Nora Ballantyne

M ‘art’ ch Madness

What Is M ‘art’ ch Madness?Do you know anyone between age 5 and 18 who would love to win a pair of AirPods? That’s what K-12 students may win by entering our M’art’ch Madness competition! Sponsored by the Arts for Life Utah initiative and the professional arts organizations across the state of Utah, M’art’ch Madness is a multidisciplinary art competition that invites students to submit a work of art on the theme Arts for Life. Submissions from drama, dance, visual art, music, and literary arts are accepted. How Do I Get Started? We created prompts to help get the creative…

Forest Bathing: Being Outside, Mindfully

The Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku is gaining traction across Western cultures. Shinrin means “forest,” and yoku means “bath.” Forest bathing, or soaking in the atmosphere of nature through our senses, is a restorative habit. As the arts connect the dots of a shared human experience, the practice of joining with nature through our senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch also acts as a bridge between people and the natural world. As COVID-19 continues to spread globally and the weather gets colder, finding time or space for just being in nature can prove a challenge. But there’s no such…

Bridging the Gap: Mindful Arts Inspiration from Across the Globe

“The earth is what we all have in common.” -Wendell BerryUsing the arts in our daily walk bridges the gap across the things that separate us: time, distance, and privilege. Cultures across the world offer unique ways to daily and mindfully engage in making connections with one another and with our environment through the arts. Here, we discover how a small handful of global artists use found materials in mindful ways that reflect their environment, culture, and life experience. Create a few minutes of space in your day to consider how viewing these artworks affects you. Find effective questioning strategies…

Honoring September 11 Through Art

Today marks the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. This post spotlights a variety of art works spanning different art disciplines, describing the unique ways the arts helped communities across the country unite, connect, and rejuvenate in the face of unprecedented events. Channeling the pain, grief, and shock from that day onto canvas and into body art, envelopes, tree preservation, film, and movement reflects the urgency of art-making in response to crisis. These works provide tangible evidence of how communities across the nation turned their collective energy to the healing…

Using Visual Art to Express What Can’t be Spoken

“The singular focus of drawing and meditating, in the quiet of my home, cultivated a connection with something intuitive and creative that surpassed the physical realm of bodily sensations.” –Lisa KatharinaTrauma and its ripple effects affect everyone, teachers and students alike. Dr. Francine Shapiro is a pioneering therapist who defines trauma as “any event that has a lasting negative effect on the self.” Though our experiences differ, often the feelings and “lasting negative effects” housed in the body are similar. Often, the impact of traumatic events are felt so deeply that the experience is entirely beyond words.  Engaging in visual…

Arts and Mindfulness

Especially due to the stress of recent months, time is a precious and invisible currency that might seem to be constantly slipping through our fingers. One easy way to stretch out time and create space for more intentional living is to develop a regular practice of mindfulness. Over the next month as teachers, students, and families again face the unknowns of school amidst a pandemic, the BYU ARTS Partnership will be sharing different and simple ways to incorporate mindfulness into your daily walk. Mindfulness meditations use breathing techniques, visualizations, or guided imagery to achieve an alert, focused state of relaxation…

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