If you’ve been following us for a while, what we do here at Art Class Curator is much deeper than art appreciation or history. Appreciating art is great, but it gives off the vibe of being better than you and puts up a divide between the art and those who can enjoy it. In the last year, we’ve been emphasizing art connection instead of appreciation.
Connecting with art has taught me something about myself that I didn’t know, helped me get through something, or given me clarity or a safe space. So in this episode, I’m gonna talk about ways to use art to have moments of clarity and connection where things suddenly make sense.
3:26 – My realization that art isn’t about the details but the feelings
9:29 – What I mean by spirituality and spiritual practices
14:56 – The aesthetic experience incorporating both mind and body
23:05 – How we can use art as a spiritual practice
30:11 – What to do if you can’t make it to an art museum
32:12 – A couple of caveats
- Beyond the Surface: Free Email Series
- Harry Potter and the Sacred Text podcast
- Reflect Connect Worksheet (Curated Connections Library members)
- “A Tale of Two Monets” podcast episode
- Pablo Picasso, Girl before a Mirror, 1932
- Nandipha Mntambo, Minotaurus, 2015
- Henry Koerner, My Parents II, 1946
Hello, and welcome to the Art Class Curator Podcast. I am Cindy Ingram, your host and the founder of Art Class Curator and the Curated Connections Library. We’re here to talk about teaching art with purpose and inspiration from the daily delight to creativity, to the messy mishaps that come with being a teacher. Whether you’re driving home from school or cleaning up your classroom for the 15th time today, take a second, take a deep breath, relax those shoulders and let’s get started.
Hello, everybody, this is Cindy Ingram from Art Class Curator, and I am so excited to be here with you for another episode of the Art Class Curator Podcast. I know it’s been a little bit of time since I had a regular recorded episode for you, but I’m happy to say that I now have a podcast production company and I have signed a contract for an entire year. So you will have a whole year of podcast episodes ahead of you. I am super excited to get back in the swing of this. I really enjoy this. So I hope you do too. What we’re going to talk about today is looking at art as a spiritual practice. You know at Art Class Curator, if you’ve been following us for a while, we talk about how, what we do at Art Class Curator is much deeper than art appreciation or even art history. So we have started in the last year, calling it art connection instead because appreciating art is great. It’s important to appreciate art, but to me, the term appreciate rubs me the wrong way a little bit. It’s almost like elitist.
It gives me this vibe of this is something that is better than you are, and that it’s really important that you appreciate it and how good it is and how… You know that sort of thing? But to me, I have never looked at art as something separate than me. I’ve never looked at art and thought I wasn’t good enough to appreciate it. I wasn’t good enough to have an experience with it. I think that there are a lot of people in this world that think that there’s something broken in them, that they can’t enjoy looking at art. They think about going to a museum and they think, “Ooh, that’s not a place for me. I’m not going to fit in there. I’m going to have to dress differently. I’m going to have to act differently. I’m going to have to be quiet. I’m not going to understand the art.” So it puts this divide between the people who could really enjoy the art and the art itself.
We call it art connection because we really want everyone to find a place for them. I created our Class Curator because I have this really deep personal connection to art. I’ve had many experiences throughout my life where art has taught me something about myself that I didn’t know. It helps me through something that I needed help to get through, or it gave me clarity. It gave me a safe space. It did all of this for me personally. That is so very important to me. I always tell this story and I’ll tell it again just in case you haven’t heard it in a while. I think I only told it in the very, very, very first episode. But when I was in, I don’t know, a couple of years out of college, one or two years out of college.
I was a museum educator. I was doing a fellowship in museum work. And then I did, when I was a gallery teacher at a museum in Fort Worth. At the time I was applying to get my PhD in art history, because if you work in museums you’re like, if you want to get a good job, you have to have a master’s degree. So I thought, well, obviously I need to get my master’s degree in art history. I was applying to a couple different schools. I had already sent up some of my applications. I was doing the GRE, all that stuff. Then I went to an art museum and it was January 1st. It was New Year’s day on 2014. No, not. I always say 2014, it’s 2004. At the time, they had been renovating the MoMA in New York city. They sent all of the big famous artworks from MoMA to Houston. I lived in Fort Worth at the time.
We drove down just to visit that exhibit, drove there in the morning, drove back at night. It’s about a four hour drive. Anyway, that’s neither here nor there. But I’m going through the exhibit, and it was probably, I think it was the second room or the third room that I passed Starry Night and some of the van Gogh, and I turned the corner to Picasso’s Girl Before a Mirror. I saw it from across the room and it punched me in the stomach. I stood in front of that painting for at least an hour. My husband did the entire rest of the exhibit and came all the way back around and I was still in front of it. I could not leave it. I cried. It was this experience of being almost out of body, but also being really firmly rooted in myself and an understanding of myself in a way that I wasn’t necessarily that familiar with at this point in my life.
I was really young and had had powerful experiences, especially with art before, but this one was so different. I just felt really connected to myself in a way that I don’t think I had ever really truly felt. It was a little bit scary, it was exciting, it was all the things. One of the things that happened as a result of that is that I decided that I needed… I was scared that the magic would leave art if I studied it too carefully. So you think about getting your PhD, you have to pick a favorite, you have to pick a direction, you have to pick a movement, an artist or something that you’re going to really dive into and study. That’s going to be your specialty. If you want to then go teach college, you’re going to be the one that teaches the modern art class or whatever. I realized at that moment that art for me is not about the details. It’s not about the art history. I think the art history is fun and fascinating and really interesting. But to me, it’s about how it makes me feel.
I realized at that moment at that museum 15 years ago, that I wanted everyone else to feel this too. I wanted the magic of art, for everyone to have that as part of their lives. Because it just, it felt so important. And 15 years later, it still feels important. I want this for everybody and I want this for our students. I want them to know it’s there for them. I scrapped all of my applications to get my PhD and decided to do my master’s in Art Education instead with focus museum education, then I eventually ended up in the classroom and the rest was history. But it was that moment where I realized that art had this hold on me in a way that I just couldn’t really describe. I tried, I came home and I wrote an essay about it. I still have it today. I tell this story, one, because it’s an important origin story for me, but also it’s something I think about a lot, is those powerful experiences and what they’ve added to my life.
For this episode, we’re going to talk about ways to use art to have those sorts of moments of clarity, those moments of connection, those moments where suddenly things make sense. I don’t know if you’ve ever had one of those moments where I’ll be watching like… It happens when I watch the Cosmos show, the Neil deGrasse Tyson Cosmos, and even the old one too, the Carl Sagan one, where all of a sudden the universe just makes sense. This wave comes over me and I’m just like, Oh, I get it. And then it goes away. I don’t know what that’s called. I feel like it should have some name. I bet there’s some German name for it, or Japanese name. There’s always some really good words to describe those sorts of feelings, but those transcendental moments.
I think a lot about how we can teach our students to have those moments. And I do think that we can’t fully teach our kids to have those moments if we don’t work on them for ourselves. I think that’s true for, you’ll hear me talk about it in the episode next week, about social emotional learning, that it’s important, that if you want to increase the social emotional skills and learning of your students, that you work on your own social emotional skills first. I think that that will rub off on your students, that passion, that energy, that love that you bring to your work will rub off on your students when you work through that.
It got me thinking about how to me, looking at art is a spiritual practice. It is something that I use to better understand myself. I think that is something really exciting to me to talk about. So what is a spiritual practice? When I’m talking about spirituality and I’m talking about spiritual practices or spiritual experiences, I’m not talking about religion. However, you can have religious spiritual experiences. This spirituality can be both religious and both spiritual at the same time, or it can be spiritual without religion. It can be religion without spiritual too. This is in no way, an attempt to replace religion or to talk about religion at all. So just a little caveat there. But Bernie Brown has a really great definition of spirituality. You guys know how much of a Bernie Brown fan I am, but she says in The Gift of Imperfection, she says, “Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us.”
Practicing spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning and purpose to our lives. And really, to be human is to be spiritual. We are all connected in so many different ways. We are connected through the art that we make. We are connected through science. We are connected through common beliefs. We are connected to each other through a lot of different ways. But ultimately to me, what spirituality is, is a deeper understanding of that connection and also a deeper understanding of yourself. It is turning inward. I saw a quote that says, and I don’t remember where I found it, but it was, “Spirituality is an encounter with one’s own inner dimension.” So it is going within to understand the world in a new way and understand your place in the world in a new way.
That is exactly what art does for us too. Everything that I say today, I’m really talking about looking at art because that’s what I’m so passionate about. But there I would say making art is a spiritual practice as well. Spirituality is usually described as going along a path, a path towards some goal. And that goal often is wholeness as a person. A spiritual practice is something that helps you along that path or along that journey. It is actions or activities that are done for the purpose of inducing spiritual experiences and cultivating spiritual development, which I quoted just now from Wikipedia. Examples of spiritual practices are if you’re Catholic, you go to confession or you do your daily Bible reading or devotional and other spiritual practices, like the stations of the cross. If you are Hindu, there’s yoga, there’s meditation, there’s mantras. If you are Muslim, your spiritual practices could be fasting, your pilgrimage, your Hodge to Mecca, your five daily prayers per day.
Even things like a Japanese tea ceremony. In a Japanese tea ceremony, every movement and step is done in a way to where you’re in very, very mindful of everything that you’re doing. So it becomes a really holy experience for you in that effort of mindfulness. So if it’s not connected to religion, there are things like gratitude journaling, or maybe you have a tarot card deck, or even just an Oracle card deck where you pull cards and you take inspiration from that. And for your day-to-day life, making art, writing poetry, all of these things that help connect you to yourself and connect you to your purpose in the world, connects you to everyone else, your community, humanity, et cetera. I’ve talked about this before, but there’s a podcast I listened to called the Harry Potter and the Sacred Text. And what they do is they read Harry Potter and analyze it, the themes, and they connect to it personally, they figure out what message it has for them. Then they do some spiritual practices to analyze that text further.
One of the hosts of that podcast did her PhD and even has a new book about her spiritual reading of Jane Eyre. Now, I’m not talking about us all running out and having these really amazing transcendental enlightenment experiences through looking at a work of art. But it’s been written a lot about with the phrasing of an aesthetic experience. What philosophers have called the sublime, which is like a moment of sheer awe. It’s that moment that overtakes you and you just are so enraptured with the beauty, often the sublime was written about in the romantic time period, as I’m looking at a volcano or it was the glory of nature and the beauty of nature, and then through art capturing that beauty. But it’s this sort of moment of clarity, this moment of awe, this moment of taking you out of your every day and realizing you’re a part of something greater, while also being just 100% you and in your body and in your mind and your consciousness.
I was doing some research recently on experiences. I was reading some articles, and one of them I read was in an Italian journal, the. I did take Italian in college. And I think it means the Magazine of Neo Scholastic Philosophy. I don’t know exactly what Neo Scholastic means, but anyway, he has neither here nor there. But the person who wrote this article, his last name is Dio docto. He talks about the aesthetic experience, being both a mind and a body experience. That it is both outside of you and inside of you, that it is both personal and global, that it’s both specific and universal, that it is both through your senses and through your intellect, that it is both your sensibility and your reason. All of these things are intertwined together.
And he says, “It brings together both past and future.” Well, it’s a really beautiful passage and I want to read it to you. So I’m going to read you a little bit, it might be a little bit long, so I apologize, but it’s really, I just feel like it’s really profound. So he says, “As human beings, we are first of all, forms of time. But in our normal dealings with the world, we are mostly jagged forms of time. Partly looking at the past with nostalgia for what has been lost, and partly looking at the future with the anxiety of uncertain destiny. The aesthetic experience, as it reformulates, organizes and assembles physical and cyclical materials from the ghosts floating in the ocean of memories, to the marvelous stones, sounds and colors of nature. It brings together past and future and the project oriented and collectively sharable unity of a meaningful present.”
So it’s this moment where things are coming together. He also just talks about in terms of a knowledge related joy where mind and body are intertwined. I don’t know if you’ve ever had one of those experiences. It doesn’t have to be about art. It could be something that you experienced in church. It could be something you experienced in a meditation. It could be something you experienced when traveling. I know I’ve had moments like that. One of them in particular, sitting on the canals of Amsterdam and just watching the boats go by it. It was like the sunset. It was just a moment of just intense experience. That’s what it is, is intense experience that not only am I feeling it, am I connected with the world, but I am fully present and aware and understanding my life in a whole new way.
Another one of these experiences that I’ve had was when I was in Vienna and I went to the Leopold Museum and there was an exhibit of early modern art of Vienna. It was early 1900s. The exhibit had Death and Life by Gustav Klimt, which is that one that has all of the family generations all folded together, laying together, those beautiful patterns, but with this skeleton of death off to the side, really amazingly beautiful painting to see in person. But that whole exhibit, you’re watching… So if you think about the time period of art history, you’re watching things get more and more abstract. The exhibit was chronological. So we’re starting out in the early 1900s walking through.
So much of the artwork was portraits. So I’m watching the faces and I’m seeing through the eyes of all these people represented. And then the more faces I see, I just start to get this overwhelming intense emotion about all of the faces. And by the time I get to the end of the exhibit, I am so overcome because they just kept getting more abstract. They eyes kept getting less detailed and more hollow and more dark and more creepy. As I’m going, by the time I got to the end, I was just really overwhelmed. Even early in the exhibit, had started taking close-up pictures of all of the faces. I was just called to do that. And I just kept doing it, and I ended up making a video of all of the faces. I’ll stick that video that I made in the show notes, because I made it quickly on my phone from the bus, but it was really powerful for me.
So there’s been big moments like that. Like that one, the Girl Before a Mirror, Picasso’s story. There’s been ones that took me, it just knocked me over. But then there’s been little episodes too, where I needed something from art and it was there to give it to me. Last year, right before COVID hit, I went to a retreat where I felt really emotionally vulnerable. I was really exhausted. I hadn’t been sleeping well because of this environment. And then I take off on the last day and go to the Art Museum. The minute I walked into that museum, I knew I was in the right place. I was in this really raw place. The Art Museum just gave me such a comfort. It’s always been a place where I just feel like it’s a warm hug. But I see the sculpture and it was by Nandipha Mntambo, who is an artist from South Africa. The sculpture was called Minotaurus. It’s the sculpture of this half god, half woman character. It’s a bronze and it’s a mostly human body, but it is bigger than life size. She was taller than me.
She is a Minotaur, so she’s part bull part human. Mostly human body, but then she has horns and ears of a bull, and then her back and hips have fur. It’s the rest of it and it’s nude. So not something I would necessarily show my students, but I really was captured by this artwork. At the time, I was feeling pretty, I don’t know why I was feeling small, but I was feeling like not good enough. You know that feeling, feeling not good enough. In this sculpture, she’s hunched down. Her shoulders are down and she’s looking down at the floor. She’s not really standing up straight. She just looks like ashamed or that you could just feel this sadness to her.
She’s beautiful, and I was looking at her and I was like, Oh, she’s gorgeous. Stand up straight, own your power, own your magic, I was telling her that in my head. And then I was like, well, I’m not doing that either? I’m allowing myself to feel small in this moment. I took a little bit of solace and connection with the sculpture. It helped me through these emotions that I was feeling at that time. You can use art to work through the feelings that you’re having. I have other stories about, when I saw Hamilton and there was a school shooting that had just happened and it was right by where I saw it. It was within an hour of where I saw Hamilton. There had been a school shooting the week before.
I’ve done a podcast episode about this before, but there was the gun violence, obviously, in Hamilton. It gave me a place to really feel the feelings that I was feeling. It gave me a safe space to let those go and to let them happen and to not stuff them down. We can use art to process things that are going on in the world, that we can use it to process things that are happening to us in our current lives. We can use them to find ourselves. The question then next is how do we do that? How do we use art as a spiritual experience at a spiritual practice? How do we look at art and create these moments for ourselves? I think that my number one tip for that would just be to allow it to happen.
One of the things that I love to do is to go visit art museums. I know right now is not the easiest to get away to do that with COVID. It’s not quite as enjoyable when it’s in masks. You’re worried about other people and crowds and things like that. When the world does open up a little bit more and we’re able to do this more, visiting an art museum and once you’re there, I think I would say, allow yourself to just experience it. Don’t go in with any expectation of I’m going to have a spiritual experience today. I always going in, I’m like, I don’t think there’s going to be anything that hits me today. Sometimes it doesn’t, and then sometimes it just knocks me over and I’m not expecting it. But just to be open to whatever the art has to communicate to you.
Then also, don’t pressure yourself with audio guides, brochures, label text. We know through experiencing art with our students, that when we make it about what the student has to say, you’re going to have a much more powerful experience. I’ve talked about that over and over again. Allowing that to happen for you too, that you don’t need to read what anyone else has to say about the artwork. You don’t need to hear the audio guide. If you want to learn about it, that’s great, do it. But if you’re going in as hoping to have a personal connection, those things might turn that off. When you’re focused on learning, you’re not thinking about how you’re personally connecting to it. So what I do when I go to a museum is I will walk into the room, whatever exhibit and I look around. And then I just go to whichever one feels like it needs to be looked at. Whatever one catches my eye, maybe it’s a really beautiful blue.
Some of those renaissance paintings have this blue color that you’re just like, I have to go look at that blue. Or it could be something just catches your eye and you really want to dive in. Start there, don’t pressure yourself to see everything. Don’t pressure yourself to spend all this time looking at silver platters that you’re not interested in silver platters, go look at things that are exciting to you. Explore them, spend some quality time looking at it and use all of those things that you teach your students. Like visual analysis and formal analysis. Look at the colors, look at the lines, look at the shapes, think about the interpretations that you notice, what story is being told, what symbols are present, really take a full inventory of the painting, spend time diving in. One of the things I love to do is look at a thick brush stroke of paint and just stare at it for a really long time. Look at how the color is and the texture, and just get lost in it a little bit.
It’s a really interesting thing, is to be present with something that isn’t changing. We’re used to things happening so quickly. TikTok, you watch a minute video. I don’t know if you watch TikTok, but I have been watching too much TikTok lately. Not too much, just the right amount. We’re not used to just sitting and being, or standing and being. It’s a great opportunity to just be mindful, be aware of your environment, to be aware of your place in it, and really study the work of art. Another thing that you can do is to do something, we have a worksheet on the blog called Reflect Connect. In it, it’s a step-by-step practice of looking at the artwork, analyzing it. Then the next step is you do the story first, you figure out what’s going on. The next step is you look for sort of hidden or deeper meanings in it. And then you look for symbols and other things hidden beneath the surface.
Your third step is then you make it about you. Then you think about, well, what about yourself? Have you learned from looking at this artwork? What does this remind you of in your own life? Find that personal connection where you fit in it, and then your last step is, what are you going to do differently in your life now that you’ve made this, you have this awareness? I learned this process from that Harry Potter and the Sacred Text Podcast. They do something called Lectio Divina, where they analyze a quote from the book using those four steps. That we’ve found that that works beautifully, not only with adults, it works great with adults. But it also works really well with students. It teaches them to be more aware of themselves, teaches them to think about themselves and their place in the world in new ways. You can use those steps for yourself as well with a work of art. Another beautiful thing that happens with works of art is the conversations that you can have about it.
But we have these things in our world already where we explore something created movies, books, et cetera, with the people we love and we analyze them, but we can take that even deeper. We can have these conversations with our peers, other art teachers, we have them with our friends, our family. They’re really fascinating because you can learn a lot about yourself through those conversations. If you remember back, if you’ve been listening to the podcast for a while, we had an episode called the tale of two Monets, where my friend Madeline had a really powerful experience with Monet. She was really emotional mood, had one of these experimental experiences with Monet’s art. And then when I see Monet’s art, I’m just not that excited about it. But how we can have such a vast different experiences, but that is really great conversation that we’ve had.
That’s something we’re going to do a little bit more of moving forward on the podcast, is having more art conversations with each other and really learning how we can do this for ourselves so that when we bring it to our students, it feels deeper and more connected and more confident about these conversations. If you can’t make it to an art museum though, there’s lots of ways you can still do this. You can think about what is your current mood or what is your current feeling? And then you could find a work of art that fits how you’re feeling. You can do that through looking through textbooks of art, you can go to the Art Class Curator or other websites to explore different works of art and just pick one. Sometimes what I really like to do is go to Wikiart.org, and you click on artwork, there’s artwork of the day, but you can just keep refreshing the homepage until you find an artwork that you want to look at and you want to explore deeper.
Then you can open it up and explore it, think about it, write a poem about it, do all those things that we do with our students, but do that for yourself. You find whatever works best for you, whether it is just sitting and staring, whether it’s printing the artwork and hanging it in your house. If you come across one that is really personally meaningful to you, printing it out, putting it on your fridge, reminding you, you could use them to write captions, mantras, haiku poems, things like that to connect with their feelings. I did this recently, just letting my ridiculousness fly here on the podcast, but I was watching my actress teacher from Netflix, which is really good by the way, I really loved it. But I was at the time, I was really sick. I had a sinus infection. I was feeling down and I wrote a haiku about how I was the octopus. It was silly and it was funny, but it did help me process the things that I was feeling in my life right then. It wasn’t work of art.
These are things that we can do, little things that can add more meaning and value into our lives. I challenge you to think about how you can look at art in your day to day lives and how you can make that meaningful to you. And then there’s a couple of caveats here, is remember that this is a process, that you’re not always going to have a deep revolutionary experience with a work of art. You’re not always going to have some ‘aha’ moment that is huge and life changing. But you can have little moments of clarity that then will add up to something bigger and greater. Even if it doesn’t add up to something bigger and greater, you’ve still had a moment of joy of connecting with something that someone made from whether it was made now, or whether it was made in thousands of years ago, or whether it was made where you live or across the world, that you have connected with the person that has made that.
Also remember that your interpretation in these experiences is the most important interpretation to you. If you’re looking at a work of art and, well, let me give you an example. I went to a museum a few years ago. I don’t remember when it was, but I went to Minneapolis and I was at the Minneapolis Institute of Art and there was an artwork there. It was My Parents II by Henry Koerner. It’s a beautiful painting of… Well, actually, any paintings that I talk about and artworks that I talk about in the podcast episode, we’ll make sure we include links to them in the show notes or the actual pictures in the show notes. You can head over to artclasscurator.com/58 to see the pictures of the artworks that I’ve mentioned. Don’t do that while you’re driving, please.
The painting is of two grandparents, it’s his daughters parents, but there are two elderly people. There is a path in the woods, it’s very yellow. And then there’s two paths with the man walking down the left path and the woman sitting on a tree stump on the right path and then they’re separated. When I saw this, I instantly of course, thought of my grandparents. I had a really beautiful connection with my grandfather and I miss him. I think about him a lot still and it’s been, I don’t know, he died when I was… It’s been like 20 years since he passed. I felt connected to him for a minute and I could see there was something about this painting that brought him closer to me.
Another connection I had to this painting was, it reminded me of the Rubber Frost poem, the two roads diverge in a yellowwood and I took the one less traveled and that has made all the difference. I used to have that poem memorized when I was younger. I really felt connected to it for some reason. So that was another interpretation I had because this painting was all yellow. There was two roads that split off. I had that connection as well. I went on to the Art Class Curator newsletter and shared this painting and my feelings about it, my interpretation of it. I also shared what the interpretation, the real interpretation. I put real in quotation marks because I always say, your interpretation is just as important as anyone else’s. Well, this particular painting, his parents died in the Holocaust.
These were his parents that he lost in the Holocaust. Even the artist’s last name, Koerner is not his original last name. He had to make it sound less Jewish. His name was Heinrich Koerner and it was spelled differently. So after that email I sent to the newsletter, I got a reply back and someone was like, “Well, how dare you share your own interpretation?” My own interpretation, I guess, would take away from the horrors of him losing his parents in the Holocaust. I can see their point of course. However, when you look at a work of art and when that artwork leaves the artist’s hands, it becomes the viewers. Your interpretation of it is just as important and just as meaningful as the artists. If you are interpreting this artwork, whatever artwork you’re having this connection with, and it is completely not what the artist intended for that artwork to be about, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. You don’t even know need to read the label if you don’t want to. Just go ahead and have your own interpretation. And that’s something really important that we teach our students too, is your interpretation is truth.
Don’t worry about the facts. Don’t worry about the history. Don’t worry about the artist’s life. Just worry about what this artwork means to you. You can’t control that because everything in your life is going to change how you address that artwork. Every experience you’ve had leading up to that artwork, every conversation you’ve ever had, every life event, every trauma you’ve experienced, everything that you are comes into that experience with the work of art. It is going to change depending on you. You could look at one artwork, a year later come back and look at it again and have a totally different experience because something happened to you in that year.
I know I’m for sure going to have a lot of different types of experiences with art now that I’ve experienced the trauma of the pandemic, that it changed who I am. So it’s going to change how I respond to art as well. Don’t let the facts get in your way. Don’t let any guilt of not getting it right get in your way. Also, you don’t have to make this a serious thing. You think spiritual practice, that sounds so serious. That sounds heavy. It sounds like you just need to be a certain way, but really it’s about you. Don’t force it and just have a good time with it. I saw a great quote by Anne Lamott, who’s an author. She said, “Laughter is carbonated holiness.” I thought that was really awesome, but have fun with it.
When I was writing my silly haiku poem about me as the octopus, it was funny. It made me laugh and it was actually important for me to laugh at that moment because I was not feeling. I was not in a great place emotionally. It allowed me to have a little bit of levity to my situation that I had found myself in, emotional situation. I was not in any situation. It was all created in my mind, but you can have fun with it. You cannot force it. You can laugh at yourself. You can be delighted by what you discover and delighted by what you don’t discover and just enjoy the experience.
I hope this encouraged you to look at art in a different way and experience art in a different way. I want to hear about it. So if you have a powerful art experience, please let us know. One thing that you can do is tell us your story via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can leave us a voicemail and tell your story in the voicemail and we might add it to the end of one of the episodes. We would love to hear your powerful art stories. We always ask the question, what artwork changed your life? We want to hear it about it. You can leave a voicemail at the number (202) 996-7972. All right, thank you so much for listening today. I am so excited to be back with you in the Art Class Curator Podcast, and I will see you again next week. Bye.
What’s keeping you from showing more artwork to your students? Do you get stopped trying to choose a work of art or do you fear your students will ask a question that you don’t know the answer to? Have you tried to start a classroom art discussion, but didn’t know what to say or how to get your students talking? Are you worried you’re going to spend a ton of time researching and planning a lesson that none of your students are interested in? That’s why we created Beyond the Surface, a free professional development email series, all about how to teach works of art through memorable activities and thoughtful classroom discussions.
With Beyond the Surface, you’ll discover how to choose artworks your students will connect with, and learn exactly what to say and do to spark engagement and create a lasting impact. Plus you’ll get everything you need to curate these powerful learning experiences without spending all of your time planning. Sign up to receive this free professional development email course at artclasscurator.com/surface. Thank you so much for listening to the Art Class Curator podcast. If you like what you hear, please subscribe and give us an honest rating on iTunes to help other teachers find us and hear these amazing art conversations and art teacher insights. Be sure to tune in next week for more art inspiration and curated conversations.
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