Meet Magee’s Artists: Ragna Brown

As we speak (er, type), artwork from the participants of Magee’s Art Therapy Program is hanging on the walls of one of the world’s most prestigious institutions: the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Their work, which is included in the Community Partnerships Exhibit, will be on display through September 22. This Wednesday, September 11, we’ll be hosting a reception at the Museum to honor our art therapy participants and raise awareness for this incredible program. You can learn more about the reception here.

Before you see the exhibit, we wanted to introduce you to a few of the talented artists featured in this exhibit. Today, meet Ragna Brown.

Ragna was an inpatient at Magee from Thanksgiving 2011 through January 2012 following an operation for a a cluster of abnormal blood vessels (cavernoma) on the right side of her brain. This operation caused weakness on her right side, problems with coordination due to nervous system damage (ataxia) and aphasia.

While an inpatient at Magee, Ragna began working with our art therapist Lori Tiberi. After Ragna was discharged as an inpatient, she continued to work with Lori as an outpatient at our Riverfront facility. And while it eventually became something she loved, it wasn’t always her favorite – at least, not at first.

“At first I didn’t like it, because we used colored marker pencils. I didn’t relate to that,” she said. “When I was given water colors, it was something I could relate to. I was amazed at what I could do. I liked blending the colors and seeing how they relate to each other.”

In additional to the physical aspects of art therapy, such as working on her fine motor skills, Ragna credits art therapy for showing her a side of herself she never knew.

“It made me have more confidence in my self and it opened a creative side of me that I didn’t have time for before,” she said.

As for having her work displayed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art – well, she feels pretty good about that, too.

Come see Ragna’s work and others at the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Community Partnerships exhibit through September 22. Please also join us this Wednesday at the Philadelphia Museum of Art for a reception in the artists’ honor. Please call (215) 587-3090 for ticket information.

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