'Praising our World in Hard Times'

A clay sculpture and writing retreat in the forests of Vermont

TOWNSHEND — Alan Steinberg and Fred Taylor will be offering a clay sculpture and writing retreat at the Empty Center of Townshend from Friday, Sept. 22, to Sunday, Sept. 24. This workshop explores the role of nature for the creative soul. We will alternate between studio and landscape, responding in clay and words to the forests and fields, the rocks, trees and creatures of the Vermont landscape.

Guided writing exercises will enable both novice and experienced writers to play with the rich imagery of the natural world, explore connections with inner landscapes, and uncover hidden meaning, bringing them to form on the page. Clay work will focus not so much on skill development, as on playfulness while grounding our spiritual connections to the elements of earth, as forms emerge by hand through the tactile earthiness of clay.

Steinberg and Taylor's creativity workshops incorporate many sources, including mindfulness and psychosynthesis exercises, as well as Joanna Macy's "Work that Reconnects"— a process that: enables us to transcend helplessness and hopelessness; grounds our sense of interconnectedness in the web of life; and empowers us to take part in the healing of the world.

Steinberg and Taylor are deeply committed to environmental healing in both its inner and outer dimensions. They frequently collaborate in offering workshops that connect the artistic practices of clay work and writing. In addition to a previous workshop at the Empty Center, they have taught workshops among the dunes of Cape Cod, on Vermont hillsides, under the ancient trees of Pendle Hill (a Quaker retreat center in Pennsylvania), and deep in the National Park on the island of St. John, USVI. They recently were the featured presenters at a program of the Arts Council of Windham County, "Artists and the Environment."

A founding member of Brattleboro Clayworks, clay artist Steinberg is also a psychotherapist committed to personal growth and self-realization. Taylor, an environmental writer, educator, and activist, teaches Environmental Studies at Keene State College, Antioch University New England, and CCV.

The cost for the weekend is $275, and includes room, vegetarian meals, materials. For more information, visit brattleboroclayworks.com or contact: Alan at Alans@sover.net, 802-387-4820; Fred at rtaylor@antioch.edu, 802 387 2681.


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