Images of “Apple Trees in the Rain,” a “Turtle Named Suzanne,” “Crazy Road,” and “Becoming a Butterfly” are some of the works that fill the pages of this years’ Children’s Art Therapy Calendar, published by Aldea Children and Family services, the local nonprofit that serves children and families in crisis in Napa and Solano counties.
The calendar is an annual tradition, sales of which support programs at Aldea, like art therapy, which helps children express troubling feelings.
Words are not enough to express what children feel,” noted Al Friendman, who launched the calendar program. “This is especially true when they are faced with complex issues of divorce, grief, violence, neglect or coping with a disability,” he said in a press release.
“That is why art therapy has become an integral part of the treatment program at Aldea … Art therapy gives these children a voice and helps them work through conflicts and traumas with the guidance of trained therapists.”
Published as an engagement book and a wall calendar, the 2013 edition contains images of sculpture, drawings, paintings and multi-media creations that range from whimsical and happy to haunting.
Jesus, 10, used markers to drawa smiling “Family at Home,” while Oscar, 11, drew a faceless, shadow-like “Bad Guy” with a black marker on cardboard. Idali, 10, painted a glowing “Moon Light Desert” in pastels and also bright orange and yellow flower titled, “Growing.” A gray cloud hangs over the head of a child in “The Girl in Black,” drawn by Jose, 8, while Ericka, 10, used clay to create a girl lounging by the ocean in her work “Paradise.”
The Aldea creation, a gold medal winner in awards for Best NonProfit Calendar in America, is sold across the country. As is his tradition, Rep. Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena), praising “the beauty and insight in the art work,” presented copies to members of the House of Representatives and Senate and the White House.
Aldea, from the Spanish word for “little village,” offers verbal, play and art therapy for children in outpatient, residential and school settings. Services are provided regardless of income. Sales of the calendar will help Aldea expand the art therapy services for more children who could benefit from this means of expression.