Before We Were a Nonprofit

We started as a Therapeutic Artists Residency in 2016

Season One: The Inaugural Year

TAR Founder Orion Crook was applying to art residencies and, as a therapist, found themselves offering support groups to other artists in the residencies. Orion continued to note that existing residencies and galleries didn’t offer deeper emotional support for those in the art space. To bridge this gap, Orion established the Therapeutic Artists Residency in 2016, which is a collaborative project between artists and Orion Psychotherapy. In its inaugural year, the residency program opened applications to artists and selected four individuals to participate in a unique residency experience that bridged the realms of art and therapy.

During the residency, accepted artists were provided with a range of therapeutic support, including both individual and group therapy sessions for a year for free to the artists. Additionally, participants received Binders Gift Cards and other rewards tailored to the specific offerings of each season. The residency culminated in a group exhibition that showcased the individual and collaborative artworks created during the program.

After a year of individual and group counseling, the four artists chose to do two separate shows.

In the first, they showed solo work representing their time in the residency.

For the second, the artists worked collaboratively to form a three part exhibition, embodying their experience for the participants, where the artist engaged as facilitator to the experiences.

Season Two:

2 Individual Artists and a Support Group of 7

Building upon the success and recognition of the initial residency, the second season of the program expanded its scope. Two artists were offered a year of individual therapy and solo shows at Day & Night Gallery. While five others were invited to join a monthly support group alongside the two, and one artist came back from season one to co-facilitate. This expansion highlighted the growing recognition of the need for creative support spaces that foster artistic expression within community. It also underscored the profound impact that community support can have in helping artists process complex emotions in working to make a creative career in the arts field and how to heal and strengthen their art making process in order to make it sustainable.

The two residents who received a year of free individual therapy presented solo shows in digital versions in light of covid.

The two artists were joined by an additional 5 for a monthly support group and one of our season one residents came back to co-facilitate. We made plans to extend an additional 6 months working towards a group show, and thats when covid appeared on the scene.

TBH, we kinda were left split open, we learned a lot

and were ready to chart out the next 6 months.

Season Three: Mind Bath

Post Covid we made the decision to dip our toes back in and hand pick one artists. Mind Bath out of Toronto was in the midst of a two year working artist grant from the Canada Council for the Arts and was writing a book aligned by a soundtrack. Can you imagine having an album to play while you read the book?

Well, we were inspired to say the least and formed a partnership in joining forces to make it happen!

In response to this realization, Therapeutic Artists Resource was officially established as a nonprofit organization in 2023. TAR’s mission is to provide resources, support, and creative spaces for artists and communities to engage in therapeutic art practices. By offering residencies, therapy sessions, support groups, and other initiatives, TAR aims to empower individuals to explore their emotions, heal, and find solace through artistic expression.

Through its commitment to the intersection of art and therapy, Therapeutic Artists Resource strives to create a nurturing and inclusive environment where individuals can harness the transformative power of art to enhance their well-being and foster community connections.