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Mindfulness in the Arts

Elán, Summer 2020
Written by Jen Matteis

Art pulls us into its world, viewer and artist alike. When we enjoy artwork — be it a painting, a sculpture, or a sandcastle at the beach — it draws us, grabs and holds our attention, and maybe tells us something about ourselves that we didn’t know.

To the observer, it may seem a little magical. To a working artist, creating this effect is their everyday life. And today more than ever, people are signing up for classes and workshops to experience the meditative benefits of creative art.

“Practicing any kind of art promotes mindfulness,” says Maureen Belden, executive director of the Guilford Art Center. Classes and workshops with an emphasis on mindfulness have soared in popularity: Creative Writing and Drawing with Amy Barry, Mindful Sewing with Claudia Mathison, Art Journaling with Lisa Arnold, and Mandala Weaving with Renee Soares are a few examples.

Though studios and workshops may be closed or just beginning to open, the pandemic can’t stop people finding solace through art. “Being at home is the perfect time to be seeking these benefits, both in terms of having the extra time and because doing the work can bring peace, calm, and happiness,” says Belden.

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