Art Place

Art for Social Change – Your Brain on Art

Blog Post 3 – March 31, 2016 by Kat Clarida

Odawa Native Friendship Centre

Mamidosewin Aboriginal Student Centre, Algonquin College


What a wonderful start to spring with change in the air everywhere. And as the gradual greening of our landscape takes shape the personal and group changes for the participants in our project Art for Social Change – Your Brain on Art has been no less profound.

Participants explored their own inner landscapes through mask making, spirit totem creation and group visual art collaboration.

Each art exploration is structured to encourage inner reflection and an examination of personal and group fears, beliefs, strengths and personal action in response to those discoveries.

Spirittotem2        SpiritDoll1

In the strength based Spirit or Totem doll workshop the emphasis was on recognizing times of personal power and infusing their creation with these powers. These became very personal creations designed to continually remind individuals of their own superhero skills and that they can draw on this strength always.

In the mask making workshop the exploration was “Inside – Outside”. We all have our inner worlds that are rarely revealed and we often display a “mask” to the outside world based on expectations or conditioning. Creating this inside and outside mask allowed participants to visualize in a tangible way their own inside and outside. A very powerful personal revelation for many.

Mask4    Masks2    Masks1

At the end of all of the art exploration workshops we work to fine tune the Art for Social Change collaboration project. The group has identified the themes of mental health, self-care and the impact our natural environment can provide to counteract the sometimes negative impacts of a busy urban life.

What has grown is the creation of a visceral experience for the community of Algonquin College to allow people to visually witness the impacts of stress on their lives through the personal creation of feeling mandalas within a re-created natural space with trees, the smell of the forest and a guided meditation through a natural setting.

Stay tuned. This is going to be art revealing!

Thanks for sharing / Merci d’avoir partagé!

About The Author / À propos de l’auteur

Kat Clarida

Kat Clarida

For more than 30 years I have been most fortunate to work as an Artist, Consultant, Trainer and Producer for many cutting edge grass-roots communication for social change projects with diverse cultures from across Canada, primarily in the four Inuit land claim territories. Through the exploration of issues using all art modalities, I provide a safe place for people to explore their inner worlds and then proudly voice their world through art.

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