I attended my next to last set of classes for Expressive Arts. True to the school's word, "intensive", it was an intensive focus on the business and organizational side of each student's expressive arts practice as each prepares to complete the program and put it to work in their world. I still have a final class series to attend in January, followed by a six-week internship beginning in February, and a portfolio review that will complete this 2+ year learning process. The use of movement, music, sound, visual art, poetry, collage, clay, painting, fiber, etc. continues to speak to me as it supports those impacted by a chronic diagnosis -- as the one diagnosed, a loved one in the 24/7 support role, and the professional and volunteers serving this population. To have a means of expression for the emotions and feelings beneath the words is such a gift. Myself, along with a few of my expressive arts colleagues, look forward to exploring this in more depth through AWBA in the coming months.
Tangent to that, AWBA had three great October/November experiences with Touch Drawing. The four-session pilot program targeted to those with Parkinson's was wonderful. The feedback was positive and most were surprised at the impact it had on their overall well-being during the time they were drawing. One caregiver identified it as his "chill pill." Two individuals shared that they were hesitant to come and were so glad that they did. The field of expressive arts is better "experienced" than "explained." It is often the simplest of creative experiences that yield the best results.
Our retreat/fund raiser at Gilgal Farm raised over $800 for our 2015 programs while a full room of participants engaged in Touch Drawing and visited with the horses at Gilgal. Two people even set up their space in the horse barn itself and had one horse do a bit of touch drawing with her nose :) Plans are underway for another retreat/fund raiser in the spring. Stay tuned for that if you missed the October retreat and/or want a repeat!
Lastly, we were asked to visit a local Parkinson's Support Group to share Touch Drawing with their group. Since time was limited this was presented as an introduction and demonstration. The group worked together to create three drawings as the board was passed from person to person for each to make their mark. One gentleman shared that he was "looking for the door" when the demonstration began. He gave it a try and was surprised by how much he enjoyed the experience. There was laughter as scribbles, squishes and pounding took place. Play time and healing time for everyone.
Because of confidentiality, it is often a challenge to have pictures to remember the day. But, here are a few from the retreat day at Gilgal.
|One participant framed his Touch Drawing board. Beautiful.|
|The room is ready for a full house!|
|Such a simple process.|
|Touch Drawing in the horse barn.|
|Taking a break to visit with the horses.|