Beyond teaching art techniques and supplying craft materials, we offer safe creative space for individuals to learn and express themselves.

Medical school is hard, but according to VCU professors, the most harrowing passage is the third year. This is why Art for the Journey offers VCU third-year medical students the first-hand benefit of putting paint to canvas.

We offer a relaxed space where students can take a break from tests and grades and, through the creative process, experience the unique sense of well-being that painting a picture of the Richmond skyline or other scene might offer. The experience is delivered on a quarterly basis to students who sign up for the class. Apparently, the class fills in a matter of minutes. While they paint, these future doctors are learning about a non-pharmacological approach to health they may incorporate into their own practice.

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The impact from the class may last well beyond the third-year medical student experience, because the concept of integrating arts and healing continues to grow in the academic world. Thorough and robust studies by the World Health Organization conclude that the arts can be used as a therapeutic treatment option for varied medical conditions. These students will hopefully join in this research, and possibly prescribe the innovative application of art experiences in promoting well-being and healing.

COVID RESPONSE: March 2020-March 2021. The in-person sessions are on hold. To engage medical students, Art for the Journey created an exchange with the Virginia Tech Carillion School of Medicine. Over 100 works of art were displayed in the medical school building and featured works by incarcerated women, veterans with PTSD, and people living with dementia, AND medical students from both VCU MCV and VTCSOM. A virtual exhibit was created and shared with the greater community in Roanoke, VA and included interviews with Art for the Journey, Dr. Elizabeth Lokon at Miami University, OH, and Dr. David Trinkle, Geriatric Psychiatrist and Faculty at VTSOM.