On this episode of Rendering Unconscious, Dr. Vanessa Sinclair interviews artist and art therapist Melissa Diaz, discussing fine art, outsider art, art therapy, mental health care, fundraising for Puerto Rico, MSD Strong and the March for Our Lives.

Melissa Diaz is an artist and a licensed, registered, board certified art therapist living and working in Brooklyn, NY. She holds a BFA in Painting from The University of Central Florida and an MPS in Art Therapy & Creativity Development from Pratt Institute. In 2010, Diaz founded, Open House BK, a community arts initiative that provides free/affordable pop-up art events, exhibitions and therapeutic arts workshops. As a Creative Arts Therapist, Diaz has experience utilizing art therapy, play therapy and mindfulness practices with adults, children and families. She has worked as a therapist and teaching artist in shelters, schools, museums, inpatient and outpatient psychiatric settings. Diaz has presented widely on the topic of art therapy application, at several institutions, including, Pratt Institute, School of Visual Arts, University of Central Florida, University of Wisconsin and Blick Art Materials. In her artwork, Diaz creates interactive installation art as a source of community engagement. In 2015, she was awarded a residency at The Marble House Project, there she explored the integration of installation art, art therapy and environment. She has exhibited widely throughout NYC and nationally, in both gallery and alternative spaces. In all her work, she considers space, relationships and holding environment.

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Art by Melissa Diaz

Music by Vanessa Sinclair & Madame Deficit
“Her Outer Dada” from the compilation album MESSAGE 23 available on highbrow-lowlife.com