skill development in perception, Knowledge of self, Understanding art as an expression of cultural/personal experience and, Growing skills in evaluation.
Participating Muse or beginning members are involved with two and three-dimensional artworks. Members create art by drawing, painting, printmaking, and modeling. Quality art experiences employ creative problem solving by encouraging members to rely on their own originality, inventiveness, and imagination. Group activities offer opportunities for members to exchange ideas and work collaboratively. As members encounter works of art and produce their own works based on their personal experiences, they begin to understand that people have different responses to similar experiences.
As participation and skills increase toward Intermediate courses or Gallery Muse, active members share experiences and encourage participation and support as art activities increase member’s awareness of their physical strengths, extends and help members develop inventive skills to "self-guide" in their journey towards good mental health.
Art programs encourage individual interpretation of ideas, thoughts, and feelings while providing opportunities for experimentation with a variety of media. Gallery Muse or Intermediate level membership build on members’ knowledge of prior experiences with art, as learning in art becomes more complex. At times, instruction must be individualized. Members who have had limited involvement with art begin with basic processes. As understanding grows, so does the ability to express ideas and respond to visual forms encountered in the environment. Members are encouraged to enter exhibits. Gallery Muse continues to make two- and three-dimensional art, including drawings, paintings, printmaking, sculptures, ceramics, fiber art, jewelry, photography, and other self-desired media. As members approach advanced levels or Studio Muse, they have an increased desire to apply art elements, design principles, and art techniques to their creations. Their works reflect more deliberate decision-making than earlier work produced, and they accurately describe their artistic processes.
Developing an appreciation and interacting with contemporary and historic works of art is an essential part of the program. Art is part of all cultures and provides a way for members to understand and value their own as well as others’ process of maintaining wellness.