Creating a “Safe Space” at Art Therapy Studio


Scott was diagnosed with hearing loss at age four and lives with severe depression, social anxiety disorder, general anxiety disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder. An art therapist at RAP Art referred Scott to Art Therapy Studio in 1995. There, he found a welcoming, supportive studio in which students–many who were also dealing with cognitive, emotional, and/or physical challenges–shared his passion for creating art. He has attended “Discover the Artist Within You” classes ever since.


When I first came to the studio, I had so much to say. The canvas became my safe space. When I am anxious, I create the safe space.”


Scott has mastered various art skills and techniques. The classes have helped relieve his anxiety, improved his social skills, and given him a sense of community. They provide validation for his work.


Scott, with his portrait of Allen Ginsburg

Scott, with his portrait of Allen Ginsburg

My life has improved since coming to the studio,” says Scott. “I come to interact with my fellow artists. My goal is to tell stories through painting and ceramics, to find new beginnings in painting, to release depression and anxiety.”


Today, Scott is admired and respected for his art. He has displayed and sold his work at Dewey’s Coffee Shop, Cleveland Heights/University Heights Library, Loganberry Books, O Gallery, Pentagon Gallery, Beachwood Community Center, and Tri-C Art Gallery. He has also donated several works to Art Therapy Studio’s George Streeter Circulating Collection where they may be “rented” to support Art Therapy Studio.


Scott enjoys teaching art skills to fellow students at the Studio and at a local agency. It is his way of giving back to the community.


It has been very cool to do art at the Art Therapy Studio,” says Scott. “Art therapy has helped me become myself. It is a way to air out my illness. Art has given me a foundation. It is my safe space.”


Discover the Artist Within You” classes help people like Scot develop their artistic talent, overcome challenges, and make positive contributions to their communities. Spring classes begin April 6. Contact Art Therapy Studio for more information on class offerings.


Art Therapy Studio

12200 Fairhill Road

Cleveland, Ohio 44120



Discover the Artist Within You” Spring session April 6 – June 19. Studios: Fairhill Partners, Ursuline ArtSpace, River’s Edge and MetroHealth Health & Wellness Center


Photo captions:

  1. Scott with his portrait of Allen Ginsberg
  2. Scott’s self-portrait