Biscayne Foundation’s Vision of Art summer graduation held

By Lynn Carroll….

Asst. Program Coordinator Rachel Freed; Alex Stewart; Rechelle Serphy; Program Coordinator Dr. Teri DeGrand; Quanella Slayden; Ricky Rodriguez

Recent graduation ceremonies were held at The Biscayne Institutes of Health & Living for students who took part this summer in “A Vision of Art” intensive pediatric camp.

The program was funded with a grant from the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, with additional support from The Children’s Trust and the Biscayne Foundation, and got an additional assist in the form of food donations from Whole Foods.

Camp activities include learning and implementing basic visual arts techniques, says Dr. Marie A. DiCowden, a nationally known healthcare psychologist and Chairperson of the Biscayne Foundation. The Biscayne Foundation and The Biscayne Institutes of Health & Living are affiliated with the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine.

“Specifically,” she says, “participants engage in hands-on expressive art activities and education to create individual artwork within the visual arts disciplines of drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpting and photography.”

Participants are people with disabilities between the ages of 6-22, Dr. DiCowden says. “They learn about famous artists and artwork,” she says. “In addition, they get a therapeutic program that assists them in learning how to use visual arts as a means to cope with their disabilities, both physically and emotionally.”

She says participants in the camp get a full week of daily project activities for six weeks.

The “A Vision of Art” camp is conducted by Elaine Defiabaugh, a professional artist known in the area for the use of arts as a means for helping individuals with medical problems. Also assisting was Karen Rutman, a community artist, art history teacher and social worker.

Dr. DiCowden and psychologist Dr. Teri DeGrand provide program oversight of therapeutic components of the summer program.

For information on Biscayne Foundation, Biscayne Academy or Biscayne Institutes, call 305-932-8994 or visit

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