Open Studio Project began in 1991 with, as most things at OSP, an intention: to make art and to be of service. Three Chicago area art therapists — Dayna Block, Deborah Gadiel, and Pat Allen — began this endeavor after many years of experience in clinical settings. These therapists realized that to be truly effective in teaching clients to use art-making for personal transformation, they themselves would need to engage in and model their own creative process alongside their clients — putting both participant and therapist on the same level. Over the next 9 years, a unique art and writing process, now known as the Open Studio Process, was developed and refined in an art studio in Chicago.

In 1999, the original Chicago studio was closed and in June 2000, a new studio was opened in Evanston, Illinois, an economically and racially diverse community just north of Chicago. With a goal of greater outreach to underserved populations, OSP began collaborating with a variety of social service agencies in order to bring to their constituents the benefits of these encounters with the creative process. We have been fortunate enough to serve the Evanston community for 20 years from our studio at 903 Sherman Avenue.

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