WESTFIELD, NJ - Art is used by social workers and art therapists as an important transformative tool that acts as a creative outlet in helping people from all populations. Gallery U, located at 439 South Avenue West in Westfield, NJ, knows first hand the importance art can play in one’s life and is celebrating National Social Work Month in March with a special month long exhibition “SWART: Social Work Works: Artwork By NJ Social Workers & Art Therapists” that honors the importance of art, social workers, and art therapists in our society.

An opening reception is scheduled for Friday, March 4, 2016, from 6:00-8:00 PM. The community is welcome to join participating artists and view the artwork on exhibit. The artworks range from complex abstract explorations of themes such as trauma, psychological theories and mental health recovery, to realistic renderings of people, places and things. SWART offers a cross section of perspectives from the richly varied social work and art therapist communities. Participating artists include: Amy S. Brooks; Marie Caruso-Teresi, MPS, ATR-BC; Patricia Flaherty; Mary C. Gambarony, MA, ATR-BC; Mary Howe, ATR-BC (Bloomfield, NJ); Sandra Iwasawa, ATR-BC, LPC (South River, NJ); Rita Klachkin, ATR-BC, LPC, LCAT, ACS, ATCS, DRCC (Montclair, NJ); Kristi Kraft, LSW; Cathy Lederman; Lynn Macarin-Mara, LCSW (Metuchen, NJ); Cathy Meier Asher, MA, ATR-BC, LCAT (Essex Fells, NJ); Martha Rand, LCSW; Elaine Shor, MA, LPC, ATR-BC (Colts Neck, NJ); Karen Starrett; Brian Shlosberg; and Laura Schreiber, MA (Wayne, NJ). Artwork will be exhibited through April 4, 2016.

ABOUT GALLERY U: Since their opening in September 2013, Gallery U has quickly positioned itself as an arts resource for the Westfield and surrounding communities by holding monthly art exhibits that focus on the talents of local artists, as well as showcasing original unique merchandise created by local artisans.


Gallery U is an extension of Universal Institute, a rehabilitation facility that services adults with traumatic brain injuries (TBI). The venue serves as a vocational training program whose goal is to introduce people with TBI back into the work force and community. Clients at Universal Institute take part in all aspects of running Gallery U. Vocational, occupational and cognitive therapies are conducted in the back workrooms. Working at Gallery U provides an opportunity for adults with TBI to rejoin the workforce, engage with the community, learn new skills, and experience the transformative power of art through exposure to existing art and creation of their own artwork. Additional information about Gallery U Boutique: http://gallery-u.blogspot.com.