Articles & Blogs

May 10 2017

Artist or Therapist? My Dilemma

Sometimes being an arts therapist doesn’t feel very cool. The label of therapist can make me feel uninteresting and irrelevant. It can feel like wearing a conservative outfit, being invisible and blending into the background. Sometimes in social settings I have seen people get nervous around me when I identify as a ‘therapist’. I’m guessing that they think I might be analyzing them or reading their insides. Or they might start opening up about their deep pain and struggles imagining I will take some of the burden away. Either way, my impulse is to take up less space. When I ...
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Apr 5 2017

The Amazing Art of Storytelling

“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” - Philip Pulman, writer The stories that inspire me the most are non-fictional stories, stories that are about real life and real people. These kind of true stories are the most compelling to me when they incorporate emotion, vulnerability, unexpected twists and elements of change and rebirth. Basically, I’m a sucker for stories that show how people survived difficulty and got to the other side. This interest in truth telling brought me to the work of expressive arts therapy and education. It was an invitation to ...
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Mar 1 2017

The Revolutionary Nature of Art

  "Art is the bridge when walls of fear keep us insulated and reactive. A society loses meaning, purpose and direction without it" - performance artist Karen Finlay It is a very complicated time. The predominant emotions I encounter around me are grief, anger, hopelessness and bewilderment. I often experience uncertainty in regards to supporting people in response to the politics we are facing. There isn't a rulebook, it is one of those moments that challenges us because we are in new territory here in America. It is a waking up process as many people understand more clearly the tensions and biases that exist with race, gender, class and sexual orientation. There is resistance ...
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Dec 19 2016

My Artist Story, In Recovery Magazine

The Creative Source: An Artistic Life Shaped by Recovery by Adriana Marchione Published through In Recovery Magazine, Winter 2016, (link no longer active) I am an artist and a person in recovery; this statement illustrates how I define myself and shape my world. When I got sober in 1993, I found it absolutely necessary to connect with people in recovery who could show me a new way of life. However, the artistic resources and mentorship necessary for me to maintain my creative life and artistic integrity were missing. I have had to find my own way in unearthing artistic expression ...
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Nov 30 2016

Seeking Sanity: A Recovery Perspective

     I have been sitting on this blog for a little while. I would say it has been slowly forming since 11/9/16. My thoughts and emotions have been heightened along with a good majority of people in the world. I have bounced from fear, confusion, sadness, outrage, shame, concern and ambivalence to a feeling of trust and ease. Then I’ve bounced all around again multiple times. We are all being bombarded with facts, ideas, perspectives and opinions. In the midst of this, it is hard to know what is real. It has prompted me to take some time to ...
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Nov 12 2016

Artist of the Year Award

  Sometimes life brings incredible surprises. I got a phone call several weeks ago from Janet Hopkins who is the editor of 'In Recovery' magazine asking if I could come to Phoenix, Arizona this November to receive an award. I wholeheartedly said, 'YES!' and will be heading down to the In Recovery Gala on November 19th to be given an 'Artist of the Year Award'. I am so honored to be acknowledged along with many other esteemed colleagues who support addiction/recovery in various ways. See the list of award winners here. In case you are interested in learning more about the event ...
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Nov 4 2016

The Power of the Art Space

'Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.' -Twyla Tharp Today, I am reflecting on 'the art space'. After many years in my work as teacher, expressive arts therapist and interdisciplinary artist, I am still so struck by the powerful space that is created when we engage in art-making. This past weekend I taught a one day introductory expressive arts workshop at the Tamalpa Institute. From beginning to end I felt the magic that was so easily created when people danced, drew and created performance in a committed way. On my drive home from Marin County to ...
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Nov 4 2016

Failure? Persisting as an Artist

This quote by Samuel Becket has been surfacing lately, "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better." This quote was first shared with me by my mentor and friend Stephen K. Levine during a time when I was feeling especially discouraged about my work. These days I am used to regular visits from doubt and fear - and a voice that says, 'You are failing at this!' or 'You will fail'. I believe these voices are the result of a creative film venture I have embarked on. I am entering into unknown territory. As a creativity coach and movement arts ...
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Feb 27 2016

Love Letter to Donors

  Notes from a Crowdfunding Campaign... I recently completed a crowdfunding campaign for my a documentary film project I’m working on called The Creative High focused on artists who have faced addiction. It was a 30 day campaign that required me to embark on a virtual search for donations from friends, family, colleagues and strangers willing to support my efforts to birth a creative idea. I sent group emails, personal messages, and posted on Facebook and Twitter most days of the campaign. Again and again, I asked people to give any form of donation. I posted pictures that might grab people’s ...
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Jan 4 2016

Listening to Grief Metaphors through the Arts

“I measure every grief I meet With analytic eyes; I wonder if it weighs like mine, Or has an easier size.” -Emily Dickinson Over the last several years I have been learning about grief through the language of the arts. This is a language that doesn’t require learning a pattern of speech but instead demands close listening and attention. As I have been listening, I have discovered the following about grief. First and foremost, grief is heavy, and the bigger the loss, the heavier the weight. Grief may be quiet, so quiet that it can be hard to hear. Grief ...
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