Landscape scene with trees, water, and sky, mostly blues and greens
Lago Avernus, 1867–70, William Trost Richards, American. Watercolor, gouache, and graphite on blue wove paper. Metropolitan Museum of Art, public domain.

Are you focused on self-improvement? Trying to grow, heal, and change? Or maybe you’re a mental health professional who supports individuals on their path towards healing and change? Either way, art can aid in strengthening mental wellness.

This article is not about , an aspect of psychotherapy where specially trained and certified art therapists incorporate art-making and expressive art activities into therapy sessions as one way for clients to address mental health issues. Rather, this is about admiring and contemplating art — fine and decorative art such as paintings, sculpture, silver, glass, textiles, and more, to provide individuals with…

National Gallery Victoria, Australia: Paintings and Sculpture. Photo by on

Why Visit Museums? Feel Restored & Improve Your Mental Wellbeing!

Museums, whether filled with paintings and sculpture, rocking chairs and samplers, or exhibits about science, are visited by families, groups of friends, individuals, couples on a date, out-of-town tourists, retirement centers, school groups, and more. Sometimes we visit because we’ve been before and we have favorite objects to look at. Other times, we visit a local history museum to learn about a new town we’re visiting. And sometimes we go because of a special exhibit about a famous artist or a topic that interests us. …

Tabletop of art supplies. Creating art for mental wellness and joy.
Photo by on

Lots of everyday people make art with no expectation that their work will be displayed in a gallery or sold for big bucks. Their work may not fit the definition of artist as listed in : “A person whose work exhibits exceptional skill,” or, “A person who practices one of the fine arts, especially a painter or sculptor.” So why do they do it? What are the benefits? What keeps them committed and connected to their art?

Famous artists throughout history have spoken about the benefits of art. Pablo Picasso suggested that, “Art washes away from the soul the dust…

Susan M. Ward

Blending art & mental wellness. Therapist. Curator. Savvy museum visitor. Traveler. Ever curious. Asheville. .

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