Gayane B. Minasyan
ARTIST AND ART THERAPY PRACTITIONER

Haymarket woman discovers the power of art therapy to ease COVID stress. 

Gayane Minasyan of Haymarket, Virginia, knows the importance of self-care, especially during these unprecedented times of the pandemic. She realized how Covid has impacted many and cost them to suffer mentally and physically as they try to live in the new normal that everyone is experiencing.

 As the director of online technologies at AASA, The School Superintendents Association, she saw the effects of the pandemic on people directly and herself. 

In March 2020, she lost her work colleague started remote working, and disconnected from her social life; this resulted in feelings of isolation and added stress. She learned about the power of art therapy and how rejuvenating it could be after taking art classes with Maria Mosanu.

Delving into her art, Gayane felt the relief of her loneliness and the stress of her isolation since she was still working remotely. Gayane said, “I have always been interested in art; however, until that day, I had never held a pencil or created artwork; it was evident that it was a special day that changed my life. I realized that if art helped me, then I could help others.”

She added, “Millions of people are fighting battles caused by mental disorders every year. Given the additional pressure and anxiety caused by the pandemic now more than ever, we need reassurance and support to adjust to new normal and get a good night’s sleep wellness a self-care has never been as crucial as they are right now.”

She learned that Adrian Hill, the founder of art therapy, was one of the first to see how art could help people. She explained in the 1940s that Adrian was quarantined while suffering from tuberculosis, he decided to start drawing, and his fast recovery was astonishing. He drew attention to the relationship between actual creation and healing, satisfying the mind. The British Red Cross used this approach later, who used it on wounded soldiers and civilians. 

At that time, Gayane researched the American Art Therapy Association and decided to pursue getting her certification. “I was interested in understanding the relationship between art and psychology, art and mental health, and art and positive thinking.”

Her goal is to help all ages, especially seniors, find a way to connect their bodies, mind, and soul through their creativity. She said, “You don’t need to be an artist to be part of this therapy. We will learn to communicate via art you love. Art therapy is not for artistic people; it’s truly beneficial for non-artistic.”

Gayane holds group and individual classes. After a free one-on-one consultation, she reviews the art therapy process with the individual, creates a specific plan, and assesses the cost. Classes can be held in an individual’s home or the art studio on weekends or evenings during the week. She provides supplies for the classes, including pencils, acrylic oil, watercolor paints, paper, and canvases.

Gayane was born in Armenia and has lived in many different countries; she speaks fluent English, Armenian and Russian. She first started using influences from Armenia in her artwork and has branched out to include other subjects from other places, including landscapes, people, and flowers.

Gayane shared about one of her subjects and its effects on her, saying, “To me, flowers represent the beauty of nature, the same way it impacts our emotions and well-being. When I paint flowers one day, the colors of my flowers can be too vibrant and dark, which means I am overloaded. My mind is full of worries and thoughts. On the other days, when I want to paint flowers in dull colors, I am happy and not overwhelmed. Every time I paint flowers, I get positive vibes, and it has a prolonged positive effect on my emotions.”

She uses her artwork not only to help others cope with the stress of pandemics but in other endeavors. In 2020 Armenia and Azerbaijan were engaged in a war, and many families lost their homes and belongings. Gayane donated some of her artwork profits to them and raised funds for clothes, food, and other necessities. Now that the war is over, she continues to help by sending funds to the injured, those who need prosthetics. 

She said about art therapy, “This is when we must take care of ourselves, practice positive thinking, hope for the brighter future and continue to live. Our families need us, and together we can fight this new illness; the art is here to help. Let’s connect the beauty of art with our lives, recharge, and relax in a unique class environment to boost your mental, physical, and emotional well-being.  

Gayane shared that her three arts were showcased at the ARTBOX.PROJECT Zurich 3.0. www.artboxprojects.com.

Also, she presented our art during Armenian festival in Alexandria, Va. More than 500 people attended the festival, it was such an honor to represent there and meet amazing people who loves and appreciates the art. Watch the video at https://www.facebook.com/amerikayidzayn/videos/310185343873212.

Gayane has completed the Art Therapy Practitioner course in January 2022. The art therapy training recognized by IPHM (International Practitioners of Holistic Medicine), CMA (Complementary Medical Association), and CPD (Center of CPD Excellence), three international accreditation bodies.

If you have any special requests for paintings, please don’t hesitate to contact Gayane directly at gminasyan2002@yahoo.com.