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James Consoli Art Therapy & Counseling Scholarship

James Consoli Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded by the EVMS Graduate Art Therapy & Counseling Program to one rising second year student who demonstrates financial need and excellence academically and in self-expression of his/her artist-therapist identity in artwork and written commentary. The monetary value of the scholarship varies yearly and is dependent upon the growth of the funding source. The scholarship is awarded as tuition remission.

History/Biography

This scholarship was created in 1997 in memory of art therapist James J. Consoli, ATR-BC, LPC (1956-1997), and additional funds were given in 2014 in memory of Meghan Kirkpatrick (1987-2014).

Jim Consoli earned a Master of Arts in Art Therapy from George Washington University. He was a Registered and Board Certified art therapist, a National Certified Counselor, a Licensed Professional Counselor in TN and VA, and an AAMFT approved supervisor. He held a faculty position at EVMS from 1990-1997.  At the time of his early passing he was the Assistant Director of the EVMS Graduate Art Therapy Program and an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. He served a term as President of the Virginia Art Therapy Association. He presented locally, nationally, and internationally and was an instructor on the American Art Therapy Association Family Art Therapy Regional symposium team. James Consoli is best remembered for his strong artist-therapist identity and playful sense of humor, and interests in family therapy, hypnosis and visualization, and the creation of educational videos. He was instrumental in his contributions to a major curriculum revision of the Graduate Art Therapy Program in 1990, which included a new studio course in Processes and Materials of Art Psychotherapy, the development of the family therapy specialization track, and alignment of coursework with the potential for licensure of graduates as professional counselors. In his 1991 film, Psychimagery, he used a technique he called "ushered imagery" to gently allow patients to serve as their own guide in order to create personal solutions through their own empowerment. Jim served as the first video reviewer for Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association. He is now remembered through the Jim Consoli Video/Film Award given by AATA in recognition of a video or film of high quality that adds to the existing fund of knowledge about the field of art therapy.

From a very early age, Meghan Kirkpatrick discovered her joy and talent were connected to art. That led her to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree at a small liberal arts college. Upon graduation, unsure of how to best utilize her education, she worked almost 2 years at a graphic design company. During her time there she came to realize that this was not going to be her career. In the fall of 2011, after plenty of soul searching and an equal amount of trepidation, she entered the EVMS art therapy program. The classes, fellow students and faculty all led her to understand that becoming an art therapist was exactly what she wanted to be doing with her life. Always a compassionate person, she looked forward to the opportunity to impact others' lives through art therapy. Unfortunately, the cancer that Meghan was initially diagnosed with at age 12 returned after the completion of her first year at EVMS and ended her hopes of returning to complete her degree and, sadly, her life. It is hoped this award will help another student with the same aspirations as Meghan to complete their studies and allow them to pursue this worthy career.