Friday, January 1, 2016
Studio as Centering Space
A studio is a sacred space - a space to explore and form relationships with materials, with others and with a deeper sense of self. The act of making quiets the mind, invites us to be fully present and opens us up to connections. Moments of connection spark curiosity, wonder, gratitude, and the urge to share what we discover. Sometimes we leave traces in images and objects we make; other times are more fleeting and leave their mark in new ways of seeing, empathy for another or a feeling of groundedness and connection to something greater. Community helps hold and tend this space - a creative and spiritual home for solitude as well shared experience.
I wrote this statement a year and a half ago as part of a process of reflecting on what was central in my practice teaching art classes to kids. What surprised me the most was that the words flowed very freely once I stopped trying to write about art and started to write about space. For seven years Art at the Center offered classes in a community studio setting. In my household, the business was never referred to by name, it was always, "the studio." Looking back, a year after leaving our location on Sherwood Hall Lane, I realize the studio was a centering space, it wasn't the art that was central, it was the people that gathered there and the practices and routines that brought them together.
Writing this statement was a beginning of shifting from a focus on art as central to a focus on a space for making as central. In the last year, my work has increasingly moved to working in communities. I find myself sharing creative practices to support deeper connections in places where people already gather.
At the same time, I have been dedicating more time to my own creative practice and finding that creating space for making in my life offers for me many of the same benefits of mediation. It centers and calms me and provides a grounding point.
This blog is a beginning, a place to reflect on and share ideas around creative practice.