A Morning at the Museum

AUGUST 9, 2013
Some hardworking MossRehab art therapy students received an honor yesterday usually reserved for Van Gogh, Renoir and other great artists of the world. Their work went on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art - an experience they could not have imagined when they began art therapy sessions. 

"It’s a pretty incredible experience," said Darcie Moloshok (below), standing in front of the bridge she painted that was displayed in the Education Hall of the Museum. Moloshok said she had taken some basic art classes in the past, but never before attempted painting. 

That story is typical of the art therapy students, making their accomplishment all the more powerful.

“I’m just amazed at what they’ve been able to accomplish," said Marya Camilleri, art therapist in the MossRehab therapeutic recreation department and art therapy community partnership coordinator. "I’m really proud of them. They really pushed themselves to try new art mediums and meanwhile the art process has opened them up to being able to stretch themselves more and talk about their experiences. The art has been a really great vehicle for helping them express themselves more openly and find common ground with each other.”

Garfinkle in front of paintings

The MossRehab art therapy program provides art therapy patients with monthly opportunities to take special, adaptive tours of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, create art based on what inspired them during their art therapy sessions, and - the bonus enjoyed this week - have their work displayed in the museum’s Education Corridor during an annual community partners exhibit.

“It means a lot because they are looking at art work by famous artists on these tours and now here they are in the same museum where they’ve seen this artwork that they admire, artwork that inspired them," said art therapist Camilleri. "Here they are hanging their artwork in the same building as those accomplished artists, so it is really empowering for them.”

Street Thoma, manager of accessible programs for the Museum, was impressed with how this group of artists has grown during this program.

"I see today different people," Thoma said. "Very different people. Much more outgoing. Much more conversant. Much more excited. Positive. Vibrant. It just doesn’t get much better than being able to be part of making that happen.”

The MossRehab artists' work will be on display until September 22. 

The next series of Philadelphia Museum of Art tours begins September 5. To learn more, contact Marya Camilleri at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Media Contacts

Members of the media can reach us using the contacts below:

Damien Woods
Manager of Communications
215-970-8536 (after 5 p.m.)

Kerry O'Connor
Senior Manager of Communications

Judy Horwitz
Senior Communications Specialist