Sponsored Post: Expressive Journeys Art Therapy and Mental Health Counseling at Circle of Arts Studios


circle-arts-kaylaAre you interested in how art therapy can help you and/or your family? Kayla Helenske, MA, LMHCA is co-owner of Circle of Art Studios where she teaches art classes and operates her art therapy and mental health counseling practice, Expressive Journeys. The studio is located on the west side of 15th Ave right off of Dravus Street at 2821 Thorndyke Ave with easy access to Queen Anne residents.

Helenske’s practice is unique to the area being the only mixed media and pottery studio for kids and adults to also include art therapy and mental health counseling services. Nearly half of the families who frequent the studio are Queen Anne residents because of the easy commute and fantastic services.


Helenske supports individuals in moving forward and growing healthier lives and relationships through holistic and creative processes. For over 15 years she has been weaving her love of art, healing and community through her own art process, teaching art, facilitating art therapy groups and meeting with individual clients and families.

circle-arts-groupHelenske focuses her practice in working primarily with children, teens and women with a multitude of presenting symptoms such as anxiety, depression, loss and grief, emotional regulation, life transitions, self-esteem and social skills.

Art therapy is a means of utilizing art materials to allow thoughts and feelings to move as you dialogue with your inner canvas through lines, shapes and colors giving image to what the experience feels and looks like in your body. The art allows the maker to capture a moment – a tactile representation of thoughts, feelings, as well as further connect and reflect upon what is working, not working or perhaps missing from their life.

circle-arts-metalThe process of creating also allows for a cathartic experience, expelling built up stress, anger and/or grief. The actual feelings of anger, sadness and grief are emotions experienced by everyone. Withholding these feelings and suppressing them can impact our physical and mental health, as well as relationships with others. As a client centered and strength based therapist, Helenske also intertwines mindfulness in her practice guiding clients to note how they feel before, during and after art making which is often accompanied with witness writing their thoughts.

Along with meeting with individual clients, Helenske offers group work including Women’s Identity and Stress Reduction, Intuitive Painting Classes and The Art of Friendship: A Social Skills Group for kids. Friends and families can also schedule private sessions to come together to process loss and grief, transitions or reconnect as a family through art making.


Circle of Art Studios offers a multitude of services including mixed media and pottery classes for kids and adults, art+wine events, raku parties, team-building events and birthday parties. If you are looking to reconnect with your friends and family, let Circle of Art Studios help you host your next gathering. Please visit Circle of Arts Studios website for more information.

You can learn more about Kayla Helenske and her practice, Expressive Journeys, via Circle of Art Studios’ website and connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.

Meaningful Moves @ the Well screens of Shadows of Liberty this Saturday

This Saturday, October 8th, Meaningful Movies @ the Well is showing Shadows of Liberty, followed by discussion of the film and its key themes. All are invited to attend the free screening (donations are welcome).

screen-shot-2016-10-01-at-11-15-34-pmA non-profit, the Meaningful Movies Project “assists neighborhoods, groups and individuals organize, educate and advocate using the power of social justice documentary film and relevant conversation to build positive and meaningful community and a more just and peaceful world.”

Queen Anne Meaningful Movies presents documentaries on the second Saturday evening of each month with a forum for open community discussions.

Queen Anne Methodist Church hosts the organization, you can find The Well at 1605 5th Ave W. The group is all-volunteer, community-owned organization, and is neither religiously or politically affiliated. All are welcome to join the discussion.

This week’s film, Shadows of Liberty, is described as follows:
screen-shot-2016-10-01-at-10-56-24-pm“Reveals the extraordinary truth behind the news media: censorship, cover-ups and corporate control.  Filmmaker Jean-Philippe Tremblay takes a journey through the darker corridors of the US media, where global conglomerates call the shots. For decades, their overwhelming influence has distorted news journalism and compromised its values.
Tracing the story of media manipulation through the years, Shadows of Liberty poses a crucial question: why have we let a handful of powerful corporations write the news? Media reform is urgent and freedom of the press is fundamental.”
You can learn more about the Queen Anne Meaningful Movies @ the Well here, and suggestions for future films are welcome.

Queen Anne Lutheran’s Fine Arts series hosts pipe organ concert this Saturday

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-6-09-49-pmThis Saturday, October 1st, Queen Anne Lutheran Church is hosting a pipe organ concert by Bruce Neswick, Canon for Music at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland. The concert starts at 4pm at Queen Anne Lutheran Church (2400 8th Ave W) and freewill (voluntary) donations are welcome.

Neswick has served as Associate Professor of Music in Organ and Sacred Music at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University and was the Director of Music at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. He performs throughout the United States and Europe.

Neswick will play works of Bach, Distler, Texu Kim, Lisa Bielawa, and Saint-Saens. The performance will end withThe program will conclude with an improvisation of a theme that will be given to Mr Neswick at the time. All are welcome to attend this Saturday’s concert.

UPDATE: Green Stage’s free Backyard Bard returns to Rodgers Park this Sunday

Backyard Bard

UPDATE: GreenStage will not be on Queen Anne on Sunday. Their website had last year’s info on it (hence, Sunday, August 24th as the date). Thanks to a reader who commented about the date, we contacted GreenStage and confirmed there are no performances tomorrow.

For the past two years, Green Stage has brought Shakespeare in the park to Queen Anne’s Rodgers Park via its Backyard Bard performances. And, they’re coming back this Sunday – these free plays are the thing! Four actors take on the task of bringing Shakespeare’s tales to life in performances that run an hour each and are free and open to all.

The smaller venues and shorter productions provide a great introduction to Shakespeare, highlighting the “best parts of the larger play and bringing the story vibrantly to life in more intimate venues with verve and brevity.” Plus, they’re as family-friendly as possible, and “most times, the naughty bits go right over the kid’s heads” per Green Stage.

Actors Gavin McLean, Jennifer Crooks, Tyler Dobies, and Laura Lee Caudill play all of the characters in both plays, with on-the-spot costume and scenery changes adding to the fun of the production. Ken Holmes directs the Backyard Bard productions of Pericles and Twelfth Night, both of which will be performed at Rodgers Park on Sunday, August 24th, starting at 3pm. Both shows include shipwrecks, so the troupe posed for a photo in a pirate ship in Ken’s backyard. Quite fitting for the Backyard Bard season!

Green Stage troupe

Photo courtesy of Green Stage

Here are short synopses of the two plays, so you can be ready to follow the fast-paced action:

Twelfth Night – Sunday, August 24th, 3pm
One of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies and our original Backyard Bard play, Twelfth Night features a love quadrangle and some very trying houseguests who show no intention of leaving! Twins Viola and Sebastian are separated in a shipwreck. Viola, disguised as the boy Cesario, is the intermediary as Duke Orsino attempts to woo the wealthy countess Olivia. Of course, Olivia falls for Cesario, and Sebastian’s unexpected arrival on the scene leads to some hilarious complications. Will everyone end up with a spouse? Will it be the one they expect?

Pericles – Sunday, August 24th, 4:30pm
Pericles is a risk-taker. He realizes that whatever answer he gives to a riddle will get him killed. So begins an epic journey of ambitious risks, great rewards, and big falls for the Prince of Tyre. Pericles marries, has a daughter, and is separated from both along the way; shipwrecks always seem to happen at the darndest times. All three of them lead strange, marvelous lives and travel convoluted pathways to the end, when they’re miraculously reunited.

Green Stage sets up on the south side of Rodgers Park, in the open space near the southeast playground. Bring your low-backed chairs, blankets, and picnics to the park. All are welcome to attend the free performances!

Sherman Alexie visits Queen Anne Book Company to read from his new children’s book

QABC SignIt seems like it’s time to make Sherman Alexie an honorary Queen Anne resident, as he sure loves our local independent bookseller, Queen Anne Book Company. We’re lucky to have a bookstore that brings in such talent, whether it’s being a bookseller for a day, launching the annual Indies First, or swinging by to read from his latest book.

Alexie will be at Queen Anne Book Company this Sunday, August 14th, from 3pm to 6pm. His latest book, “Thunder Boy Jr.” is Alexie’s first children’s picture book, and he’s ready to share it with Queen Anne youngsters in a special Children’s Reading event.

If you’re not familiar with the book, here’s the description from Queen Anne Book Company:

Alexie Thunder Boy“Thunder Boy Jr. is named after his dad, but he wants a name that’s all his own. Just because people call his dad Big Thunder doesn’t mean he wants to be Little Thunder. He wants a name that celebrates something cool he’s done, like Touch the Clouds, Not Afraid of Ten Thousand Teeth, or Full of Wonder.”

Make plans to take the kids to Queen Anne Book Company, 1811 Queen Anne Ave N, this Sunday for a special Sherman Alexie event, our honorary Queen Anne resident!

PNB & SAM partner to bring free Sculptured Dance to Olympic Sculpture Park

Screen Shot 2016-08-07 at 2.12.21 PMThe free summer arts and music events continue with Sculptured Dance a special “first of its kind” collaboration between Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB) and the Seattle Art Museum (SAM). This Thursday, August 11th, various artworks at the Olympic Sculpture park become a stage for two hours only, 6pm-8pm. PNB commissioned works from five local choreographers for the special evening, and the performances are free and open to all.

The five new works will be performed in, on, and around Olympic Sculpture Park sculptures, by dancers from PNB, PNB School, Spectrum Dance Theatre, and Whim W’Him. The genesis for the works is a “conversation with sculptures on-site at the park” that features five dances created by Donald Byrd, Kiyon Gaines, Ezra Thomson, Kate Wallich and Olivier Wevers.

The evening of dance + art is part of The Wallace Foundation’s “Building Audiences for Sustainability” initiative. According to PNB Director Peter Boal:

Screen Shot 2016-08-07 at 2.12.07 PM“Since the opening of the Olympic Sculpture Park, I’ve wanted to program dance in and around the art… The site is naturally conducive to movement as viewers are lured from one sculpture to the next. Adding dance into the mix seems a perfect fit…. 

Bringing dance to the Olympic Sculpture Park offers the brilliant backdrop of great art as inspiration for dance. Add in the cross-pollination of unfamiliar pairings between three different dance companies and five innovative local choreographers, throw in a little unpredictable weather and an occasional train whistle, and you get something completely thrilling and fresh. There are elements we can’t control and the randomness becomes exciting. No curtain time, no seat assignments, just art, dance and you.”

The free, one-time-only performance takes place this Thursday, August 11th from 6pm-8pm at SAM’s Olympic Sculpture Park, 2901 Western Avenue. You may bring chairs, but keep in mind that the performances will take place at various locations in the park, so make sure they’re portable. All are welcome to enjoy a summer evening with art and dance!


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