SIUE’s Klorer named to American Art Therapy Association’s highest honor

When a person depicts pain or sorrow through the colorful strokes of a brush or symbolism in clay sculptures, these are steps toward recognizing emotions and bringing them toward healing, according to SIUE Arts Therapy Counseling Professor Patricia “Gussie” Klorer.

Patricia "Gussie" Klorer, SIUE Arts Therapy Counseling professor (middle), stands between Terry Towne, Chair of the Honors Committee of the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) (left) and Mercedes ter Maat, President of the AATA (right) at the organization's national conference. Klorer was named to the AATA Honorary Lifetime Member Award in summer 2013.

For servicing the arts therapy community through “excellence in research, teaching, service and accomplishment,” Klorer was named an Honorary Lifetime Award member of the American Art Therapy Association (AATA), the organization’s highest honor. She joins the ranks of 27 members who were named for their lifetime achievements in art therapy.

Klorer, who in 1990s served as the first director of the SIUE arts therapy program, said it’s an honor to be recognized by her peers.

“I feel a little bit in awe because people I admire are on that list,” Klorer said.

Approximately 1,200 were in attendance at the American Art Therapy Association’s 44th Annual Conference held last summer in Seattle when the organization recognized Klorer.

Klorer was nominated by colleagues in the AATA’s membership of nearly 5,000; was selected by AATA board and committee members; then ratified by membership votes that agreed to her winning the award.

Past-President of the American Art Therapy Association, Mercedes ter Maat highlighted Klorer’s accomplishments.

“Gussie has been an advocate for the wellbeing of individuals and the profession of art therapy for decades. Her dedication to the improvement of the quality of life of those with whom she works is admirable. She is intelligent and passionate; we are fortunate to have been touched by her,” ter Maat said.

Klorer’s research focuses on children who have been severely abused and have attachment issues.

“A child makes a picture that’s painful to look at and is not able to talk about it. This can be the beginning of the child starting to deal with feelings,” Klorer said. “It is safer to talk about the picture, and ultimately they start to work through the deeper issues, which can lead to healing.”

Klorer initiated the SIUE Arts Enrichment program which requires all first-year art therapy students to volunteer 10 hours per week for Head Start. Head Start offers comprehensive services for children of low-income families.

In her teaching, Klorer said she explores ways to get students excited about doing art therapy.

“I have loved being an art therapist…wanting to do something with art and people just made sense to me,” Klorer said.

Klorer has been actively involved in service to the AATA having chaired the nominating committee and been the program chair for the 27th Annual Conference as well as serving as secretary to the board of directors.

She also served on committees for the Council for Accreditation of the Counseling and Related Education Programs.  For many years she was a member of the editorial boards of three journals: “Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association,” “Trauma and Loss: Research Interventions,” and the “American Journal of Art Therapy.”  In 2001, Klorer was honored with the AATA’s Clinician Award.

Last spring, the Missouri History Museums Library in St. Louis featured Klorer as artist with an exhibit of her work. The show consisted mostly of 3-D sculptural assemblages.  She reproduced historical documents and altered them with artistic mediums to tell stories.

“I like to tell stories which is what we do in art therapy.” Klorer said.

The link below is a video by the Missouri History Museum featuring Klorer as an artist.

Art in the Archives | Archives in the Art from Missouri History Museum on Vimeo.

Be Sociable, Share!

Filed Under: Art and DesignGeneral CAS Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.

Switch to our mobile site