COLUMBUS – State Representative Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills) was honored at the Buckeye Art Therapy Association’s (BATA) 37th Annual Symposium for her work to advance the licensure of art therapists in the state of Ohio with Sub. House Bill 557. After receiving the award last year for her work on Sub. H.B. 557, BATA renamed the award “The Marlene B. Anielski Legislator of the Year Award.”

“It is humbling to be recognized by a group of professionals whose work accomplishes so much in the sphere of mental health treatment,” said Rep. Anielski. “The passage of Sub. House Bill 557 will ensure the availability of art therapy by professionally licensed and trained therapists to all Ohioans.”

“In 2017, we were very excited to award Representative Anielski with the BATA ‘Legislator of the Year Award’ for Outstanding Mental Health Champion, and now because of her continued leadership efforts to fight for art therapy licensure, we honor her by naming the award after her. We will now use the name ‘State Representative Marlene Anielski Legislator of the Year Award’ as we move forward in honoring future Outstanding Mental Health Champions in our community,” said Molly Kometiani, former President of BATA. “Representative Anielski is well-deserving of this accolade as she has tirelessly advocated for House Bill 557, art therapy licensure and regulation. She has been the robust force behind our movement. We could have not have progressed through the House Health Committee without her support, and this is the farthest BATA has advanced in our licensure pursuit in the past 30 years.”

The conference was attended by several hundred students and therapists from around the state for two consecutive days of guest-speakers, developmental workshops, and breakout sessions for BATA members to share their wisdom and experiences with each other. Art therapists assess a person’s response to the use of art media, images, and the creative art process to then identify their developmental needs, abilities, personality, interests, concerns, and conflicts.

Art therapy has been a distinct and independent profession since the 1940’s and has been represented on the national level by the American Art Therapy Association since its foundation in 1969. For additional information, please visit the Buckeye Art Therapists Association website at


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