Erika Hamlett, MA
Art Therapist, Artist, Fellow traveler
Erika is knowledgeable with a wide variety of art making and learned numerous techniques that she enjoys combining to create dynamic and engaging processes. As a life-long artist and art therapist, she is aware of the benefits that come from using art materials and creating pieces of art work that bring joy, empowerment, and the opportunity to love the process of making as much as the product!
Erika is originally from Durham. She received a double major in Ceramics and Art History (BFA). She spent several years working and living as an artist in Kansas City, MO working as a welder, photographer, and mold maker. After coming back to the triangle, she quickly ricocheted to graduate school at George Washington University to get her Masters in Art, becoming an art therapist. Now, back in Orange County, she’s putting her experience and passion to use bringing art and art therapy into the community. Erika brings knowledge and experience of all traditional art techniques and materials: charcoal, pencil, pen, marker, watercolor, oil pastel, chalk pastel, tempera paints, acrylics, working with fabrics and fiber arts, clay/ceramic processes, metal working (cold-work as well as lost wax casting) and jewelry making. She also enjoys thinking outside of the box, enjoying using found objects, recycling and repurposing materials as well as using what she finds in nature (from wood to clay to leaves).
Erika’s mission is to empower people of all ages to identify personal strengths, spark creativity, and fuel self-expression.
Her experience working as an art therapist stretches across a wide variety of settings, including: a Metropolitan school district (K-12) serving children with special needs as well as general education students, providing art therapy groups for adults on an inpatient psychiatric hospital unit and intensive outpatient program, working with children and their families in a pediatric oncology wing of a hospital in Chennai, India, educated the Senate, staff, and interns about the benefits of art therapy, and co-facilitated workshops for mental health care providers, social workers, and caregivers.
Erika has presented at the Expressive Therapies Summit in November of 2016 on the topic of "Building and Maintaining A Private Practice" with colleagues Emery Mikel, ATR-BC, LCAT, LCPAT and Reina Lombardi, ATR-BC, LMHC. Erika works to share her techniques with other practitioners through workshops, presentations, and future publications.
To see more information of previous professional experience please click here.
I believe every person has innate creativity. There are many reasons why a person might engage and explore his or her creativity: to explore aspects of one's identity, navigate life transitions, honoring grief and loss, to enrich and improve quality of life, increase self-esteem and positive self-regard, and decrease isolation. I believe in working towards wholistic wellbeing and honoring the journey. Like life, art is often about the journey.