About Artist Madhouse
Our programs are products of our experiences as artists and church and community volunteers. Our passions make up our innovative processes that is deeply rooted in our identity as Filipino artists. We personally use art as a way to connect within our soul and to heal our emotional distresses. For a decade, we have been doing therapeutic art and play with children with cancer and chronic illness through Kythe Foundation. We witnessed how art alleviated the physical and emotional pain of the children and their families. Moreover, we conduct Kythe’s Healing Heart workshops to help volunteers cope from emotional stresses of volunteering. Being involved in church and in community services has naturally nurtured our empathy to the people we serve.
A Vision of Service Through the Expressive Arts
Artist Madhouse Expressive Art Workshops Our logo is inspired by Vincent Van Gogh’s painting, “Yellow House,” his own space where he created his artworks and where he invited his friends for collaboration. Like the “Yellow House,” we envision Artist Madhouse as a safe and empathic atmosphere where everyone, artist or not, can express by making their own art and immersing in this process as a way to connect to their true self for self-direction and self-empowerment.
We especially use the word “Madhouse” as a place of expression without the fear of being judged, as we believe, art is a powerful tool for self-expression that heals and transforms lives.
Sharing our Heart to the World
We are passionate with integrating the expressive arts in all of our services. This field is practiced through different disciplines worldwide. We are one with artists, community builders, doctors, musicians, life coaches, psychologists, and other healing arts practitioners through our professional membership in International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA). Last October 2015, we had the opportunity to be one of its presenters in its International Expressive Arts Therapy Conference in Hong Kong, China read the full story here.
People Behind Artist Madhouse
Jem Marie M. Benzon is the co-founder and Expressive Art Facilitator at Artist Madhouse. “Jem” as she is fondly called, is an artist, a Child Life advocate, God’s servant leader and a friend. She is blessed to spend her life in communities that nurtures love and service. Serving in Kythe Foundation as a Volunteer Leader, she developed a passion for the expressive arts, through her volunteer works with the patients and co-volunteers.
Jem is a professional member of the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA) and aspires to be a Registered Expressive Arts Counselor and Educator (REACE) in the future. Last October 2015, she was one of the presenters in the 11th International Expressive Arts Therapy Conference in Hong Kong for the workshop, “Cultivating Connectedness with Expressive Art Meditation.”
In her personal time, she happily serves as a choir mentor and head of the Catholic Charismatic Community of their parish. She feels fulfilled using her gift in visual arts and music as a way to evangelize. Being a motivational speaker for the youth, her sought-after topics are focused on life purpose, servant leadership, and spirituality. She also loves doing murals for charity causes, reading books, writing, and crocheting.
Jem finished Magna cum Laude with the degree Bachelor of Fine Arts in Advertising Arts from University of Santo Tomas, Manila.
Carolyn T. Tongco, or simply Carol, believes that each individual, given genuine respect, presence and empathy, can discover their capacity to find their own healing path. Her passion is to use life coaching and expressive arts to connect, empower and bring healing to individuals, groups and communities. This is why she prefers to be called a “heartist”. She loves art and helping others.
Her twelve years of experience of doing therapeutic art, music, and play for children with cancer and chronic illness at Kythe Foundation awakened her core dream of becoming an Expressive Art Facilitator. This dream brought her to be a co-founder of Artist Madhouse and provide arts for wellness workshop to empower people through expressive arts.
She is presently working toward International Life Coach Certification and pursuing her dream of becoming a Registered Expressive Arts Consultant and Educator (REACE). She became an international student member of American Art Therapy Association (AATA) in 2013. She is currently a professional member of International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA) where she and Jem were selected as one of the presenters in 11th IEATA Conference in Hong Kong. She is also a member of Philippine Association for Child and Play Therapy (PhilPlay).
She finished Cum Laude with the degree Bachelor of Fine Arts in Advertising Arts from University of Santo Tomas, Manila.
Jem and Carol are both based in Manila, Philippines. You can invite them to speak or conduct workshops by contacting them directly at info[at]artistmadhouse.com.