Today I had the rare treat of co-leading a mindful art workshop for interns across various departments of the Whitney Museum of American Art. We were inspired by the current exhibition by Ruth Asawa, a prolific Japanese American artist who had spent some of her teen years in internment camps in California. This experience undoubtedly informed her resilient spirit and creative practice, as she made countless innovative prints and sculptures from everyday found objects, utilizing whatever resources she had available and transforming even mundane and repetitive activities like doing laundry into meditative practices.
Post by Sharon Itkoff Nacache ATR-BC LCAT LPAT PMH-C Enlarged image of student artwork, used with permission
We were all struck by how quickly the hour had passed while completely immersed in soothing and repetitive mark-making during the workshop. One student shared how his final composition had surprised him, as he had spontaneously printed a geometric form in the shape of the seal from his country of origin. He added that the emergence of this symbol representing his culture reminded him of how hard it is to be away from home and his parents for the first time, since this is his first year studying abroad. Asawa believed, “Art is a universal language that can bridge the gaps between different cultures.” Indeed, the art exercise had allowed him a mindful moment to tap into the emotional experience of his adjustment to life in a foreign country, as well as an opportunity to express an important part of his identity. #artastherapy #arteducation