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Outsider art, traditionally the work of psychiatric patients, offenders and minority groups, and art therapy have shared histories of art created in psychiatric care. As the two fields grow, this book reveals the current issues faced by both disciplines and traces their shared histories to help them build clearer and more coherent identities.
More often than not, the history of art therapy has been tied to psychological and psychiatric roots, which has led to problems in defining the field and forced boundaries between what is considered 'art' and what is considered 'art therapy'. Similarly, the name and identity of outsider art is constantly debated. By viewing art therapy and outsider art through their shared histories, this book helps to alleviate the challenges and issues of definition faced by the fields today.
Rachel Cohen is an art therapist based in New York. She is a graduate of Pratt Institute's art therapy program and previously worked as Program Coordinator/Art Therapist at LAND Gallery, a studio and gallery for artists with developmental disabilities in Brooklyn. Rachel promotes the work of non-traditional creators through her advisory service, NAPlabs, and is currently an educator at the Museum of Modern Art.