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    Anyone who has ever put pen to paper, crayon to coloring book, or hand to wet clay knows the healing powers embedded in such creative endeavors. More than just a pastime, art can be an escape, a stimulus, a war cry or a tranquil reprieve.


    Art therapy, defined as “a form of psychotherapy that uses art media as its primary mode of communication,” revolves around this principal of art’s immense power. Open to children and adults of any background and experience, the still-evolving field explores modes of expression, understanding and healing that occur when paint touches canvas. While too many schools today run under the assumption that art is extraneous, a diversion from traditional academic subjects, art therapists know better. They know that art has the potential to change lives, and, even to save them.

Tally Tripp is the art therapy clinic director of George Washington University, specializing in individuals who have experienced trauma. Entering the field in its nascent phase, in the 1970s, Tripp was elemental in shaping the field as we know it today. 


How can art help mental health?

Genius or Madness? The Psychology of Creativity

Professor Glenn D. Wilson



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Nicholas Grunas

I feel blessed and gifted with an eye for art and am a self taught "Photographartist". I spend numerous hours perfecting my skills and challenging myself.  Art is what I love to do and have dedicated my life to it. When I am gone, I want to leave a piece of myself behind, my images will last forever.


I am a "Photographartist" and Freelance Graphic Designer. My tools are my camera, computer and comfortable editing environment. I have also been a DJ for over 20 years. Still using turntables and vinyl along with modern technology. I shoot landscapes and try to transform them into things no one could have seen before.


DETROIT IS MY HOME!  I have always had an eye for art and after shooting Nickel's baseball games, I started shooting Detroit.  People liked the pictures, thanked me for showing the beauty within Detroit, commented on how they have moved out of state and my pictures brought them back to the city they love and will always call home. Those comments resonated in me and gave me motivation.  I understood how the media portrayed the bad in Detroit but as a Detroiter, I never saw any positive coverage back then like the world is seeing now with the new arena and new developments.


My love for creating started when I picked up my first crayon and started drawing.  At the age of 13, I was featured in a Time Magazine ad for the Boys Club.  Also at the age of 13, a comic strip I created was published in my school's paper.  Throughout my teen years and even as young adult, I would use my free time drawing and creating images.  In 2006, I got my first camera and started taking pictures of family & friends for fun.  In 2009, I bought my first 'real' camera to take pictures of my son, Nickel, playing baseball and began teaching myself about my camera settings, photography and Photoshop. As my knowledge grew, I upgraded to a Canon 5D Mark II in 2012 which led to many adventquests with my best friend and life partner Annette Binder in Detroit and surrounding areas where I captured, edited and uploaded many images.  My audience grew fast on social media which led to many opportunities including designing images for automotive companies, magazine covers, retail stores, posters, prints, sports arenas and concert performances.  I set up a home studio in 2014 for photo shoots and expanded my portfolio with unique sport images and cd cover designs.  I just upgraded again to a Canon 1DX Mark II which will travel with me in the upcoming months.


Let me take you on a trip. Let us travel past the frame and through the color, line, and shadow. Approach the images and look deeper to the world that lies beyond the confines of the surface. Feel the weight and texture of the color. Reach out and touch the movement that surrounds each line. Explore the story beyond the shadow. The prospect of inspiring this adventure is what fuels my desire to create.I find great joy in the journey my work can take you on. I strive to evoke humor, whimsy, and a tranquility through the deconstruction and repurposing of themes and objects that have been negatively charged and discarded by society. Much in the same way that I physically repurpose the glass and windows I often create upon. Transforming them from trash into portals of exploration. Inspiration and mind expansion come to those who use my creations to fuel imagination and propel the viewer to new creative heights.

I consider myself an Illustrator but I also do a lot of graphic design. When I am not working in the digital realm I prefer to used pastels and oil based paints on salvaged windows and picture frames to create fluid modern pop art. I have been creating since I can remember. I loved drawing and sculpting with clay when I was a child, did some painting and 2D animation in my early 20's while establishing my point of view and coming to grips with my insecurities and strengths. I have always been inspired by the classic style of cell cartoon animation and the windows I started collecting from alleys gave me a way to experiment and create in a style I had such a passion for. Some folks find it strange, offense, and childish (which I will gladly take as a compliment) but I am truly happy when someone gets the irony, whimsy, and power over fear that my work is all about.

Music and literature inspire me most. Specifically H.P. Lovecraft and late 60's psychedelic rock. I'll be listening or reading and the seeds of an idea will just appear.  I let my images grow organically and never tie myself to an original sketch or idea. I think having an open mind while creating makes the end result that much more of a journey that will hopefully translate to the viewer.


I recently moved to the Detroit area from Chicago where I have shown at several small Galleries (Chicago Truborn, Sidewinder, Side Show), Art Fairs (Buckown Art Fair, Avondale Street Fair), and other small businesses (the Rocking Horse, Strange Beauty Show, Little Sister Salon, Rocky and Luella).

While in Chicago I did several group shows that denoted proceeds to local food shelters. Also my wife and I just started our own brand Commune Folk (commune that donates a portion of our profits to various humanitarian and animal rights causes. As a recent transplant from Chicago Detroit is very important to me in the way that it is new and mysterious. I love cities and I especially love Detroit and its fighting spirit. It is literally rising from ashes and is able to make choices based on the needs of the people who are doing the work to build it back up. I am excited to be apart of this ever growing, ever changing city and can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.