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Amplify Workshop: Time and Space for Trauma/Healing

In this Amplify professional learning community program, explore strategies for using art as an avenue for expression, healing, and understanding. 

Artist Leah Gipson and The Time Is Now! exhibiting artist Nathan Wright lead this interactive workshop for educators, teaching artists, and administrators. Using artwork on view at the Smart Museum, the workshop and sharing session poses ethical questions we should ask ourselves when making time and space for students and their trauma. 

FREE, but space is limited. Please register in advance. 

About the artists

Leah Gipson is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice is informed by her identities as an activist and professional art therapist. Her understanding of art therapy is rooted in black feminism, black church, and the use of cultural spaces for social transformation. Since 2009, she has been developing projects in Chicago’s historic west side neighborhoods to address gender, racial and economic systems of inequality. She has worked with A Long Walk Home, Inc. to co-create Girl/Friends Young Leaders Institute, a program that focuses on eliminating gender-based violence through art and youth leadership. In 2013, she initiated West Side Art Chicago, a series of collaborative participatory projects that focus on raising community critical consciousness and grassroots funding for local artists. She is a counselor at Rape Victim Advocates in the Austin Chicago neighborhood and as an instructor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the Department of Art Therapy. 

Nathan Wright is a largely self-taught painter whose work blends abstraction and hyperrealism. Wright attended Chicago’s DuSable High School, where he studied art with Dr. Margaret Burroughs. He has exhibited throughout Chicago, including at the South Side Community Art Center and 57th Street Art Fair. His work has been featured in Ebony and the Chicago Defender, and is held in public and private collections, including at the DuSable Museum of African American History.


Amplify is a partnership of arts and cultural organizations at the University of Chicago including Arts + Public LifeCourt TheatreLogan Center for the ArtsOriental Institute, and the Smart Museum of Art. As a collective, Amplify is developing a new model of collaboration by building a networked education community. The collective offers extensive K–12 arts programs and multi-site field trips for students, as well as professional learning opportunities for educators.

Image: Nathan Wright, Bound (detail), 1971, Oil on canvas. Courtesy of the artist.