Archive for the 'Programs' Category

Society 1858 Impacts Careers of Contemporary Southern Artists

Applications for the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art are streaming in and we are excited to see what the 2016 group of submissions will look like! This will be the eighth year the Prize has been awarded and the third year since we began receiving and archiving the submissions online at 1858prize.org. An invaluable tool for our panel of judges and applicants by streamlining the application and review process, the website doubles as a searchable online archive and an amazing repository of contemporary southern art. Anyone from curators and collectors, to academics and the general public, can access the work of over 500 artists from eleven states. And this will continue to grow and grow as a new group of Prize applicants is added to the archive each year. The potential for this one-of-a-kind archive to become a significant resource and tool is an added bonus and exciting component of the Prize.

1858prize.org

First and foremost, this significant annual award of $10,000 is made possible by the collaborative efforts of many people. The Prize is funded by Society 1858, a member auxiliary group of the Museum; and is judged and awarded by a panel of visual arts professionals, museum representatives, and Gibbes staff members. In the last seven years, the Prize has recognized some of the most compelling and thought-provoking work coming out of the South, reframing the way people think about contemporary southern art. From Deborah Luster’s powerful and evocative portraits of prisoners in Louisiana (2015 Winner, Louisiana) to Patrick Dougherty’s whimsical site-specific sculptures made entirely of twigs and branches (2011 Winner, North Carolina), the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art recognizes artists who are making an impact that will be recognized for generations to come.

Patrick Dougherty

I have been thrilled to be a part of the process—working with my co-chair Liza Cleveland, our board chair Jamieson Clair, and the amazing Gibbes staff—to coordinate the events surrounding the 2016 award. After the success of last year’s dinner program with winner Deborah Luster, we realized that the opportunity to hear directly from the artists about their process—and the impact that the award will have on their lives and work—was an element that was lacking in the current format. This year, the Prize will be all the more anticipated with the reopening of the Gibbes giving us an opportunity to add several new components to the program. I am particularly excited that this year’s winner will be announced in advance of the award event—allowing for the opportunity to promote the artist and raise awareness about their work prior to the award ceremony. We plan to include an artist talk as well as a panel discussion around the award celebration, which will be held in our beautiful new museum. Also, on view at that time will be The Things We Carry (May 28–October 9), an exhibition featuring the work of eleven Prize finalists and winners in response to the Emanuel AME tragedy last June. Society 1858 is pleased to be a sponsor of this exhibition!

Deborah Luster

Deborah Luster was awarded the 1858 Prize in 2015.

I encourage everyone to visit the website at 1858prize.org where you can browse through all 528 applicants from the past two years. The search options are endless—you can see the work of the five artists who submitted work from Kentucky; or discover that there has been only one submission by a sculptor from Arkansas but nineteen from Georgia. The deadline for this year’s applications is May 31st, and the short list of finalists will be announced over the summer. I hope everyone will spread the word to potential applicants and will stay tuned for the announcement of the 2016 winner.

Anja Kelley, 1858 Prize Co-chair and guest blogger

We <3 our Members!

As the Gibbes Museum prepared to close in August of 2014 for renovations, staff had planned for years to make the transition flow as seamlessly as possible. Artwork was packed and stored offsite, funds were raised, locations for programs and events were secured, in-school programs were organized and membership benefits were altered. Myself and others in the Development department set to work designing new benefits that would continue to engage our members even though we did not have a museum to offer. This required some creative thinking from the entire staff as to how each department could expand their outreach towards our members. We understood that we would lose some members as a result of not having the museum open, but hoped that many members would continue to support the institution through this period. I’m happy to report that the continued support of our members, even while closed, has been overwhelming! Not only did we retain a vast majority of members, but we’ve welcomed many new members who have joined since we closed!

Philippe de Montebello 2015 Distinguished Lecturer

Philippe de Montebello speaks to a full house at the 2015 Distinguished Lecture Series at Memminger Auditorium.

Society 1858's Stork Club

Society 1858 hosted Stork Club, their annual winter fundraiser, at No. 5 Faber in January.

For the past 18 months, one of the main benefits of membership that the Museum emphasized was our extensive schedule of educational programs, classes for adults and children, and legendary parties. Members receive discounted tickets to these events and were the first to hear about them. Not only did we retain the same number of programs hosted when the Museum was open, but we added dozens more, including the Insider Art series which featured exclusive art viewing opportunities around town. Exploring these new venues and meeting all of our wonderful members and supporters is one of my favorite parts of being the Membership Coordinator at the Museum. Whether it’s at events, on the phone or via email, I get the chance to interact with our members on a daily basis and share in the excitement for these programs and the artistic community in Charleston. I feel honored and blessed to share in the excitement surrounding the reopening of the Gibbes.

Insider Art with Andrew Brunk

Brunk Auctions president, Andrew Brunk, spoke to a crowd at the Gibbes Museum’s Insider Art Series.

If you’ve been a member of the Gibbes family for years, or are just hearing about the Museum for the first time, there has never been a better time to become a member or renew your membership! New membership benefits and prices will go into effect on May 1st, so renew now to take advantage of our current pricing. All members will receive free admission to the Museum, discounts on programs and classes, and those at the Family level and above receive reciprocal (free or discounted) admission at over 800 museums throughout the United States and Canada. The Museum is scheduled to reopen to the public on May 28 and we have a wonderful lineup of exhibitions and programs that you will not want to miss.

Gibbes Museum of Art

The Gibbes Museum of Art

Gibbes on the Street: The Year of the Gibbes: May 12, 7:30-10pm – Please join us for our annual celebration in front of the Gibbes Museum on Meeting Street for a night filled with delicious bites from some of Charleston’s best restaurants. (Members $150, Non Members $175)

Museum Members Preview: May 27, 3-6pm – All museum members are invited to tour the renovated building and exhibitions before the Museum opens to the public on May 28. (Free)

http://www.gibbesmuseum.org/explore/upcom_exhibit2.php?id=114: May 28–October 9 – This exhibition celebrates George Gershwin’s famed opera, Porgy and Bess, as interpreted by visual artists since its creation. The exhibition includes a number of paintings from the 1930s era, including works by American realist George Biddle and paintings by Gershwin himself. The 1930s works are paired with more recent interpretations by contemporary artists Kara Walker and Jonathan Green.

The Things We Carry: Contemporary Art in the South: May 28–October 9 – The Things We Carry features paintings, sculpture, photography, and mixed media works by a diverse group of contemporary artists. This exhibition addresses the difficult history of the south and the ways it is manifest today and provides a place where the Charleston community and visitors alike can come together to discuss the city’s past and the impact of the tragic 2015 Emanuel AME Church shooting, as well as celebrate the community’s response to social challenges.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Grand Reopening: May 28, 10am – Please join the Gibbes Board of Directors, elected officials, and distinguished guests on the front plaza for the Grand Reopening of the Museum! (Free for Members. Included with Museum Admission for Non-Members)

Not sure if you’re a member or if your membership is current? Give me a call at 843.722.2706 x221 or email me at abreen@gibbesmuseum.org. I would love to hear from you, and from all of us at the Gibbes, we hope to see you this summer when we officially reopen!

Amanda Breen, Membership Coordinator, Gibbes Museum of Art

Visiting Artists Coming to the Gibbes

With temperatures going up and scaffolding coming down, it is clear that the reopening of the Gibbes on May 28th is fast approaching. During my second semester as an intern at the Gibbes, I have been given the opportunity to see a lot of projects develop and cannot wait to see them come to life this spring. One of the projects I have been most excited about is the Visiting Artist program that will have a home in the Museum’s new first floor studios. Not only will the Visiting Artist program give the community opportunities to interact with the artists, but the series will be a great way to intersperse contemporary art into Charleston’s understanding of art in the South. The first visiting artist will be Sonya Clark, the 2014 winner of the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Soutnern Art, who will be in the studio from May 28–June 2.

Clark’s is known for her unique choices in media including beads, combs, and human hair. Her work not only addresses issues such as race, culture, class, and history but also aims to make a personal connection to viewers. During her time in Charleston, she will bring to the Gibbes an interactive project called “Pluck and Grow.” This installation is a collaborative piece between Clark and Museum visitors. Clark uses hair as metaphor for what connects us as humans, separates us into racial groups, and makes us individuals. The artist invites people to write their “hair stories” on a piece of paper—whether that be a poem, a story, or a drawing. The paper will be dyed in varying shades of black, brown, and blonde to give the appearance of human hair and Clark will twist and insert them into “follicles” drilled into a surface, referencing a human head. Once on display, Clark invites viewers to pluck a strand, read the story, and replace it with their own hair story on a slip of white paper. As these new stories replace the original ones, the piece will take on the appearance of aging—as real human hair would.

Pluck and Grow by Sonya Clark

A detail of an installation of “Pluck and Grow” by Sonya Clark.

This installation piece will provide a great opportunity for visitors to engage with the artist, and I think it is a perfect way to introduce the Visiting Artist program at the Gibbes. I know that Sonya Clark isn’t the only amazing artist they have lined up—painter Jill Hooper will be in the studio immediately following Clark as she prepares for a large-scale fresco in Jerusalem, Israel. I am so excited for what the future of this program holds!

Valerie Coughlin, College of Charleston intern and guest blogger

Art of Healing: Embracing the Fall

Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are. – Chinese Proverb

Embrace the Fall (ETF) is the essential roadmap for turning our biggest challenges into life’s greatest gifts. When life changes in a big way, it can strip us down to an otherwise undiscovered, uncomfortable level of vulnerability. When submerged in it, trauma feels like a sign glued to our forehead that binds us to the fear that surfaces. However, at its best, trauma offers a surprisingly fresh perspective that propels us to an all new level of seeing life through a clearer lens to create a life we love.

Responses to stress range. Circumstances vary. In any traumatic situation, we can consider the event we are experiencing, our unique personality, and perhaps even our ability to be (as researcher Brené Brown puts it) bouncy. Yes, some people bounce back after suffering faster than others. Yet if we understand what gives us that element of resilience, we can adopt practices that produce brighter outcomes.

Caryn Antos O'Hara

Caryn Antos O’Hara

As a two-time colon cancer survivor and someone who knows the rug-pulled-from-under-you feeling well, the design of this program is one chock-full of insightful exercises. We get to the heart of our personal reality, drop the story, and choose thankfulness. We spice things up by getting creative and finding our fun. We gain deeper self-awareness and play with tension relievers to embrace what is within even while doing without. We will breathe and move with intention, reflect, write, release, and laugh.

The ETF program is a combination of mindfulness practices all proven to alter the patterns of the brain that allow us to see life differently, even during the darkest moments of our lives. By using this toolbox consistently we change the perception of our experience. Consequently, we change our entire existence. This is called neuroplasticity, which is the same phenomenon that happens when stroke patients recapture brain function and regain body control. Once we learn to feel more gratitude and compassion during the perceived “fall”, we land on the other side stronger than we ever imagined possible.

Neuroplasticity

Joseph Campbell refers to the evolution of a warrior as the Hero’s Journey. When we are in the midst of struggle, there is a point around which we can pivot and redirect our trajectory. With the willingness to get out of our own way, we clarify our thinking. What we once saw as an obstacle is no longer. This is when connection to something larger happens. The end result is more clarity, better health, and creative ideas that ignite our passions. Consequently our artistic expression moves into full swing.

The Hero's Journey

It’s that simple. We learn the tools. We practice using them. Then our response to change becomes a gratitude reflex. So the next time a traumatic experience knocks on our door, we greet it like the familiar friend that it is.

Caryn Antos O’Hara, E-RYT and guest blogger

Join Caryn on Monday, March 15, for the Art of Healing workshop, Embrace the Fall: The Heart of Healing, from 5:30 – 7:30pm. Register online now.

Creative Teaching Techniques

A group of teachers sits clustered around a vibrant image of a little girl in a white dress standing in front of a wall covered by graffiti.

Artist

Artist, 2007, by Mary Whyte (American, b. 1953). Watercolor; 39 1/2 x 48 inches. Museum purchase with funds provided by Dr. and Mrs. (Caroline) Anton Vreede.

“What do you think this means?” asks the workshop leader.
“I think this represents innocence,” says one teacher.
“Hmm, I think it looks more like the loss of innocence,” says another.
“What do you see in the painting that makes you think so?” asks the leader.

A lively conversation ensues about visual messages, evidence, symbolism, meaning, and how artists use images to communicate ideas. This conversation is the kind of conversation being held among teachers in local schools as they learn creative teaching techniques that will engage their students in building understanding through visual art. Due to generous funding provided by Arts, etc., Engaging Creative Minds (ECM) has partnered with the Gibbes Museum of Art to provide professional development for teachers at schools on Johns Island, SC.

Teachers at Angel Oak Elementary

Gibbes Museum Educator Elise Detterbeck talks with teachers in a professional development workshop through ECM.

Engaging Creative Minds is a local non-profit that partners with the local arts community and school districts to bring creativity and innovation to the classroom. Arts, etc. is an organization of Kiawah and Cassique women committed to supporting the arts. The charitable organization has provided ECM with a grant to support local teachers and equip them with arts integrated teaching strategies.

Teaching children to “read” a piece of art mimics the process they use to read a piece of text. They have a chance to try out thinking skills such as identifying the main idea, noticing details, citing evidence, inferring, and many other skills we ask children to use with text. Even very young children can start practicing this kind of thinking with images before they have the reading skills to do it with text. It is very empowering for them.

Teachers at Angel Oak Elementary

Teachers at Angel Oak Elementary School participate in an exercise to “read” a work of art.

Faculties from Angel Oak Elementary School and Haut Gap Middle School have already received professional development as a result of the partnership between ECM and the Gibbes Museum of Art. The response has been very positive. Many of the teachers have requested support in locating artistic images that correspond to their curriculum so that they can utilize art-based teaching strategies with their students. Elise Detterbeck, Gibbes Museum Educator, and ECM staff are working together to resource teachers with appropriate images. “These strategies are so engaging,” said one local teacher, “I know my kids will really respond to these images.” The workshops help teachers learn strategies for “making meaning” from images so they can lead their students through similar experiences. They also learn strategies for integrating writing as a response to the art.

Susan Antonelli, Education Director for Engaging Creative Minds, and guest blogger

In addition to professional development workshops for teachers, Engaging Creative Minds provides in-school programs in 20 Charleston County Schools and hosts Summer STEAM Institutes at The Citadel and the College of Charleston.

How Art Engages Creative Minds

“Help! Our kids blanked out on last year’s writing test. They left the pages BLANK!”

That’s the kind of call for help I’ve been asked to address with an Engaging Creative Minds (ECM) project. ECM is a local non-profit that pairs teachers and art partners to collaborate on developing creative learning strategies in Charleston County Public Schools. The Gibbes is one of ECM’s Engaging Learning Experience (ELE) partners and we address all kinds of topics, using art as a springboard to self-expression.

This past December, my fellow museum educator Lucie Medbery and I started a 5-day writing workshop (held over two weeks) at Zucker Middle School. The aim was to get 180 7th-graders to WRITE, using 7th-grade science standards around biomes as ecosystems as our “springboard.” No more tests turned in with blank spaces!

Zucker Middle School students

Zucker Middle School students in Ms. Gleim’s ELA class.

The best part of an ECM project is the collaboration between partners (Lucie and me) and teachers (in this case, Elizabeth Gleim and Shorace Guider, 7th grade English Language Arts teachers). They ask for help, we “percolate” about how we can assist them, and together we come up with a plan. And the percolation part is so much fun! Lucie has a background in gifted education in Kansas City. My background is teaching French, and for many years I have been a museum educator at the Terra Museum in Chicago and at the Gibbes here in Charleston. We both have minds that respond to images and we both love kids.

Each planning session is so exciting! We throw out ideas, look for images, and before we know it, we can see multiple paths before us. But we have to keep returning to the standards we were asked to address. It takes a few sessions, but eventually we find the path we want to take. This project took many emails, lots of phone calls, and nine different PowerPoints to get the workshop to be what we wanted.

The use of media this time was so inspiring. Each 7th grader at Zucker has an iPad and we used them big time! When my teacher realized that I was continually morphing the PowerPoint presentations, she asked if she could upload them to the students’ iPads, and it worked so well!

At first, the students got so excited about the images that they would fast forward to see what was coming next. Then, we started loading our “homework” assignments on their iPads, while encouraging them to actually write with a pencil in their ECM composition books, and skip lines so they could edit their work. The students had it all on their personal tablets: the images, the assignments, and what was coming up next. They responded beautifully to the POWER it gave them.

Students act out a food chain during the "Biome to Biome" day.

Students act out a food chain during the “Biome to Biome” day.

One of the highlights of this project, for me anyway, was our “Biome to Biome” day. Each student drew a card (a specific animal) out of a deck of different animals. They had to assume that animal’s identity, find their biome, and then interact with the other “animals” in that biome. Then, of course, we asked them to write about it. With this exercise, it didn’t seem to matter where the students were in the 7th-grade hierarchy of reading, understanding, and writing levels. They just GOT it!

Acting out a food chain in the marine biome.

Acting out a food chain in the marine biome.

From “It all started at the Watering Hole” to “How I survived a Food Chain,” these students were fired up with images and ready to write down what they saw, what it meant, and how they felt about it. The writing samples are, of course, varied according to individual abilities, but each student seemed to have that aha moment.

Zucker Middle School student

A Zucker Middle School student shows off his writing sample from the workshop.

What a wonderful feeling by the end of the workshop to say “now write,” and have them all pick up their pens (not pencils!—we wanted them to learn to edit) and with great enthusiasm, WRITE! Many thanks to the Gibbes Museum and to ECM for giving us such fun opportunities to link art with learning!

Elise Detterbeck & Lucie Medbery, Museum Educators and Guest Bloggers

Staff Resolutions for 2016

2015 has been a wonderful year, and we’re grateful for the support from our members, donors, volunteers, board members, and corporate partners—a community coming together to make the arts in Charleston shine. We asked the Gibbes Staff to share some of their resolutions for the Museum in the New Year. We’re calling 2016 “The Year of the Gibbes,” with so much in store as the Museum plans to reopen its doors this spring. We cannot wait to invite you into the newly renovated building to view the reinstalled collection and special exhibitions, and to participate in our roster of exciting programs and events. Wishing you a Happy New Year full of creativity and inspiration!

—The Gibbes Staff

Erin Banks, Creative Director
–Establish a new Gibbes logo with the help of Gil Shuler Design.

–Launch a new Gibbes website, created by Blue Ion.

–Gather new exhibition images to use in our print materials!

John Westmark exhibition opening

Photo by MCG Photography

Rebecca Sailor, Curator of Education

–Enjoy good food and drink at the new Museum Café.

–Reopen the Museum with exhibitions, programs, and events that excite the Charleston community and visitors alike.

–Have a successful six weeks of Summer Art Camp for the first time ever in the building.

Summer Art Camp 2013

Photo by Carolina Photosmith

Becca Hiester, Curatorial Assistant
–Bring all of my friends in town on a tour of the museum, my own personal Museum Hack. Some of my friends have never been to the museum before (even if they grew up here!), and I need to spread the love!

Gibbes exhibition opening

Photo by MCG Photography

Jennifer Ross, Director of Development

–First and foremost, achieve our goal of $13.4M for the capital campaign to renovate and restore the Gibbes.

Gibbes Capital Campaign Thermometer

–Welcome back our community—both visitors and long-time supporters—to the Gibbes, the oldest museum building in the south, this coming spring.

–Engage visitors in our center of creativity with world-class exhibitions, lectures and programs.

Lasley Steever, Director of Programs and Events

–Establish an Artist-in-Residence program with outstanding contemporary artists whose work contributes to a new understanding of art in the South.

–Provide great programs allowing visitors to fully engage with the visual arts through lectures, performances, tours, and classes.

Gibbes Museum Distinguished Lecture Series, 2015

Photo by MCG Photography

Jena Clem, Special Events Manager

–Have the museum booked with private events every weekend when we reopen.

–Grow our staff to support the increased programming and events we’ll be offering.

–Be featured as the number one event venue in Charleston, South Carolina/Southeast.

Laurie Clark Wedding photo cred: Whimsey Photography

Photo by Whimsey Photography

Zinnia Willits, Director of Collections Administration

–Execute safe return of 10,000 pieces of art from off-site storage locations to the renovated Museum spaces.

–Harmoniously work with Museum staff and contract crews to unpack the art collection and reinstall in new galleries in an extremely tight time frame.

–Remain calm, cool and collected over the next few months in order to successfully manage all that needs to be managed to reopen of the Gibbes! Eat fewer Tic Tacs to manage stress.

–Celebrate our beautiful new spaces and improved access to the collections in a BIG way once the Museum reopens with interactive, unique behind-the-scenes tours and programs.

–Share the Gibbes success with museum colleagues across the state and the region through continued, active involvement and leadership in professional museum organizations.

Gibbes Collection on the move

Art Education for All Ages

After a great summer working with the Gibbes Museum of Art as a Summer Camp intern, I was excited to return as an office intern over the fall semester. Working with Rebecca Sailor, Curator of Education, has provided me with many opportunities to broaden my understanding of the inner workings of a successful museum, and the great lengths this staff goes to in order to provide such stimulating programming to all ages.

Philippe de Montebello speaking at the 2015 Gibbes Distinguished Lecture Series.

Philippe de Montebello speaking at the 2015 Gibbes Distinguished Lecture Series.

A significant highlight of my time at the Gibbes was the opportunity to help with the Museum’s 2015 Distinguished Lecture Series. The Gibbes brought the esteemed Philippe de Montebello, the longest serving director at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, to discuss the multiple lives of a work of art. Being able to take part in such a successful and truly informational event was quite fulfilling. As an Art History student, de Montebello’s lecture was elegant and inspiring to me. Working together to bring events like this to the people of Charleston is just one of the Gibbes’ many efforts to enhance art education in the city.

Naomi Edmundson at John Pope Antiques, Charleston.

Naomi Edmondson at John Pope Antiques in Charleston, SC.

Last week, I was able to take part in The Gibbes’ Art With a Twist: Antique Stroll. Not knowing exactly what to expect, I walked with the group from the lobby of the Gibbes’ new offices (conveniently located across the street from the renovation site) to the first stop—John Pope Antiques. I was pleasantly surprised, as the walls were brightly colored and the cozy space was full of an eclectic collection of paintings, old instruments, beautiful pottery, and antique chests. The tour leaders provided the group with interesting details about several of the objects, and John entertained us with fascinating facts about his collection. I probably could have strolled around the space for another hour pondering the history of all these items, but I pulled myself away and walked down the street to Birlant & Co. Antiques. Although the setup of the space was quite different from John Pope’s, Andy Slotin and team were just as welcoming and were thrilled to show us around. We ended the visit discussing a beautiful silver dining set on display in the shop. By the end of the night, after stopping in several other shops, I couldn’t believe I’d lived in Charleston my entire life and never been inside any of these wonderful places.

George C. Birlant's & Co., Charleston, SC.

Silver Service at George C. Birlant’s & Co., Charleston, SC.

The Museum’s efforts to provide quality art education doesn’t end with intellectual lectures for art history lovers. Art education for children is a great priority at the Gibbes. Working with Rebecca, I witnessed the huge amount of planning, scheduling, and documenting that goes into the Gibbes In-School Programming. The Gibbes offers quite a few In-School Programs for elementary students, such as Art to Go, Eye Spy, and First Steps. Teaching artists visit Charleston County schools and essentially bring the art to the students with hands on projects, followed by a visit to the museum.

Mitchell Elementary students visit the Halsey Institute

Mitchell Elementary students visit the Halsey Institute as part of an Art to Go program.

During the Museum’s renovation, we’ve been lucky to partner with the Halsey Institute, City Gallery, and The Charleston Museum to continue our in-gallery programming. This semester, I was able to observe a group of first graders from Mitchell Elementary on an Art to Go field trip, as they experienced contemporary art at the College of Charleston’s Halsey Institute. The children were beyond excited to be this close to such colorful artwork! With such engaging instructors, the children felt at ease asking questions and describing the artwork in front of their peers. After learning a bit about the two featured artists, the kids walked around the gallery on a scavenger hunt to find repeated motifs in each artist’s work. I was impressed with their understanding of this concept, and took advantage of the opportunity to excite them as they turned to me with question after question about the art.

I’ve definitely enjoyed my time at the Gibbes, both in the camp classroom and behind the desk, and have gained a whole new perspective on the day to day life within a museum. I can’t wait to come back to the Gibbes for its re-opening in the spring!

Naomi Edmondson, Senior at College of Charleston and guest blogger

Professional Development Opportunities: Southeastern Museums Conference 2015

Rebecca Sailor, Gibbes Curator of Education, and Zinnia Willits, Director of Collections Administration at the Museum, attended the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Museums Conference (SEMC) in Jacksonville, Florida from October 12 – 14. SEMC is the major regional networking organization for museums and their staff in the southeastern states. Both Zinnia and Rebecca are active members of SEMC, and Zinnia currently serves as an appointed member of the Executive Council and the Annual Meeting Program Committee.

Rebecca Sailor and Zinnia Willits at SEMC 2015 in Jacksonville, Florida.

Rebecca Sailor and Zinnia Willits at SEMC 2015 in Jacksonville, Florida.

This year, Zinnia presented on four different panels at the Annual Meeting on topics including successful federal grant applications, museum insurance, and mid-career transitions. Her session entitled How We Did It: Tips and Strategies for Successful Federal Grant Applications was particularly well attended and allowed Zinnia an opportunity to share her story about the Gibbes recent grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. As a Council member, Zinnia also participated in a strategic planning workshop related to SEMC’s future growth.

Rebecca was joined by Zinnia, as well as staff from the Columbia Museum of Art and the Booth Western Art Museum for a session entitled Where Did All the Programs Go? The panel focused on the challenges of effective programming when space is limited or restricted, as in the case of a renovation. The Gibbes has made a special effort to keep programming available during our current renovation, while the Columbia Museum of Art is in the preparation stages of its own capital project. The Booth Museum staff shared the experience of providing programming around town in unique venues even before their building opened to the public.

Rebecca also presented with staff from the Cummer Museum of Art and the Reynolda House Museum of American Art on healthcare partnerships with museums. It was a great opportunity to inform participants about the Gibbes Art of Healing program with Roper St. Francis Healthcare, including our hospital lending collection and our public lectures and workshops on the subject. The Reynolda House offers continuing education workshops for healthcare and community service staff. Participants also learned about the partnership between the Cummer and the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, offering programs for dementia patients and physician training; the Art Beyond Sight organization; and other special needs programs.

In addition to their presentations, Rebecca and Zinnia attended many other sessions by their peers to learn what others are doing regarding innovation and engagement. A special highlight was the keynote speech by Nick Gray, founder of Museum Hack, which was a great reminder of why museums are awesome and why what we do matters so much (watch it here).

Unlock the Artist Block

One of the quickest ways to get through life’s challenges is to approach them rather than find detours or shortcuts around them. Eventually, the challenge you’ve avoided will have no other way to go but head on. The way we approach our work is for people to feel comfortable with themselves in mind, body, and emotion to face whatever life has to bring them. And if we have not figured it out yet, eventually we will see life will always have challenges. Life without challenges is not real life. The tools you learn with Charleston Wellness Group (CWG) is to support, simple enough, life.

Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy
Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy is a method based on the individual being influenced by their own inner guidance and wisdom instead of what another “expert” has to say. We have a saying at CWG that “you are your own expert and we get out of your way to trust that expert.” Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy assists individuals in connecting mind and body using embodied movement and mindfulness techniques. The body is a huge part of connecting with the expert in all of us, so we incorporate the body throughout sessions.

Since life is rich with challenges and the goal is not to get rid of them, but to face them, stress is part of the equation. There is such a thing, however, as “good stress.” “Good stress” is the belly motivation that gets you up and out of bed in the morning. “Good stress” can be how you face the challenges rather than avoid. “Good stress” keeps you living life from a more alive and engaged state.

Stress is like a bell curve. You are at risk of either too little or too much. Too little leads to “depressed” state. Too much leads to “burn out” state. What we encourage is for people to become aware of their too little/too much stress-related symptoms and recognize they have a choice with this information. For most who work with us, the first thing that has to happen is they have to realize their relationship to stress. They have to learn what their symptoms are on the bell curve. We are all different. No one person is alike. It is important for individuals to learn about themselves and trust the information their bodies, minds, and feelings are expressing so they can discern and make the right decisions to stay in the optimal state of stress.

Bell curve
Charleston Wellness Group created a program called The Deliberate Method, which combines yoga therapy techniques and self-inquiry with integrative exercises so individuals can actually apply what they learn to their everyday life situations.

The Deliberate Method, is focused on supporting businesses and their employees to mindfully show up to their stress. The material is broken into three methods: Method A- The Skills, Method B- Bridging the Gap Between Body and Mind, and Method C- Living a Deliberate Life. The sections are designed to support thoughtful learning. As we say, “We offer quick information, not a quick fix.” The content, which is audio/video, guided practices, assessments, podcasts, and articles is all less than 10 minutes time commitment. We recognize the power of time and find that unless we can apply what we learn in real time, the value is lost.

Becoming mindful takes patience and continued practice. The practice offered in The Deliberate Method is real-time, life situations rather than pretend. Chances are the skills and lessons, the ah-ha’s and other epiphanies will happen much quicker because they are applied concepts rather than abstract ideas.

Our number one intention is to inspire individuals to want to live a deliberate life, to understand their own true nature, and know they are incredible individuals in a world full of experience. We hope our message and information inspires individuals to want to continue to learn from life and therefore live life fully.

Hallie Buchanan

Hallie Buchanan

 
Lyn Tally

Lyn Tally

Hallie Buchanan and Lyn Tally, guest bloggers and founders of Charleston Wellness Group and The Deliberate Method

CWG founders, Hallie and Lyn, are offering a workshop, as part of the Gibbes Museum’s Art of Healing series, to help participants “Unlock the Artist Block.” The program will be held on Thursday, November 12, from 5:30 – 7:30pm. Visit our website gibbesmuseum.org/events or contact Amanda Breen at 843-722-2706 x221 to register today.

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