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Art Inspires Healing

April 14, 2015

Hillcrest Family Services is offering an exciting after-school program for the adolescents in residential treatment. Every Wednesday night, staff and students gather to participate in Art Group and are encouraged to express themselves creatively. Megan Kalmes, Visiting Artist and Professor of Painting and Drawing at Clarke University, leads the group through various activities inspired by artists. Students are introduced to art movements such as Surrealism and draw inspiration from artists like Salvador Dali and Max Ernst. Megan has experience working with teenagers as an art instructor at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago. She states, “I believe that art is very powerful. In creating, kids not only gain a sense of accomplishment but take time to sit and process thoughts and feelings through images.” Below is a sampling of amazing works the kids have created over the past few weeks! In upcoming art sessions, we are excited to begin planning and painting a mural for Hillcrest 2015 Prom!

follow along drawing w pastels

Follow-along drawing session of The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dalí using pastels.


layered drawing tiger with trees

Creating a layered drawing of a tiger using trace paper.









We recently took a field trip to Clarke University and worked in the art studio. We made drawings of cattle skulls.







At Clarke University, we chose our own still life objects to draw and some made drawings of other’s drawing!

large inspired by small 2

Making LARGE drawings inspired by small objects!

**A special thanks to Megan Kalmes for volunteering her time and energy to provide this opportunity for our talented kids!

–          Christan Reed, LMSW; New Pathways Program Manager