May 15, 2014

Art is more than something you view — it is a process the artists go through. In the creative expression, it empowers individuals whether that person is a professional artist or not.

Counseling and Psychological Services held its second annual Healing Art Exhibition opening reception on February 27 which consisted of 39 students and staff members. Hanging in the hallways of the Counseling Center, artworks ranged from different sizes and mediums including mixed media, acrylic, watercolors, photography and more.

Award winners included:

  • Best in Show-$100 Sam Flax gift card: Simona Loh, staff member Student Legal Services
  • 1st Place-$50 Sam Flax gift card: Tina Gardiakos, junior majoring in graphic design
  • 2nd Place-$25 Sam Flax gift card: Brian Pate, staff member Registrar’s Office
  • “Staff Favorite”-plaque: Danielle Taufer, senior majoring in photography

Pictured L-R: Simonal Loh, Tina Gardiakos, Brian Pate

Simona Loh and Brian Pate are members of the “Hidden Artists” who will be exhibiting artwork at the UCF John C. Hitt Library in August-September 2014. This group consists of currently working UCF employees who create artwork on their own time.

“Art is a language spoken visually and each viewer can relate to the artwork differently,” said Judy Bragg Pardo, staff member SDES and Healing Art Exhibition participant. “Every artwork I create is a part of me.”

Applications for the show were submitted in November 2013. CAPS teamed up with the School of Visual Arts and Design to host this event to spread awareness of the center and educate students, staff and the community about the power of art and the inspiration of healing personally and professionally. Meredith Malkin, licensed mental health counselor for CAPS curated of the exhibition.

CAPS offers various workshops including “Creative connections.” This workshop is open to all students to enhance self–esteem and build stronger relationships with self and others while utilizing the expressive arts to heal. No art experience is necessary, only trust in the creative process. For more information on other workshops, visit:

CAPS is an office in the Division of Student Development and Enrollment Services.