Who's Who of Professional Women


Roberta Shoemaker-Beal

As an art psychotherapist, creativity consultant, art therapy coordinator, and educator at the Creatas Center, Roberta Shoemaker-Beal, MFA, ATR-BC, brings with her more than 50 years of experience in art therapy and art education. At the center of her many abilities, she coordinates a variety of initiatives, serves as a mentor to art therapists, and organizes special events.

Ms. Shoemaker-Beal is a professionally credentialed member of the American Art Therapy Association, where she has maintained an affiliation since 1971. In addition, she stays involved with and contributes to her field as a board member of the American Creativity Association and the founder of the Maryland Art Therapy Association. Attributing her career success to her mother, a pioneer in social work for individuals with developmental disabilities, and to her grandfather, a trailblazer in psychiatry, Ms. Shoemaker-Beal is a member of the Institute of Neuroscience and Consciousness Studies. The nonprofit organization seeks to expand the scientific understanding of human consciousness. Among her creative works, she has contributed to the “Find the Key to ANYONE’s Creativity: Make the Creativity Shift” project since 2014 and authored “The Wholistic Coloring Book” with White Chapel Press in 2021.

In preparation for what would become a continual and exciting journey in art therapy and art education, Ms. Shoemaker-Beal attended the Maryland Institute College of Art, graduating with a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in 1973 and a minor in psychology. Her minor in psychology enabled her to additionally earn her board-certified art therapist (ATR-BC) credential. She returned to the Maryland Institute College of Art after more than three decades of professional experience and obtained an additional MFA in 2009. In 2011, Ms. Shoemaker-Beal was recognized for her exemplary contributions to art therapy and art education with an honorary doctorate from the International Institute of Integral Human Sciences. Eminently qualified, Ms. Shoemaker-Beal is a certified and registered art therapist through the Art Therapy Credentials Board. Moreover, from 1975 to 1977, she served as a docent at The Baltimore Museum of Art.

Throughout her career, Ms. Shoemaker-Beal has taken pride in supporting others and creating art therapy graduate programs and introductory art education courses across the country. She began her career in 1969 as a coordinator for a creative arts therapy group at the Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital in Towson, Maryland. In 1970, Ms. Shoemaker-Beal became a psychotherapist with the Maryland Art Therapy Association. From 2005 to 2012, she garnered experience as a program co-coordinator with the Austin IONS Group, simultaneously serving as the secretary for the American Creativity Association from 2008 to 2012. For a decade, she held the role of parliamentarian for the Institute of Neuroscience and Consciousness Studies. While working for the Creatas Center, Ms. Shoemaker-Beal has held numerous positions, including as the coordinator and educator of study, practice, and theory for research on pre-verbal arts therapies.

Among the many lessons she has gleaned from her wealth of experience, Ms. Shoemaker-Beal believes strongly that practicing within one’s natural creative mode will inevitably enrich one’s life. She feels profoundly connected to others, a perspective she considers to be inextricably linked to the process of creativity and the practice of openness. Grateful to have come from a family of successful, productive individuals, she considers being the founder and first chairman of the Maryland Art Therapy Association as a major professional highlight.

In her personal life, Ms. Shoemaker-Beal is the proud mother of a son and a daughter and has one grandchild. She is grateful to have witnessed the successes of her children in their own personal and professional pursuits. Looking forward, Ms. Shoemaker-Beal plans to finish writing a series of workbooks and educate more people about art therapy. Outside of work, she enjoys volunteering, walking, gardening, and creating art.


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