In memory of Hester Katz
Hester Katz (1952-1990)
The “Hester Katz memorial award for a student in art therapy” was created by the Quebec Art Therapy Association (AATQ) in 1993, by the Ad Hoc Memorial Committee of which Nancy Humber was chair. Seeing that most AATQ members never had the opportunity to know her, we decided to include a brief biography to give the membership a sense of who Hester Katz was.
Hester was an original member of the association when it was formed in 1981. In 1982, she submitted an entry to the association’s logo contest and won. Her logo was proudly used by the association until 2020. She was a passionate artist who explored different media and studied under a multitude of artists to expand her practice and was extremely prolific in her artistic career. Unfortunately, Hester experienced a first psychotic episode at age 25 (in 1977) and was subsequently diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Although Hester abandoned her art practice at that point, she discovered art therapy and chose to combine her creativity and interest in helping others by pursing formal education and practical training in art therapy. In 1982, Hester completed the art therapy graduate program (diploma program) at Concordia university and enrolled in their master’s degree in art therapy the following year. In 1983, she received a Canada Council Explorations Grant for the realization of a ten month project bringing art therapy to the elderly population. Hester studied this profession while simultaneously struggling with her mental health which, sadly, was never stabilized. She was in the process of completing the program when, in 1988, she was forced to abandon this endeavour. Hester took her own life in 1990. September 2020 marked the 30-year anniversary of her untimely death.
I wish to thank Joel Katz, Hester’s loving brother, for our conversation about her. It was moving to learn who Hester was and what she accomplished in her short life directly from him. She most certainly would have been a wonderful colleague and mentor to us all.
Michelle Nuttall, MA, ATPQ
President AATQ 2018-2020
Here is the Communiqué : In Memoriam of Hester Katz
Here is the Communiqué in which the creation of the Hester Katz Memorial Award was announced:
All photos submitted by Joel Katz.
Artwork (untitled and not dated) by Hester Katz.