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Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Counseling Services hosts ‘Art for Queer Self Expression’ to support LGBTQ+ community

Participants bead jewelry, bookmarks at event hosted by Colors+, Allies partnership.
Simon Skoutas
Flyers for “Art for Queer Self Expression” advertised the event around campus leading up to March 26.

Counseling Services hosted a workshop event called “Art for Queer Self Expression” aimed to provide a safe space for Baldwin Wallace University’s queer community to engage in both art and counseling services on March 26.

Timothy Hall, assistant director of Counseling Services, and Sophia Kallergis, director of Counseling Services, oversaw the event. They organized this event to engage the LGBTQIA+ community at BW while also providing resources to encourage therapeutic self-expression.

“We decided to host this event in order to provide a space for LGBTQ+ students to connect with one another with the opportunity for artistic self-expression guided by a counselor from Colors+,” Hall said.

Colors+ is a queer youth center located in Fairview Park, Ohio. They strive to aid the LGBTQ+ community by providing resources, counseling services and an overall sense of community.

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BW Counseling Services partnered with Colors+ to host an event that would provide an open space for the LGBTQ+ community, facilitated by someone who specializes in working with these students.

“Our goals for the event were to create a safe and affirming space for students to express themselves through art and to collaborate with Colors+ to bring in a facilitator who specializes in working with people who identify as LGBTQ+,” Hall said. “It was our hope that students would feel supported and valued and that the event would be an encouraging moment leading into the pressures that the end of the academic year can bring.”

Counseling Services also partnered with the student organization, Allies, for this event. Allies is a BW organization that provides a safe community for LGBTQ+ students. They host events for these students and their allies and educate others on issues regarding this community.

Faculty Advisor for BW Allies, Ana de Freitas Boe, was also involved in organizing the event.

“The event is really a workshop, in which participants will use art for the exploration of issues about queer identity and queer community,” Boe said.

The main activity of the event was beading, allowing participants to make jewelry and bookmarks using the colors of their identity’s flag. Each identity in the LGBTQ+ has its own flag, utilizing different colors and patterns for each one to distinguish them.

“It’s really focused on the art,” Boe said. “But art can be this really powerful form of self-reflection.”

A bracelet made by the faculty advisor for BW Allies during the event. (Ana de Freitas Boe)

Although much of the event’s focus was on the art, the therapy aspect was also an important part of the event. Through “Art for Queer Self-Expression,” BW Counseling Services sought to foster a better support system for the LGBTQ+ community at BW.

“We value the opportunity to support many diverse groups of students on campus,” Hall said. “This was an opportunity to support BW’s LGBTQ+ student community.”

Hall also expressed the need for events like this at BW to support students.

“LGBTQ+ students are at a higher risk for mental health concerns,” Hall said. “So, it is an important area for outreach and support.”

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