Date of Award
Master of Arts
Marital and Family Therapy
School or College
College of Communication and Fine Arts
Joy Yip Green, Ph.D., LMFT, ATR-BC
Between March 11, 2020 and May of 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) counted over 100 million cases of COVID-19, resulting in three million deaths worldwide (WHO, 2021). In order to examine the effects of art-making on social and psychological well-being, seven graduate students from the Marital and Family Art Therapy Program at LMU conducted the following study utilizing a qualitative, arts-based research approach through collaborative autoethnography (CAE). The research question — What are the effects of personal art-making on well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic? — was posed by the seven graduate student authors. The data revealed that pandemic-time art-making impacted well-being through three primary avenues: by acting as a means to cope, to adapt, and to process. Each of our emerging themes highlighted the use of art-making as a tool, and each theme described this phenomenon in a unique and pointed way. First, our art-making impacted our well-being during the pandemic by serving as a tool to cope with the stressors of the pandemic by minimizing, banishing, or making them tolerable. Going one step further than coping, art-making also served as a tool for adapting. It acted as the mediating force between the pandemic’s external impacts and our ensuing internal experiences. Finally, art-making impacted well-being throughout the pandemic by serving as a tool to process corporeal experiences, emotional experiences, and other personal realities. In order to build upon our findings, we propose future research on the impacts of personal art-making on wellness through collaborative autoethnography by participant-researchers representing diverse cultures within their social and environmental contexts.
Carey, Caitlin; Frost, Parisa; Harguindeguy, Jon; Heller, Sarah; Lee, Susan; Smith, Christina; and Wang, Eva, "Art-Making During a Global Pandemic: A Collaborative Autoethnography" (2021). LMU/LLS Theses and Dissertations. 957.