December 25, 1966 – July 18, 2018
Laura Greenstone was a force beyond words who accomplished great works with passion and wit. She was a warm, loving, and creative woman, kind towards all those she encountered. Despite living with invisible disabilities caused by chronic disease, Laura chose to live her life to the fullest and help others overcome adversity. Laura believed strongly in the pleasure and power of art. As an art therapist, Laura worked to advance the role of trauma-informed counseling in domestic violence and disaster response and recovery. She was the author of many professional publications, lectured in the United States and Europe, and received national and international recognition for her achievements. Laura worked for the last 20 years at Amanda’s Easel, the creative arts program of 180 Turning Lives Around. She impacted countless lives through her work as an art therapist and trauma counselor. Recently Laura created ‘Artists for Common Humanity’ a self-organizing online artists community for anyone interested in regaining empathy, compassion, and morals in today’s world. Laura wished for this to become a gathering space for artists to engage in civic life and promote human decency. She also embarked on what she termed “A Year of Funny” where she engaged in writing, a study of stand-up comedy, and film-making as a way of capturing the absurdity, irony, and humor of life. Laura tackled her own medical challenges with grace, strength, and resilience. She was the recipient of a double-organ transplant in 2006 and encouraged everyone to become an organ donor. In one of her recent lectures on Medical Art Therapy, Laura ended by encouraging everyone to “give life and donate.” A celebration of Laura’s life is planned for a future date. To honor Laura there will be “A Year of Laura” in which friends and colleagues will advance her work and preserve her legacy. Per Laura’s wishes, a scholarship for Masters-level African-American and Afro-Caribbean students in Art Therapy will be established. Donations can be made in Laura Greenstone’s name for this scholarship to the American Art Therapy Association [https://arttherapy.org/]. With this scholarship her kindness, intellect, energy, passions, and compassion will live on. Laura will continue to be loved and cherished forever by her husband Jack Harris, her mother Joyce Cooper, her father Stephen Edelstein, her brother David Edelstein and all who knew her. Bloomfield-Cooper Jewish Chapels, Ocean, handled all arrangements.
- Private Service Monday, July 23, 2018
August 1, 2018
Laura and I first met when I interviewed to intern at Amanda's Easel in 2014/15. I quickly realized how much of an amazing person she was, personally and professionally. Since then Laura has remained my supervisor for my ATR and my LPC, which we were unfortunately unable to finish together by a mere three weeks. Laura changed my life and has helped me become the Art Therapist I am today. I will continue on with the wisdom she imparted to me these past few years and make her as proud as I possibly can. Love you, Laura.
Sue Durner (Kay-Adones)
July 31, 2018
Laura was one of my dearest friends in college. We both planned to study Art Therapy after graduation. I'll never forget going to NYU for our "audition" for the Art Therapy program with Laura where we were given a stack of white paper and a pencil and were told to draw an entire story, from start to finish, with no words, using all of the paper provided. A huge challenge we both laughed about after the ordeal was over! I loved Laura for her strength and her positive attitude towards her illness even when we were young in college! I loved that she did become the art therapist that we both had worked so hard to achieve. A goal I did not achieve but I was so proud that she did. My only regret was losing touch and not knowing she was so ill. I wish I could have been there for her in her last days. I will always remember her voice, her smile, her paintings, and her love of the ocean. Love you my friend! Rest in Peace.
July 29, 2018
I met Laura as a colleague. It has been about 10 years now that I have been able to reap the benefits of her friendship and her professional mentoring. Laura was a force to reckon with, had a zest for life, and "no" was not an option in her mind. She had vision and found a way to tackle life's big and small challenges with creativity, determination and resilience. I am still struggling in accepting Laura's physical absence. However, her spirit and legacy lives on. She has given so many people a different outlook on life and a mission. It is now up to her friends and colleagues to carry her vision forward.
July 27, 2018
I first met Laura years ago when I was the NJATA student rep at The College of New Rochelle, and she was NJATA’s government affairs person. Big changes were coming in NJ state counseling law, and Laura helped me to lobby the head of my department to create a new degree name, Art Therapy/ Counseling, for those of us who took the extra coursework and wanted to become LPC’s as well.
In subsequent years I always looked forward to seeing Laura’s smiling face at NJATA gatherings. Establishment of a scholarship fund to encourage diversity in our field is a lovely tribute to Laura’s work. I plan to contribute, as I’m sure many others will.
Nancy Intilli Mertens
July 27, 2018
Laura was always very welcoming and lent her knowledge and compassion freely. She was an invaluable resource to me as I navigated the path to licensure in NJ an art therapist -LPC. Her advocacy for this legislation for art therapists was an important force behind establishing a (licensed) professional identity for the field. I also joined Laura on one her Jersey Coast Creates initiatives, one of many projects she pioneered. I am grateful for knowing her, for her friendship, for her time and for her genuine support. Our field has lost a star, she will be missed.
July 26, 2018
I worked with Laura on the Jersey Coast Create project to support families impacted by hurricane Sandy. Her devotion to her mission of using art to impact the lives of others was felt as she responded to people in her own communities but also going beyond to work with our group to develop a model for others to replicate. Always generous like that. I miss you Laura. An inspiration! I will join you by providing a donation to AATA too! With much love and respect, Annette