Ross School - Senior Projects 2011


Student: Carrie Catherine Holmes

Mentor: Chris Engel

Domain(s): Visual Arts




Title: A Journey Into Expression


A Journey Into Expression is the culmination of my studies at the Southampton Fresh Air Home in Southampton, NY.

By assisting in the art therapy department with these physically challenged campers, ages 8-18, I experienced a deeper insight into their personalities and views of expression. I had the privilege to work with these special children and document our time together through photography and interviews.

 The campers were a delight to work with and excited to be my book subjects. My aim is to show people not to misjudge people by their outer appearance. Even those with the most severe disabilities produced surprisingly insightful expression through their art.  I would like to share these campers personalities and true expressions through their artwork in my book.







My project is a study in art therapy concentrating on physically challenged children at the Southampton Fresh Air Home Summer Camp in Southampton NY. I wanted to make an impact on myself and on people around me in a positive manner, so I decided to spend more time observing and working with these campers. I had spent earlier summers working at the camp in a minor support role.

            While Art class was not the most popular activity available to the campers, for the most part they enjoyed it.  My role this summer found me sitting with and assisting some of the campers who needed help, or those who were sharing a counselor. I was forced to reconcile conflicts in my personal schedule; I was working at the Ross School summer camp and my responsibilities with caring for my own horses. I would take advantage of opportunities during their evening activities to try to get to know the campers on a one-to-one basis, which turned out to be extremely helpful in the art classes since the campers got to know me and were able to share more insight about their work or their thoughts on life and other topics.

Several books on art therapy were very helpful, providing explanations of the techniques and examples of art and what they mean to the child which assisted me in interpreting some of the camperŐs works.

            The Southampton Fresh Air Home is a fantastic place for children with disabilities. I am very grateful they gave me this fantastic opportunity to work on my thesis.  I learned so much about myself, the campers and what I would possibly like to do in the future.



Works Cited


The Art as Therapy with Children. Dir. Judith A. Rubin. Expressive Media, Inc., 2008. DVD.

Billingham, David. Personal Interview. Jul. –Dec. 2010.

Engel, Chris. Personal Interview. June 2010 – Feb. 2011.

Hose, Carl. "Art Therapy Techniques for Special Needs Children |" EHow | How To Do Just About Everything! | How To Videos & Articles. Sept. 2008. Web. 24 Aug. 2010. <>.

Hose,, Carl. "Art Therapy Techniques for Special Needs Children |" EHow | How To Do Just About Everything! | How To Videos & Articles. Web. 24 Aug. 2010. <>.

Kramer, Edith. Art as Therapy with Children. Chicago: Magnolia Street, 1993. Print.

Lehrer, Noel. Personal Interview. 30-7-10, 21-8-10.

Naumburg, Margaret. An Introduction to Art Therapy: Studies of the "free" Art Expression of Behavior Problem Children and Adolescents as a Means of Diagnosis and Therapy. New York, N.Y. U.a.: Teachers College Pr., 1989. Print.


Outside Consultant


David Billingham

Southampton Fresh Air Home camp director

Assisted me with the kidsŐ and information about them