Wheel Art: An Inspired Idea

Invented and implemented by art therapist Mickie McGraw, herself in a wheelchair due to polio at age 11, “wheel art” is an inspired and highly therapeutic approach for people of all ages who need to use a wheelchair. This film shows the origins of the technique in a rehabilitation hospital, and how it has applied in other medical settings over the course of the years since it was first created. Excerpts from films by art therapist Lesley Achitoff allow the viewer to see and understand the use of this unique methodology with both adults and children, whether they are new to the wheelchair or bound to the chair for many years. Interviewed participants of all ages share their excitement about what has been a very positive experience. In addition, comments by Mickie McGraw, cofounder of the Art Therapy Studio 50 years ago, and Irene Rosner David, also a pioneer in medical art therapy in a rehabilitation setting, extend and amplify the learning experience. Finally, the evolution of some of the footage in this film testifies to the power of a film seen in an art therapy classroom to inspire the adoption of a method new to the student that she then applied with enthusiasm in two of her internship placements. Fortunately, she also filmed the experiences, perhaps wanting to inspire others as she herself had been motivated.

Total Running Time: 55 minutes, 21 seconds



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