A joint research project was developed between Ursuline College and Tiffin University. This project started in the spring and was designed to examine the relationships between creativity and mental health/mental illness. Members of the project team who attended the Oxford Conference included UC professor, DoHee Kim-Appel, Ph.D., UC Art Therapy and Counseling graduate students, Claire Whiteman, Mary Cassidy, & Rebecca Stanic, Tiffin University professor Jonathan Appel, Ph.D., and undergraduate behavioral sciences student Erin Snapp. The goals for the project were to expose students to the research experience, and present the research project(s) at national and international conference(s) and ultimately produce a publication.
When our paper proposals were accepted by the inter-disciplinary and international 6th Global Conference: Making Sense of Madness, we decided to invite students from both institutions. It was exhilarating to see the students’ motivation and excitement. The Conference was scheduled from September 17th-19th at the Mansfield College (University of Oxford) in Oxford, England (http://www.inter-disciplinary.net/probing-the-boundaries/making-sense-of/madness/conference-programme-abstracts-and-papers/)
On our way to participate and present at the 6th Global Conference – Making Sense of Madness in Oxford, most of us decided to independently visit London for the weekend. Students left the day before Jonathan and I left for the England. Arriving in London on a rainy Friday late evening, contributed some anxiety in a strange city – with fast driving cars, crowds, and narrowed streets. Crossing the street could be a challenge due to the opposite road direction! Mornings in England appeared to start off sunny and beautiful with blue sky– but by afternoons it became unpredictable with gray, rainy weather being the norm.
We left our hotel when the weather was bright and decided to walk without a specific plan. We were misinformed on directions and ended up at the British museum! (http://www.britishmuseum.org/). The central gathering area in the British museum was similar to the Cleveland Museum of Art atrium. There were numerous exhibitions and the one about “living and dying” was an interesting one. The goal for the exhibition was to “explores how people everywhere deal with the tough realities of life and death. “These challenges are shared by all, but strategies to deal with them very from place to place, people to people” (Trust Gallery).
It was also natural for us to visit the national gallery (http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/) and experience sitting in front of the “Sunflowers” painting by the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh. We then continued to explore London and decided to take Thames River cruise (http://www.riverthames.co.uk/history.htm). We were expecting to see only old wall of castles and historical buildings along the riverside. However, the river was also decorated with modern various shapes of glassed buildings. After the cruise, we walked through the St. James Park (http://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/hyde_park/history.cfm) to Buckingham palace and eventually to Piccadilly Circus, and on to Chinatown and Soho neighborhoods. One of the highlight of the day was to run into one of the UC students (a member of our visiting research team), Mary Cassidy, in the middle of a busy London Street.
Sunday, early in the morning, we decided re-enact the Beatles Abbey Road Album cover crossing near Abbey Road studios in St. John’s Wood. Jonathan stated, “It took me 50 years to be here, but I now can scratch that off my ‘bucket list!’.” The weather was beautiful for our Beatles pilgrimage. Another highlight of the day was listening to the classical group, Brodsky Quartet, (http://www.brodskyquartet.co.uk/) at the King’s Place in London, while the rain picked up outside (now Ohio weather seems not so bad). Monday we left London for Oxford and ran into two other research team students (Rebecca Stanic and Erin Snapp) at the Victoria coach station. This reunited group then travelled together across into English countryside to historic Oxford.
More to Come!
The blog post was written by DoHee Kim-Appel, Ph.D. Associate Professor for Art Therapy and Counseling at Ursuline College.