April Fitzpatrick's profile photo

April Fitzpatrick

Board Certified Art Therapist/Visual Artist, Pineapples with Purpose LLC

April Fitzpatrick's profile photo
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Start Year: 2023
TRHT Pillar: Racial Healing and Relationship Building

Biography

April Fitzpatrick, also known as “Pineapple Lady,” is a board-certified art therapist, visual artist and CEO of Pineapples with Purpose LLC, an initiative that expands art therapy to minoritized communities that have been impacted by race-based traumatic stress. April is also the supervisor of an expressive arts therapy program that provides music and art therapy to clients experiencing crisis.

She is most interested in the arts’ role in mental wellness and believes that in order to turn pain into purpose, you must “make room for your crown,” an affirmation that has embedded itself along her art journey. Her art practice marries contemporary abstraction and African influence with experimental narrative to produce paintings and collages that explore object-worlds and life-worlds through the lens of Blackness, racial trauma, oppression and the pineapple.

April’s work has been featured in Black Minds Mag: Issue 2, Art Seen: The Curator’s Salon Magazine and the ART4EQUALITY x LIFE, LIBERTY & THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS exhibition catalog. She has shown work in over 15 cities and recently unveiled a show exploring the impact of racial trauma. Her professional endeavors include being an Arts in Medicine fellow, the city-appointed practicing artist for the Council on Cultural and Arts board of directors, and alum of both the Baldwin for the Arts Residency and New Leaders Council.

April’s principal purpose is to help individuals uncover, assess and externalize challenges that affect their wellbeing. April holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Tougaloo College and a Master of Science. in art therapy from Florida State University.

 

 

Future Focus

April’s work uses auto and medical ethnographic processes to confront the invisibility of race-based traumatic stress (RBTS). Investigating the insidiousness of racial messaging, her work sits at the intersection of cultural memory and symbolism. Together, these processes coalesce personal experiences of RBTS, client-practitioner relationships,histories of racial violence and the contemporary impact of racial trauma. April’s practice, as both a process and product, visually translates the complexities of RBTS using the pineapple as a guiding metaphor. Employing art therapy as a tool for storytelling, she creates space to construct new narratives and progress racial healing. Deepening her work as a form of social practice, she facilitates the reimagining of how mental health is addressed in real communities in real time.

 

 

Share this bio

FacebookTwitterEmailLinkedIn
Culture of Health Leaders Institute for Racial Healing

A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Program