Peter London is an artist, master teacher, art therapist, international lecturer, and author of many texts on art, spirit, and nature, including No More Secondhand Art, and Drawing Closer to Nature. He has offered his holistic approach to teaching art to thousands of students of all ages, from “art phobics” to professional artists in museums, colleges, art centers, and centers for holistic studies. He is chancellor professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and is a distinguished fellow of the National Art Education Association. www.peterlondon.us
Peter’s work with us was infused throughout the whole week. Peter’s ideas brought to us included
The importance of finding the balance and connectedness of the:
mind, spirit and body or of values, knowing, and feeling and when these are aligned there’s connection, articulation and voice. If what you think is ture and how you feel about it are different then you won’t move forward. When they are in alignment then you can more easily become the person you prefer to become. “When you don’t take the steps, you had a great time at the table but you didn’t play your hand.”
The artist type of person pushes against the horizon of the known, of our comfort zone. They all themselves to be vulnerable which allows them to listen to the other. Being vulnerable requires being courageous. Look for insight into the human condition. Reason and intuition work together. Dreaming informs their way of being. Craft comes about when someone wants to be articulate. Art as an engine for purposeful action.
On Voice of the Rockies: Glorify what you deeply know-only our moment in history and time, only we know it, speak up about our experiences and put them out into the world. If these things matter might they inform what we teach and come into what we teach?
London spoke of Abraham Heschel’s idea that everything is different and more and better than you will ever know it to be, keep your eyes open to wonder.
There is a schism in our cosmology. Where there is a break in our perception of ourselves and everything else in the world, perceiving ourselves as distinctive, no other anything is like us and therefore everything else is different and lesser. This perception has done tremendous damage. In deep ecology there’s an emphasis on healing the rift. We must choose to focus on our commonalities. Everything is a live and award and knowing.
Our job is to to remain unfinished. By reserving space to be surprised by others we allow others to share and be surprised by themselves. How do you lift the veil of what is there, what is hidden? You turn toward the it that you think is there. You show interest, you listen seriously.
Encounters with nature might include greeting something in nature as something different and more and better. Open yourself to experience an object in nature, draw or write about it. Share about your experience. Drawing from Maxine Green, create the arena of your becoming in your classroom. Teacher as transformer. Enable people to take the next step. The learner is the author and they set the pace.
He drew from ideas of “deep ecology”, Thomas Berry’s The Great Work, Colvert’s The 6th Extinction, Abraham Herschel, E.M. Forest, John Dewey, Emerson, Mary Oliver, Carl Rogers, Maxine Greene
Lisa Hochtritt, Ed.D. is an Assistant Professor of Art and Visual Culture Education. Her research interests are social justice and art education, particularly as it intersects with youth. She is co-editor of the anthology Art and Social Justice Education: Culture as Commons (2012) published by Routledge, as well as articles and book chapters on youth culture and social justice education, teaching about contemporary art, and research methods in journals including Visual Arts Research, Art Education, and Teaching Artist Journal.
She has received awards for her teaching and service to the field including the National Art Education Association Higher Education Art Educator of the Year, Pacific Region (2014); Colorado Art Education Association Colorado Art Educator of the Year (2011); Faculty Award for Excellence, Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design (2009, 2012); and Faculty of the Year, School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2005).
Hochtritt’s work at ArtSource explored the idea of mapping practice as voice and doing it collaboratively to learn more. Click to download the powerpoint presented by Dr. Hochtritt here:
Art Pieces created by participants that were influenced by this mapping concept
Travis Ruskus of Boulder, Colorado is a leading artist who creates ancient stone balance sculptures with a modern style using the principles of peace, purity, and power. http://www.travisruskus.com
Travis brought messages of connecting with the earth, observing the dynamic and inspiring relationship of what’s ancient (rocks) and what’s present (the active flowing river), and learning how to stack rocks and finding balance. He asks, “How did you push past the doubt?” Ruckus asks the question “How does ego impact what we do”, and observes that point where his ideas and what actually happens meet. He encouraged us to expand the belief of what’s possible.
He care-fully creates preferring not to rip stones from the earth but rather to leave no trace and balances this with the observation that anything you do there’s always going to be a consequence.
We tried our hand at balancing stones. It was contagious as we found other clusters of stacked stones around the campus throughout the week. They were delightful consequences of our own stone balancing to happen upon.
Anita Jepson-Gilbert (poet) is currently an ESL Instructor at the Community College of Denver and TESL Instructor at Front Range Community College in Longmont. She is an officer in the Columbine Poets of Colorado poetry society and a member of the Denver Woman’s Press Club and Children’s Writers and Illustrators Association.
Jepson-Gilbert is the author of the children’s book Maria and the Stars of Nazca / Maria y las Estrellas de Nazca, a bilingual illustrated book about the mysterious Lines of Nazca and the woman who discovered them for the world
Anita wrote a poem while at the institute during an art and nature encounter guided by Peter London.
Pantoum To An Ancient
O! cast off core of an ancient cone
and bearer of seeds long past,
now blown to parts unseen, unknown,
your original beauty does not last.
But your tiny seeds from years long past
replanted firs that bear your name,
and though their beauty does not last,
they live as giants just the same.
Those replanted firs that bear your name
and display their cones stocked full of seeds
one day will drop them just the same
to lie in wait among the weeds
to reclaim the land for future seeds
that restore the beauty from the past
and live in harmony with weeds
creating refuge for those outcast.
(Inspired at Art Source, 2015)
Anita reads her poem “Aspen Meditations”
Anita shared that a poem must be read aloud. Reading a poem only reveals half of it. Poetry is a verbal art.
Timothy P. Irvin-Tim has been performing since 1963. He is the founding member of Timothy P. and the Rural Route 3 and fronted them for 35 years. They were twice voted band of the year and were winners of the First Marlboro Country Music Contest in 1988! He currently plays with Flash Cadillac and Timothy P. Irvin and the Rocky Mountain Stocking Stuffers. He has performed on radio and television and appeared in the Clint Eastwood film “Every Which Way But Loose”. Tim has even performed for Bill Clinton and Gerald Ford. In 1993 he had the privilege of singing his original song “After the War” at the Viet Nam War Memorial. He is a member of the Colorado Music Hall of Fame. His roots music has been a staple in Colorado for a very long time, and for this reason, he will be an excellent resource in our investigation this week.
Abby moved to Colorado from Columbia, MO and has danced with and taught at several dance companies in Colorado including; Kim Robards Dance, The Academy of Colorado Ballet and Denver Ballet Theatre Academy and teaching for Aurora Dance Arts. She is currently dancing with Apes Dance.
Before coming to Colorado, Abby was a part of Cedar Lake II where she was able to work with Karen Mareck-Grundy and Swan Benoit-Pouer.