Art therapist to speak at luncheon

The September speaker for the Coastal Arts Guild luncheon will be art therapist Dr. Dian Svendsen. The luncheon will be held on Thursday, Sept. 5, in the second-floor classroom of the Newport Visual Arts Center. The event begins at 11 a.m., with the presentation at 11:30, followed by lunch.

Svendsen’s talk will explore the nature of art therapy, including examples of art created in therapeutic settings. She will also explore the relevance of recent findings of neuroscience to people’s daily lives and art-making processes.

Svendsen was born and lived her youth in rural Ohio. In 1971, she volunteered for the U.S. Peace Corps in Afghanistan, when it was a relatively peaceful kingdom. She has worked in management development in 35 countries.

Svendsen has turned to art throughout her life to help her better comprehend herself, others and the world. Initially, she used line drawings to illustrate her poetry, then conte crayon and charcoal to make large images of small sections of nature — all done in the spirit of discovery. At the age of 59 and being a lifelong learner, she earned a fourth graduate degree enabling her to change careers and become an art therapy counselor. In this new capacity, she used art to help others address mental health issues in the inpatient psychiatric unit at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis, as well as in private practice.

Retired now, Svendsen focuses on her own art, which is heavily influenced by her cross-cultural experiences, love of animals and spirit of discovery. She currently lives in Newport and Philomath with her spouse, Mark, and two large canines, Viggo and Rosie.

For additional information and an invitation to attend CAG’s luncheon, call Mary Holt at 541-765-4599. Seating is limited. There is a suggested donation of $10 for non-members. Holt can also provide information about the Coastal Arts Guild, a volunteer program that staffs the Newport Visual Arts Center.