Art

MINDFULLY CREATIVE PODCAST EPISODE 10: CREATIVITY AND AGING

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This episode of The Mindfully Creative Podcast spotlights creativity and the aging process with guest, Wendy L. Miller, Ph.D., co-author of the book, Sky Above Clouds: Finding Our Way Through Creativity, Aging and Illness (Oxford University Press, 2016).  In this interview, we talk about key concepts from the book and specifically how creativity can benefit all of us as we age.

About the Book:

Through their scientific research, clinical practice, and a remarkable life together, husband and wife team Gene Cohen and Wendy Miller uncover new clues about how the aging mind can expand awareness, build resilience, and continue growth, even during times of grave illness, upending long-held assumptions about the aging brain. Cohen, considered one of the founding fathers of geriatric psychiatry, shares from decades of research and personal journals detailing his exploration of the aging brain and the vast potential that is often overlooked. Miller, an expressive arts therapist and educator, highlights stories of creative growth in the midst of illness and loss encountered through her personal life and her clinical practice. Together, Cohen and Miller show how resources that naturally reside within us remain our most valuable tools as we navigate the uncharted territory of aging and illness.

Sky Above Clouds traces the path that Cohen and Miller traveled together as the foremost expert on creativity and aging confronted his own aging process and a metastatic disease that threatened to cut his life short. Cohen’s distinguished work led to breakthroughs in science and society as, for more than a decade, despite his illness, he continued to pioneer geriatric research and advance the public conversation about aging well.

Sky Above Clouds draws deeply from the couple’s merged wisdom and new lessons learned in a struggle through illness and loss within their extended family, eventually including Cohen’s own untimely death. The book blends both authors’ perspectives and voices, incorporating journal entries they wrote together in the years before Cohen’s death.

What happens when the expert on aging is confronted with his own in the context of a grave illness? What happens when the therapist who helps others cope with illness and loss is forced to confront her own responses to these experiences? With Miller’s insights and expressive psychological writing, Sky Above Clouds shows how attitude, community, creativity, and love shape a life through health, illness, and even death. The result is a richly informative and emotional journey of growth.

-Source: Oxford University Press

About Wendy L. Miller, Ph.D.

Wendy Miller, Ph.D. ATR-BC, LCPAT, REAT, LPC, BCPC is an expressive arts therapist, writer, sculptor, and educator. She taught for over fifteen years in various universities throughout the country, including JFK University, San Francisco State University, Southwestern College, Lesley College, California Institute of Integral Studies, and The George Washington University. She is the co-founder of Create Therapy Institute, which offers clinical services in arts-based psychotherapy and trainings in the expressive arts. She is a founding member, and first elected (past) executive co-chair of the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association, where she continues to be on their Advisory Council. Her current work is evolving as she continues the legacy of her late husband’s work, pioneer of creative aging, Gene Cohen, and his Washington DC Center on Aging, where she is guiding it into projects on intergenerational communication. She continues to research the relationships among the arts, creativity and health, and recently published her book from the writings she and Gene did together, entitled: Sky Above Clouds: Finding our way through creativity, aging and illness, released in March 2016 from Oxford University Press.

During this episode we discuss:

  • How did the idea of Sky Above Clouds come about?

  • As the Baby Boomer Generation ages, how are they engaging in more creative pursuits than other generations?

  • What are, if any correlation between wellness and creativity for older adults?

You can currently find Mindfully Creative podcast on Sound Cloud, Stitch and Google Play.  Check out current and archived episodes here: https://soundcloud.com/mindfullycreative612

Listen to Episode 10 below:

 

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MINDFULLY CREATIVE PODCAST EPISODE 9: ARTWATCHDC’S ONE HOUSE PROJECT

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This episode of The Mindfully Creative Podcast focuses on a new and exciting exhibition effort by ArtWatchDC entitled the One House Project, which opens officially on Friday, November 3, 2017 at Touchstone Gallery in Washington, DC.  In this interview, I talk with the founders of ArtWatchDC, artists Jackie Hoysted and Ellyn Weiss about the exhibition’s concept and goals and how it can be replicated in other cities across the United States.

About the One House Project

With the support of Touchstone Foundation for the Arts, The One House Project will be on display during the month of November at Touchstone Gallery in Washington, DC. The show calls for viewers to engage with the house structure as a whole while identifying individual panels and the cultural history each panel holds within. Audio and video recordings of the artists’ stories will be included. As many artists have come together to make the One House Project, it is their hope that Americans come together to embrace the power found in a united people.

Conceived by ArtWatch, a group initially convened by Ellyn Weiss and Jackie Hoysted, the One House Project, one of the biggest collaborative art installations ever seen in DC, embodies both resistance to the subversion of democratic principles and the assertion of their importance. Over 220 DC area artists have come together to demonstrate the power of visual communication to support values such as tolerance and inclusion and to resist the efforts to divide us by race, gender, sexual preference, class or region. The overriding principle of One House is the vision for a country where we are united as one rather than divided; the artists aim to universalize this message by bringing it to a very personal level.

Each participating artist used a 12” square panel on which he or she commemorated an ancestor who came to this country — voluntarily or involuntarily, or was here prior to the landing of the Europeans. The panels cover a broad span of time, including Native Americans, those whose ancestors who came on the Mayflower and artists who came themselves very recently, who used the square to tell their own story as newcomers to this country. A structure will be erected in the Touchstone Gallery and covered entirely with these panels, representing the remarkable range of diverse humanity who have combined to make the strength of America.

For more information about the One House Project and related events, click here.

About ArtWatch DC

ART WATCH is a collective of DC/Maryland/Virginia artists who have gathered together to develop ways to use the power of visual communication to express their support for true democratic values, such as inclusion, tolerance, equality under the law, and stewardship of the environment. Our vision is for a country where we are united as one people rather than divided against each other by race, gender, class, religion or any other construct. Learn more about ArtWatchDC here.

About the Founders of ArtWatch DC

Jackie Hoysted (co-founder) a native of Ireland, is a multi-media artist and curator interested in creating awareness of social and political issues that have personal significance to her such as identity, health, feminism, economy and religion. She has had multiple solo exhibitions throughout the US and her work featured in multiple publications including the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, the Washington City Paper and the Pittsburgh City paper.  For more information, visit her website at  www.JackieHoysted.com

Ellyn Weiss is a Washington, DC-based visual artist in two and three dimensions, as well as an independent curator, with studios in Mt. Rainier, MD and Truro, MA. She has had over 25 solo or featured shows and has participated in numerous juried and curated exhibitions. Ellyn works in a wide variety of media; the materials used in recent shows include wax, oilbar, dry pigment, wire, plastic dip and tar. Her work has for many years been inspired by the imagery of biological and natural structures and most recently, by the threats posed by global climate change. With various collaborators, she has exhibited installations dealing with the effects of the melting of the polar ice cap, the destruction of coral reefs worldwide, and the migration of infectious diseases.  For more information, visit her website at www.EllynWeiss.com

You can currently find Mindfully Creative podcast on Sound Cloud, Stitch and Google Play.  Check out current and archived episodes here: https://soundcloud.com/mindfullycreative612

 

Listen to Episode 9 below: