Date & Time: October 16, 2023 1:00pm – 2:00pm
Location: Virtual

Artists and art therapists who wish to work in prison may believe that they will be operating within a highly structured and regulated system that restricts true creative expression and healing. Yet, for an environment that is perceived as stifling, desolate, and rigid, there are surprisingly inventive displays of creativity that occur within the walls.

Counter-intuitively, innovative artistic expression is inherent –even championed–within this subculture. This presentation, through interviews and discussions with inmates in prison who create, numerous illustrations, and personal experiences, will explore not only the value that art offers this population, but this drive to create as well. In doing so, the speaker will illuminate the numerous creative workaround techniques that allow art to flourish and creativity to heal in this uncreative environment.

About the Speaker

David Gussak

David E. Gussak, PhD, ATR-BC, HLM

David E. Gussak, PhD, ATR-BC, HLM is Professor for the Florida State University’s Graduate Art Therapy Program and Project Coordinator for the FSU/FL Dept of Correction’s Art Therapy in Prisons program. He has presented and published extensively internationally and nationally on forensic art therapy and art therapy in forensic settings. These include, amongst others, Art on Trial: Art Therapy for Capital Murder Cases (2013), Art and Art Therapy with the Imprisoned: Re-Creating Identity (2019), and The Frenzied Dance of Art and Violence (2022). In 2022, Dr. Gussak was granted the American Art Therapy Association’s Honorary Lifetime Member (HLM) award.


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