Expressive Art Support Group for Men
Draw, paint, collage, laugh, and share your thoughts and emotions in a safe space!
Our Expressive Art Support group for men includes the exploration and creation of drawings, photographs, and other
mediums to foster expressive dialogues about the notions of home, memory, community, and love.
By encouraging visual expression, the workshop operates as a means to allow the participants to reconcile difficult memories from their past while cultivating new friendships and relationships. In this monthly gathering, we produce art followed by discussion about each work. Men are free to share their thoughts, feelings, and the meanings of their works if they wish to.
On a Friday afternoon at the Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants (CERI), located in Oakland, California, Iranian artist and art therapist Shimana Sadeghi asked nine Cambodian refugees to stand up, say their name, and perform a body movement. The ensuing claps, bows, and even push-ups marked the beginning of ARTogether’s art therapy workshop for Cambodian men resettled in California, an afternoon in which participants could engage with memory visually and creatively in a group setting.
The second session of ARTogether’s art therapy workshop for Cambodian men, led by artist Shimana Sadeghi, began similarly to the first. She asked everyone to form a circle, say their name, and perform one by one a movement for everyone else to repeat.
Some participants used the energizing exercise to show off their athletic skills, stretching and even executing push ups! Before they began the main activity, Shimana thanked the men for their willingness to participate in her workshop and reminded everyone about the confidentiality of their following discussions.
ARTogether’s monthly art therapy workshop for men began with a delicious treat: a traditional Cambodian fish soup! After the meal, artist Shimana Sadeghi welcomed the participants back and reminded everyone of the workshop’s confidentiality rules, which encourage honesty within a safe space.
Led by Shimana Sadeghi, a graduate student in Art Therapy, the Men’s Art Therapy workshop started with a physical warm-up exercise. This workshop took place at the Center for Empowering Refugee and Immigrants (CERI) in Oakland, CA on Friday the 20th 0f January in 2018. A group of around fifteen participants were instructed to say their name and improvise a physical movement and pair it with a sound.
February Session: Putting the Last Piece in the Puzzle
After lunch was cleared from the room, participants were still chatting with each other as they slowly trickled back into the room. The 11 participants were conversing in Khmer, further forging connections amongst themselves. Once everybody settled on a spot in the circle around the room, the workshop commenced. With her hands in a prayer position in front of her, artist Shimana Sadeghi greeted everybody in Khmer, with a slight bow of her head towards everybody.