Meet Magee’s Artists: Alison Coleman

Today is the day! Tonight from 5:30 – 7 p.m. at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, we’re hosting a reception to celebrate our art therapy participants included in the Community Partnerships Exhibit. If you can’t make it tonight, don’t worry – the exhibition runs through September 22!

Before you see the exhibit, we wanted to introduce you to a few of the talented artists featured. On Monday, we introduced you to Ragna Brown and yesterday you met Darryl HopkinsToday, meet Alison Coleman.

Alison came to Magee in 2013 after sustaining a spinal cord injury. She started as an inpatient, progressed to Day Rehab as an outpatient, and is now a regular at the Riverfront’s Health & Wellness Center. She began art therapy while in Day Rehab – and it opened up a whole new world.

Alison's painting featured in the exhibit

Alison’s painting featured in the exhibit

“I always had a fascination and appreciation for art,” she said. “But making it [in art therapy] opened up a different perspective of how I was feeling during my recovery. I was able to express my feelings, frustrations and accomplishments through painting.”

For Alison, it wasn’t just about the emotional aspects. Art therapy also had an impact on her physical recovery.

“It was nice exercise,” she said. “Lori [Magee’s art therapist] would have me sit and stand, reach for materials [to work on balance]. We also worked on my fine motor skills, gripping paint brushes, crayons and pens.”

When she was told one of her pieces would be featured in the exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, to say she was excited would be an understatement.

“I thought, ‘Me, really?’ It blows my mind,” she said. “It’s so surreal. I am very grateful.”

Come see Alison’s work and others at the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Community Partnerships exhibit through September 22.

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