What do you like about your art?: I like the pure unabashed honesty of my art, being open enough to easily shift from being process-focused to product-focused. I also like that I can use my art therapy training to help clients and groups gain some insight about themselves, solve problems and move toward a different developmental stage, finding meaning all along the way.


What do you like about your art?: I like the pure unabashed honesty of my art, being open enough to easily shift from being process-focused to product-focused. I also like that I can use my art therapy training to help clients and groups gain some insight about themselves, solve problems and move toward a different developmental stage, finding meaning all along the way.

How did you get started?: I started making art early on when I was a child. I have happy memories of having art supplies spread out all over our living room floor and having my mom remind me to leave a little path so my dad wouldn't trip on anything in the early morning. He was a dairy farmer and left the house around 3 every morning. I first found out about art therapy in 2006 when Mike and I were living in Columbia, Missouri. We decided to move out here so I could study art therapy and be closer to my family.

Describe a memorable moment from your pursuit of art and/or any schooling: I've been in three art shows and sold several pieces but really my most memorable or meaningful moments happen when someone in one of my groups or an individual client moves toward greater insight or moves toward a new developmental milestone. Those moments are far more important to me the shows and selling my work.

How long have you been doing this? I made art a lot as a kid not because it was "beautiful" and needed to be hung on walls, but because I was compelled to; I couldn't /not /do it.  Art was (and still is) how I process information and understand myself and the world around me. Art classes were my favorite classes throughout school. Art teachers who nurture and encourage a child's natural inclination to make art, no matter what it looks like, are my heroes, especially the ones who choose to work in states like Kansas, where public funding for the arts is insufficient. My focus shifted a bit when I took a ceramics class at Goshen College in the 1990's. This was my first time working on a wheel and I learned so much about what it means to have a relationship with the medium you're working with. That was a big turning point for me.

More about Libby
Age, town, family: Age 36. She lives in in Newton with her partner Mike.

Type of art you’re involved in: My own work tends to be mixed media, but I try to listen to myself and use whatever medium best fits what I'm trying to externalize or say. In December, I'll have a master’s degree in art therapy counseling from Emporia State University. I see art therapy clients and lead community art workshops at InDevelopment in the 900 Poplar building in Newton. When I work with my clients, the media choices are based on their needs and their reasons for seeing me.

Do you have a website? Not yet. My focus right now is on graduating in December, seeing established clients, and leading community art workshops. I'll have a website and/or a Facebook page once I have more time to commit to that. If people want to contact me they can e-mail me at eabaumgartner@sbcglobal.net.