Psychology student to host virtual art showcase on Dec. 11

December 07, 2020

Florence Kyomuhendo is a Ugandan artist who combines her love for art and psychology through art therapy at Penn State. The senior, who is majoring in psychology with an art minor, will host a virtual art showcase from 2 to 3 p.m. EST on Dec. 11.   

Her current sculpture, “The Garden of Truth,” emphasizes the way art can be used to bring awareness to social problems. “How many people do you know who can attest to any form of sexual assault? The numbers are endless and some even unknown,” said Kyomuhendo. “I examined the environment I am constantly in on a daily basis...Why aren’t we talking more about this and why are people staying silent? I have been told stories from my friends and friends of my friends explaining their individual experiences with sexual assault. It’s heartbreaking to hear the things they say.” 

Kyomuhendo says this showcase is for the victims and bystanders who have seen, heard or experienced sexual assault. “This is for the daughters, sons, LGBTQ community, women, and men in the workplace and innocent children who have endured this. The list goes on.”  

Kyomuhendo wants to bring awareness to this problem by using art as the vessel to connect people to the psychological, emotional and physical traumas of sexual assault. “It’s hard for people to talk about a subject so sensitive, hence my need to emphasize it. This is a space for healing, a space allowing those to be seen and understood while educating on the grotesqueness of this action.” 

“I want people to understand that it is okay to start speaking up about things that have hurt them, she said. "That is the importance of therapy and the first step to healing.” Kyomuhendo also wants to educate people who are not affected by this to not turn a blind eye just because it doesn’t apply to them. “Educating the public is so important because once we understand and share more it makes healing and support so much easier.” 

Kyomuhendo entered college as a biology major in hopes of going to medical school to be a cardiac surgeon. “I knew I wanted a career that would allow me to help others. It’s incredible how my initial idea shifted as I started discovering myself more. I found out that wasn’t really my passion but more so implemented on me by family.”  

She took her first psychology course during her second year of college and instantly fell in love. “It’s so beautiful to understand the human mind and how different people interact,” she said. 

Art has been part of Kyomuhendo’s life since a young age. “I started practicing drawing the fruit basket on my dining room table in the first grade. In addition, my dad is an artist who always supported and critiqued any project I would show him.”   

The two passions intertwined in high school. Art became a therapeutic means to handle stress and all the emotions attached to being a teenager in high school. “It was my release. I knew I loved art and couldn’t let it go, so I decided to combine my interest in psychology and art through art therapy.” 

Kyomuhendo has aspirations of providing healing for children, which she plans to do by pursuing a master’s degree. 

“A problem I have witnessed in this society is the mental health crisis. Far too many children are growing up in environments flooded with toxicity,” she said. “There is a common pattern of no guardians, gang affiliations, inadequate education and infrastructure and substance abuse. This kind of environment yields a generation of children growing up mentally, physically and emotionally unstable or traumatized. If we can target this problem at a young age and foster a positive, encouraging environment, more children can grow up with a healthy mindset.”  

Kyomuhendo wants to invest her effort into developing an art therapy center as a way to create an enriching environment that focuses on healing youth through art expression. 

Interested viewers can join Kyomuhendo’s showcase by visiting and entering the following Zoom meeting ID: 546 806 4108.


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Last Updated December 07, 2020