Joy in Art

Conference by Claudia Hershman, mixed media 30x40 in

I recently prepared for a guided workshop I was facilitating through Anton Art Center and the Detroit Institute of Art by going through the experience myself. A playful and mindful approach to being with art. (next scheduled workshop)

This workshop is one of my favorites because it involves art and wellbeing without having to know anything or be anyone other than yourself. It helps people go deeper without being deep and most of all it is particularly personal while connecting us. I tell everyone there is no right or wrong, just show up.

Below is an experience from this workshop shared by Jessica Molnar.

I’ve worked with Rita’s mindfulness exercises in the past and so I knew that I was in for a treat. I deeply enjoyed the guided meditation portion. I loved each of the artworks presented, but I felt especially drawn toward Conference. I connected with Joy through this piece in many ways: the softness and warmth of the color palette; the playful energy of the piece which gave me the sense that the Artist was not striving or trying to be perfect; the harmony between the elements in the work; and the variety of marks which exude liveliness, curiosity, and spontaneity. I happily sat with the artwork for a while, feeling the physical sensations of Joy.

The next portion of the exercise brought up a bit of resistance for me, at first. Rita’s prompt was to imagine a difficult situation, and reimagine it while feeling Joy. The situation I chose was a recent meltdown while putting up the Christmas tree. My husband and I were rushing, not communicating very well and we both got super grumpy. As I reimagined the scenario with the physical sensations of Joy I could see the situation in a totally new light. I realized how funny the whole scene was, or rather would’ve been if only I wasn’t taking it so seriously at the time. Imaging an unpleasant scenario and pretending to feel happy initially struck me as silly...until I realized that I do the opposite all the time. This exercise not only helped me identify a neurotic compulsion, but it helped me to flip it on its head!


Contact me if you interested in creating an experience tailored for your community related to exhibition, gallery or museum. And to learn more about how extending our attention with art can change our lives, check out the work of Slow Art: The Experience of Looking, Sacred Images to James Turrell by Arden Reed


#wellness #wellbeing #mindfulness #meditation #artappreciation #slowart #closelooking #hope #positivity #museums #mentalhealth

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