‘Healing VB: An Expressive Arts Project’ to heal and honor those lost in the mass shooting

Virginia Beach Mass Shooting

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Tomorrow marks one year since the May 31 mass shooting at the Virginia beach municipal center where 12 people were killed

The Eastern Virginia Medical School held a live-stream session on Saturday called “Healing VB: An Expressive Arts Project” as a way to honor the victims and release any tensions brought on by the one year mark, through art.

The session was hosted in the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art where faculty and students joined in virtually through Facebook Live.

Those who participated today wanted to focus on how using art can help with feelings that may be brought on by remembering the one-year mark of the shooting.

Some suggested tearing a paper bag or sheets of paper, as to express a release of emotions. There was also mention of painting to help practice mindfulness.

Program Director and Associate Professor of Graduate Art Therapy and Counseling at EVMS, Dr. Mary Roberts, says these art forms can express emotion and help cope with something like.

“What we’re really encouraging people to do is express themselves through art-making. The art in art-making can externalize internal feelings of anxiety depression or sadness,” said Roberts.

Roberts says it can also offer an opportunity to memorialize or remember someone important or an important experience.

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