These can be stressful times for just about anyone. Some people dig into boxes of desserts for delivery, others have been rediscovering their inner chefs with cookbooks from amazing Montreal chefs, but taking the time to quietly do a little bit of art therapy can go a long way—especially when those sessions come from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts' head of art therapy and educational programs, Stephen Legari.
Every Friday, the museum has been posting free short art therapy activities on its Facebook page in English and French. Voiced by Legari, these are activities that we can easily try from home, from inspirational writing while looking at paintings to reactive drawing sessions—share your work online afterwards with #SpreadArtNotVirus!
Rest assured, you're in good hands: If it wasn't evident from watching one video, Legari holds a Master’s degree in art therapy from Concordia University and another M.A. in couple and family therapy from McGill University, having won an award for clinical excellence from the latter. Speaking in soft, dulcet tones (as any self-respecting art therapist should), Legari walks you through a small session that can be easily completed from wherever you are, whether that's your couch, your bed, or lying on the floor and looking for some solace.
We may not be able to access the variety of art therapy the MMFA offers right now, but Legari has been providing a lot of soothing sessions that make for a nice way to end the week, providing us and appreciators of art around the world something regular to ground us in a bit of routine. It can be pretty meditative stuff:
Art is often one of the best ways to do a bit of introspection and self-reflection, so leave it to one of the top galleries and best museums in Montreal to offer something to help us all chill out a bit. As the MMFA's own site mentions on the subject of art therapy: "Art has a positive effect on the physical and mental health and well-being of individuals..." and researchers in Quebec are going so far as to study "the beneficial effects of a visit to the Museum, which may be comparable to the benefits of physical exercise."