A No Lose Approach: Student Artists Combine Meditation With Creation

A No Lose Approach: Student Artists Combine Meditation With Creation
Carrie Becher, Communications, cbecher@desmet.org

It did not feel like the second week of school.

With lights dimmed, music playing, and students creating quietly, the ambiance simultaneously soothed and energized.

“Get rid of any preconceived picture,” directed art teacher Laurie Kohler. “It doesn’t exist yet."

This is not graded. It’s to help you get your emotions and feelings on paper. Laurie Kohler

For the first full class period of the school year, Mrs. Kohler led her Studio Art 3 and 4 students in the beginning portion of a meditative exercise to help them enter a state of relaxation and discover deeper self-awareness. After watching a video demonstration by Heather Hansen, students taped blank paper to their desks, donned blue gloves, then got to work with charcoal sticks, brushes, and tissues.

“Don’t think specific, just think atmosphere,” she reminded them. “Say yes to the exercise and a desire to greater freedom.” With a meditative music soundtrack setting the mood ("Sunny Mornings" by Peder B. Helland), students used the charcoal to outline, fill in, and sweep across the page however inspiration struck.

Daily stress melted, the back-to-school rush slowed, and the moment mesmerized.

"I thought that the meditative art experience was a great way to relax during the school day," said Charlie Moffatt '23, who was surprised by how easy it was to create something once he got started.

After I was finished, I felt that no matter how it looked, it was the finished product because it was all created naturally. Charlie Moffatt '23

“This is about using meditation and art to create something nonexistent,” said Mrs. Kohler. “Something coming from now. It’s impossible to lose or make a mistake. You are starting fresh.”

Ah. Breathe deeper. We are returning back to school with a welcome new vibe.

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