'Nourishing the Inner Artist'

Conversations on art, creativity and the imagination


BRATTLEBORO — Just as nourishment is needed for the body, nourishment of a different sort is needed for the inner artist, even if you don't consider yourself an artist. Shanta Lee Gander, former president of Arts Council of Windham County, and Sarah Bowen wondered what more they could do after ACWC's 2016 successful Healing with Arts series. Exploring what they did in the series, they decided it was nourishment, that Healing with Arts was a way for artists to come together. Pulling from what they liked about Healing with Art series, but more robust, they co-created three forums with nourishment as the topic presented by the Arts Council of Windham County.

The three forums will offer the opportunity to provide networking among the arts community, to bring out creativity and find the inner artist through each other and determine how to make arts sustainable in Brattleboro. It is a great way to exhibit art and get a diverse group of artists in the same room.

The first forum takes place on March 22 at 118 Elliot from 6 to 8:30 p.m., "Enchantment and the Inner Child," with William Forchion who explores engaging with a child-like approach to creativity, such as discovering the magic in simple everyday materials as a way to animate and deepen creative expression. Artists in this conversation will be puppeteer Ines Zeller Bass, co-founder and co-artistic director of Sandglass Theater, glass artist Marta Bernbaum, co-owner of JMB Glass Studios, and the featured performance artist Forchion, U.S. Cultural Exchange Ambassador for Circus Arts and co-founder of Dreamcatcher Entertainment. The conversation will be moderated by Forchion as he poses the question, "How can the items in our everyday life be used as a gateway to play and our inner child as we unzip our creativity?"

As adults, we sometimes downplay thinking and having a childlike mind or entering a state of returning to our inner child. This session explores tapping into our inner children through re-enchantment with the everyday items that surround us. We will explore all of the ways we can think outside of the box of adulthood, gain lessons from re-engaging with our inner child as a part of the creative process for creativity.

This includes time for networking between the panelists and audience, snacks will be available.

On April 26, the forum will be "A Room of One's Own: The Creation of Inner Space," with the conversation moderated by Gander will present the question, "What is required or needed in regard to creating space within ourselves to unzip our creativity or do our artistic work?" Featured artists are Suzanne Kingsbury, Best-selling author and founder of Gateless Writing, Inc.; Sarah Bowen, artist, educator, and co-creator of ACWC Creativity Forums; and Claire Arenius, Jazz musician, composer, and educator. It also takes place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at 118 Elliot.

On Oct. 18, the forum will be on "Sources of Inspiration: Creative Lineage," with a conversation moderated by Gander to explore the spectrum of artistic lineage and what inspires us, 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Latchis Theatre, 50 Main St. Featured artists TBA.

In support of the "Nourishing the Inner Artist" series, the Latchis Theatre in Brattleboro is sponsoring a film showing as a fundraiser on April 7.

Each of the forum speakers is in charge ow how they will interact with the participants, perhaps first with a talk and then with a hands-on opportunity to try the art for something they can connect with. The dialogs provide intimate space and opportunity to bring everyone together.

Bowen and Gander are hopeful that "These conversations will interest a wide audience, from experienced artists to people who are curious about how to be more creative in their everyday lives."

Additionally, a series of hands-on workshops has evolved from the three "Nourishing the Artist" forum themes. A full listing of the activities and additional forums can be viewed at acwc.us/forums.

Tickets: $8/forum, $20 for all three forums available at facebook.com/artscouncilofwindhamcounty.

Gander said, "I think this is a real opportunity for everyone in the area and for everybody to give art a try. Everyone needs nourshment in art too."

If you are interested in the work trades or have general questions, contact Gander at shantavns@gmail.com or send a text to 802-275-8152.

All events are open to the public, and both locations are ADA accessible.

Cicely M. Eastman may be reached at 802-254-2311, ext.261


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