Accessing the inner world of creative power to find personal healing has long been the foundation of art therapy. When Anderson Illustrations and NUWAY Counseling Center joined together to design and paint a mural on the privacy fence surrounding the treatment center, they invited clients to participate in the process. Nearly 200 NUWAY clients, staff, and volunteers contributed to the Anderson Illustrations team to give a vision to their hope of recovery. The result is a dual-sided 1200 square-foot mural featuring bright images and words of inspiration. In the YouTube clip below, Anderson explains how the mural came into existence, in collaboration with clients at NUWAY Counseling Center.
The project was launched after NUWAY Counseling Center relocated to a different neighborhood in 2018, and the staff immediately saw the need to shield their clients seeking recovery from the busy roadside. A privacy fence was quickly installed, and Anderson Illustrations was commissioned to design a mural using the fence as its canvas. The design is simple and bold, true to its pop art style, and consistent with artist Shane Anderson’s work. It features words such as “respect,” “dignity,” “hope,” “honesty,” and “integrity.” Clients selected the 20 words used in the design, representative of their journey through mental health and substance use disorders toward recovery.
Shane Anderson is the owner of Anderson Illustrations and has contributed many of his talents over the years toward community service projects. Some of his other murals include commissions for the Special Olympics of Minnesota, the Regions Hospital, several in Calhoun Square, and an interactive mural for a TEDx event hosted in Minneapolis in 2015. Anderson was also a resident artist in Chiang Mai through an NGO that worked with children.
Cover image credit: Ryan Brown, courtesy of NUWAY Counseling Center.