Dr Rubin, Mr Rogers, and Art Therapy
I was going to write a happy birthday post but instead stumbled upon an impressive woman in the arts that I just had to learn more about. Dr. Judith A. Rubin is an influential art therapist who appeared as the Art Lady during the early years of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.
Before joining Mr. Rogers, Rubin had obtained a degree in art and a masters in arts education. She found teaching in a classroom setting limiting so she began studying with some of the first researchers of art therapy. She then applied these art therapy ideas in the segments she did on Mr. Rogers. She respected his approach to addressing difficult subjects with a young audience. Through Mr. Rogers' encouragement, Rubin began using video to share her research in art therapy and currently is the President of Expressive Media.
Expressive Media shares videos, case studies, and a streaming library of footage that can help expressive therapists further develop their approach. Check out their website here and YouTube channel here.
While I regularly watched Mr. Rogers as a little kid I don't remember seeing the Art Lady. I do think I saw the video below where Mr. Rogers talks about art. I think how he discusses the art in the slideshow is interesting. He balances sharing the artists intent, with his own observations, and asking questions of the viewer. He also opens the video with a painting of a blue tree and explains why that's o.k. It reminded me of when my oldest was in kindergarten and was told his purple hedgehog was "wrong" because hedgehogs are brown :-/ At the time I told my son his hedgehogs can be any color he wants and if the teacher has a problem they can talk to me, ha ha ha. I probably had this episode buried deep in my memory.