Children of War Art Exhibit with people walking around the art and a red table and other tables with art on them.

Children of War Art Exhibit Welcomes Antioch Art Therapists

An exhibition of art created by displaced Ukrainian children has offered a unique opportunity for faculty in Antioch University’s Creative Arts Therapy programs to connect with an audience of students, faculty, and others around the campus of Otterbein University. The exhibition is called Children of War features the art of 40 Ukrainian children who have participated in art therapy sessions conducted by mother and daughter artists, Natalya Pavlyuk and Yustyna Pavlyuk, in hospitals, shelters, and orphanages in Lviv, Ukraine.

Since the beginning of the Russian war against Ukraine in February 2022, the pair has focused on helping children who have witnessed the horrors of war express their feelings and communicate through art while dealing with post-traumatic stress. Children of War is part of the Otterbein & The Arts: Opening Doors to the World series featuring Ukrainian artists during spring semester. The event was organized by Janice Glowski, PhD, Otterbein’s Director of Museum and Galleries, and Megan Chawansky, PhD, Professor of Health and Sport Sciences and member of the Ukrainian Cultural Association of Ohio. 

Savannah Cannon, Natashia Collins, and Amy Morrison standing left to right.
Savannah Cannon, Natashia Collins, and Amy Morrison

A reception and fundraiser for the exhibition was held on March 14. Special guests included two faculty and one student from the Antioch University Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) Art Therapy program who worked with the faculty from the Otterbein Art Department to provide an Art Therapy experiential activity during the reception. Amy Morrison, PhD, and Natashia Collins, PhD, both faculty in the CMHC Art Therapy program at Antioch’s New England campus, and graduate student Savannah Cannon, provided context for attendees to honor the art making process that Natalya Pavlyuk and Yustyna Pavlyuk provided for children who arrived in Lviv seeking refuge.   

They spoke about the importance of art making for children who experience trauma, developmental considerations, art therapy as a profession, and options for how to view children’s artwork. Within the context of the Children of War exhibit, they also discussed developmental considerations and art therapy as a profession.   

Representatives of the Ukrainian Cultural Association of Ohio also spoke and brought traditional Pysanka, Ukrainian painted eggs, to sell.

A special thanks to Jonathan Johnson, Associate Professor and Chair of Otterbein’s Department of Art and Art History, and Ali Corey, PhD, Program Director of Antioch’s CMHC program, who helped bridge the work between the faculty and the exhibit. 

There is still time to view the exhibit at Otterbein:  
Children of War
Now-May 5, 2024   
Stichweh Gallery, Art and Communication Building, 33 Collegeview Road, Westerville   
Contact: 614.823.1792 or visit here.  

Morrison (far right) teaches developmental and trauma-informed art therapy and family art therapy courses that are directly applicable to today’s exhibit. She has 20 years of practice as an art therapist and teacher in higher education. She is particularly passionate about offering art therapy approaches to help children and families share and cope with their lived experiences.   
Natashia Collins and Savannah Cannon standing by an exhibit at the Children of War art exhibit.
Collins (left) teaches Art Therapy in Diverse Settings and Professional Orientation and Ethics courses that inform her understanding of the varied ways art therapy is approached. Collins has been practicing art therapy for 12 years and has been educating counselors and art therapists for nine years.  
Cannon (right) is in her third and final year of the CMHC Art Therapy program. She is completing her clinical internship placements at the University of Toledo Medical Center and Otterbein University Counseling Center and will complete and present her Culminating Project this spring.