Rochele Royster

Breathing Through Fiber: Healing Through the Arts

I was born in the city of Washington D.C. but was raised in the rural south. The Blue Ridge Mountains of central Virginia were the backdrop of my childhood home which was nestled in a forest of cedar, white pine and red oak trees. As a child, I had an active imagination and spent hours making dolls out of old socks, yarn and mismatched buttons. I learned how to grow my own food, harvest produce and can it for the winter. In the summer, my brother and I would dirty our knees tasting honeysuckles and prick our fingers picking the sweetest blackberries for the tastiest pies. My love for creating grew into a love for the fine arts. I studied studio art in college and later received my graduate degree in Special Education from Virginia State University and Art Therapy from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. As an art therapist, I worked with rape and incest survivors, women and children affected by homelessness and domestic violence, and refugees from Cambodia and Kenya. I have been teaching Special Education on the south side of Chicago for over 13 years. My students have been diagnosed with various disabilities such as autism, traumatic brain disorders, other health impairments, behavior and emotional disorders. I integrate art therapy into the special education curriculum to provide a holistic education that meets academic and social emotional needs. Art therapy provides an avenue for those hurt by trauma as a way of expression and enables the participant to find peace through the artistic process. I believe in the art process and its ability to offer awareness. Art heals and provides connection. My respect for nature, work/play and cultural resistance has inspired my imagery.

 


2016

Saturday, April 93-3:50 Room 5032