Archive for the 'Classes' Category

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.


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.

Charleston Receipts: Junior Docents on the Go

During the Gibbes Museum renovation, we’ve taken our Junior Docent program on the road! Several local institutions, like the Charleston Museum, have helped out by providing rich resources for students to research and a venue for them to present their findings. Two Ashley Hall students share their experiences with this program, here and in the previous post.

In the very last week of October 2015, the whole seventh grade at Ashley Hall was gathered together. Our English teachers stood at the front of the room, about to assign our second quarter project. Once everyone was situated, they started speaking.

We were going to explore more about Charleston’s history. To do so, each of us would be assigned to research a different aspect of our city’s history. To that end, we would write an informative essay on the topic we were assigned, and prepare an oral presentation to give at the Charleston Museum.
I was assigned the topic “suppertime in the Lowcountry during the mid-19th century.” I started by finding reliable sources to use for research. I ordered a book entitled, Forgotten Elegance, written by Wendell and Wes Schollander, and went to the Historic Charleston Foundation to gather information on my topic. It was interesting to learn about the ingredients, such as turtle, that people in the 1800s in Charleston, South Carolina, would use in their recipes; and the silver pieces they would decorate their tables with.

Mia Lassiter, Gibbes Museum Junior docent

Mia Lassiter with the book she found on her assigned topic, “Suppertime in the Lowcountry.”

Halfway through November, my English class took a trip to the Charleston Museum. We listened to Pat and Elise, the Gibbes museum docents, as they spoke about the history of Charleston. We observed how they engaged, educated, and entertained their audience. We were then led around the museum, finding which glass case we would stand before to give our speech. I was to speak in front of a case filled with beautiful silver flatware and pitchers, similar to what would have decorated a dining room table in the Lowcountry during the 1800s.

Finally, it was the second week of December—exam week. Tuesday morning rolled around, and I found myself standing in the lobby of the Charleston Museum. I was so nervous to give my speech. It would only be in front of half of my class and their parents, yet still I had butterflies in my stomach. Once everyone arrived, my classmates and I lead the group upstairs. Two girls introduced our assignment, and then people started to present.

When the student before me started giving her speech, a group of elementary school children entered the museum. They made quite a racket, speaking to each other and pointing at things in the glass cases. I felt bad for the girl who was speaking, as she had a loud group in the background, and hoped that the children wouldn’t drown out my presentation.

After what seemed like ten seconds, but was really five minutes, it was my turn to speak. I had to lead parents and my teacher to the section of the museum where the silver flatware and pitchers were located. I walked ahead of the group, but was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to find the right glass case. Doubt crept into my mind, and I felt anxious. I had only been shown where it was once, and that had been a month ago.

I did, however, find the right place with ease. Once I saw the shining silver pieces reflected in the glass case in front of me, I knew I was in the right place. It felt like one heavy weight was lifted off of me, and the second one would be gone after my presentation. I started to talk, but the elementary children had followed us, and I could barely hear what I was saying, so my audience probably couldn’t either! I tried to speak up, but I have a quiet voice, so I found it hard. I felt like I was screaming over echoing sounds of excited school children!

Soon, it was time for me to conclude my speech, and I introduced the next girl who would speak. She lead us over to another part of the museum, and I finally felt relieved. It was all over! I had finished my presentation, my paper was turned in weeks beforehand, and I could relax.

Following the holiday break, my class received our badges in English class. They had our names on them with the words, “Junior Docent.” My experience as a junior docent was very nerve-wracking, but fun at the same time. I enjoyed learning about Charleston’s culture and history while working on my assignment. At the museum, I learned many new and interesting facts about Charleston, as well. I feel very lucky to have been given the opportunity to practice orally presenting at the Charleston Museum.

Mia Lassiter, 7th grader at Ashley Hall and a Gibbes Museum Junior Docent

Ahoy Maties! Junior Docents on the Go

During the Gibbes Museum renovation, we’ve taken our Junior Docent program on the road! Several local institutions, like the Charleston Museum, have helped out by providing rich resources for students to research and a venue for them to present their findings. Two Ashley Hall students share their experiences with this program, here and in the next post.

I’m Ainslee Newman, a seventh grader at Ashley Hall. This past December, we were assigned a project discussing what makes Charleston special. Throughout our research we discovered so many new things from the past, and I was surprised to find out that much of that history still relates to our community! Each girl in our class got the opportunity to tell about her subject and educate the people of town. After a couple months of preparation, we were ready to be junior docents at the Charleston Museum! However, our job wasn’t just putting our research into a paper and talking, it was also learning how to engage, entertain, and educate our audience. Engaging them meant understanding the appropriate time to ask questions, and getting the audience interested. Entertaining them meant knowing what fun facts to tell that might not be known by other people. Educating them meant teaching important information about our topic and the unique history of Charleston.

Ainslee Newman presents to classmates at the Charleston Museum.

Ainslee Newman presents to classmates at the Charleston Museum.

Once it was time for me to present, I was a bundle of nerves, but while I was speaking, I started to feel more comfortable, because I knew everything I was supposed to say and had plenty of information. Since my presentation was about pirates, I had to become an expert about them around Charles Town in the early 1700s. I was not the only one that had to learn a lot—my other classmates did too, so I was able to absorb in other topics as well!

From this Junior Docent project I learned not only about this remarkable city, but also the skills to make my pirate presentation and all of my future presentations their very best. This project was a great experience to be a part of, and the Charleston Museum helped me and my English class grasp special parts of history, and helped us engage, entertain, and educate not only our audience, but also each other.

Ainslee Newman, 7th grader at Ashley Hall and a Gibbes Museum Junior Docent

Summer Art Camp at the Gibbes!

The Gibbes Education staff are excited for the opportunity to host our Summer Art Camp in the Museum after many years at satellite locations around town. After the renovations are complete, our first floor will include four studios for hands-on art classes, as well as our Artist in Residence program. We took a moment to chat with Janell Walker and Abby Stone, who will be sharing their knowledge and skills with campers this summer. Janell is a full time art teacher at North Charleston Creative Arts Elementary School, and Abby is a lead teacher for 3 and 4 year olds at O’Quinn Preschool in Mt. Pleasant.

We asked Abby and Janell how they integrate the arts into everyday lessons, or in Janell’s case, how she incorporates what the students are learning outside the art room.

JW: One of my strong points as an art teacher is meeting a student’s needs by establishing a personal understanding of each individual child. My objective is to improve student awareness of the arts; and to apply interdisciplinary-based lessons involving math, science, language arts, social studies, and multiculturalism.

AS: I am a firm believer that arts can improve and deepen any learning experience. Being a preschool teacher, I think I may have more opportunity than elementary or upper school teachers to integrate art into my lesson plans. For each unit, I implement activities that get students moving, building, gluing, cutting, drawing, painting, or sculpting. There are so many different types of learners so I make sure to provide ample opportunities for auditory, visual, kinesthetic, or any combination to get students engaged.

Gibbes Art Camp

What are your feelings on being the first summer camp inside the museum?

AS: I am really looking forward to teaching in the newly renovated space. We will have so many amenities to work with, be it the educational space itself, art exhibits, the Museum’s permanent collection, the gardens, or the technology available to us.

This summer, we are offering six themes for art campers. What can the kids expect to learn in these different sessions?

AS: Each week this summer has a great theme. The Coastal Creations week will be very hands on. We will use lots of materials found on the beach right here in Charleston. This will make it very relevant and engaging for the children.

JW: Yes. In this session, campers will also explore beach sensory bins, make sea glass mosaics, and print with real fish!

Campers who attend the Go Green session will learn the importance of recycling and all the amazing things that can be made out of recycled materials. We’ll make musical instruments, paper mâché masks, magazine collages, and found object sculptures.

The Art of Asia week will allow campers to create Japanese wood block prints, dye Indonesian batik, practice Chinese brush painting, and even put on their own Balinese shadow puppet show!

AS: My grandmother is a lifelong artist who has always had a great interest in Asian inspired art and I have definitely inherited some of her passion in that area. I am looking forward to making some really gorgeous prints, paintings, and puppets with the children.

JW: The Greats theme will focus on iconic artists like Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, Warhol, and O’Keeffe among others, and Music, Movement, and Masterpieces campers will dance, sculpt, paint, write, and draw while listening to music from around the world.

AS: I am really excited about the Movement and Masterpieces week, too. I believe that art should be a whole body experience involving all of our senses and this week will really showcase that.

JW: Explorer campers will learn the basic techniques of art—painting, drawing, creating, and sculpting—while highlighting creativity and self-expression.

AS: I also plan on having sensory bins that correspond with the theme of each particular week. It’s going to be great!

Gibbes Art Camp

What do you want parents to know about sending their kids to Summer Art Camp?

JW: Our camp will be filled with new experiences that inspire campers. We will learn about the beautiful artworks in the Gibbes Museum by taking a tour of the galleries. Each week, children will study basic art skills and expand their artistic expression, style, and visual vocabulary. At the end of each week, campers will exhibit the work they have created for parents to come and see.

AS: Parents should be very excited about this summer at the Gibbes! Janell and I are both experienced teachers with strong art backgrounds so the little ones will be in good hands. Each week, campers will be exposed to many different types of art, materials, and artists… Not to mention the amazing new space we will have to learn in!

Gibbes Art Camp

What do you hope the campers will take away from their experience at Summer Art Camp?
JW: Whether or not campers consider themselves artists, each course will help them grow and gain confidence. All session will include playing, learning, experimenting, and expanding horizons through the experience and pleasure of creating art.
AS: Campers should be excited because it’s going to be a hands on, fun filled, movin’ and shakin’ summer! We will dance, paint, carve, sculpt, sing, touch, glue, cut, and create.

Summer Art Camp sessions are filling quickly! The Gibbes Gator
Download a 2016 registration form or call 843.722.2706 x237/email with any questions.

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, 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.

Museum Educators Get Back by Giving

Gibbes museum educators serve as the face of the museum in our area schools. Currently, we have a team of 8 that work with our in-school programs Eye Spy and Eye Opener. The team is responsible for carrying out curriculum needs in the classrooms while working with teachers. It is a partnership. We work to enhance what the students are already learning. Gibbes museum educators bring fresh faces, new ideas, and different areas of expertise to the table. I feel fortunate each day to have such a great team that can heighten Charleston area students and teachers awareness of the importance of visual arts education. One of our newest educators, Lucie Medbery, shares how working as a museum educator has been a great learning experience for her as she gets to know the Lowcountry. —Rebecca Sailor, Curator of Education

Zucker Middle School students

Zucker Middle School students work on a writing project as part of the Eye Opener collaboration with ECM.

I am not from Charleston, but my husband grew up here. When we decided to retire, our hearts told us that Charleston was the place to be! As a retired educator, I hoped to find opportunities to work with students in challenging and engaging activities. I met Elise Detterbeck, who introduced me to the Museum’s Eye Spy program, and the Eye Opener program at Engaging Creative Minds (ECM). From there, the adventure began.

Museum Educator Lucie Medbery works with Zucker Middle School students.

Museum Educator Lucie Medbery works with Zucker Middle School students.

Drayton Hall students

Drayton Hall students enjoy the Gibbes Museum’s Eye Spy program.

Through these programs, I have met many talented and committed individuals, committed to using art as a vehicle to promote creativity, exploration, problem solving, and self awareness for students of all ages. I have learned a great deal about the rich artistic traditions that exist in the Lowcountry, and the thriving artist community here in Charleston. The dedicated staff at the Gibbes has been extremely supportive. I am so impressed with their expertise in developing meaningful programs for students in the area. As I learn about the plans underway for the reopening of the Gibbes, I am thrilled to be a small part in this tremendous endeavor.

Lucie Medberry works with Drayton Hall students.

Lucie Medberry works with Drayton Hall students.

Drayton Hall Elementary

Kids at Drayton Hall Elementary participate in the Eye Spy program.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my sessions with students in Eye Spy and ECM. In our discussions and activities with students about art, I witness their enthusiasm, insight, and inspiration. It is a privilege to be able participate in these valuable programs.

Lucie Medbery, Gibbes Museum Educator and Guest Blogger

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

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 or contact Amanda Breen at 843-722-2706 x221 to register today.

Summer Art Camp from our Intern’s Point of View

Naomi Edmondson-Summer Intern, Senior at College of Charleston

Naomi Edmondson-Summer Intern, Senior at College of Charleston

As a college student majoring in Studio Art and Art History, interning at the Gibbes Museum’s Summer Art Camp seemed like the perfect opportunity to excite young minds with art. Growing up, my favorite teachers were my art teachers, and getting the chance to influence a young child was very appealing to me. The camp instructor for this summer, Leonora Dechtiar, provided campers with stimulating and fun projects to explore their creativity.

welcome to our Art Show!

The first of three camp themes was “Oh The Places You’ll Go!” During these weeks, the campers learned about art from different countries such as Egypt, Brazil, China, Morocco, Australia, and India. We started our day by fastening the seatbelts to our pretend airplane on the classroom carpet and landing in a foreign country. Campers were excited to learn about the different art and cultures of all the places we “visited” before stamping their passports after each journey. Campers’ projects included Brazilian Carnival masks, drums, and maracas, African plaster masks, Egyptian Canopic Jars, Indian Mandalas, Japanese Kites, Chinese Dragons, and Australian Dot Paintings.

summer art camp 2015

Campers working with Acrylic to make their own Chinese Dragons

The second theme of camp was “Stories and Puppets.” During these weeks, campers would listen to stories and create artworks inspired by themes and characters in the story. At the end of the week, campers performed a play of The Rainbow Fish, which featured each camper’s uniquely designed fish. I couldn’t help but be impressed as the kids so excitedly delivered their lines perfectly for the room full of parents.

summer art camp 2015

Rainbow fish puppets

Our last theme of camp, “Art and Movement,” was probably most enjoyable for me personally. Leonora instructed the kids in yoga before each project (which proved to be very beneficial and effective in calming the campers down) to focus them on their artwork. Projects created included foam puppets, needle felting, body tracing, and Jackson Pollock inspired splatter painting (which, I must say…the kids thoroughly enjoyed). Throughout the week, campers practiced their yoga moves set to fun children’s songs, and on Friday they performed these impressive, entertaining yoga dances for their parents.

Summer art camp 2015

Leonora instructing campers in their morning yoga

Throughout each week, the children were thrilled to go on field trips to surrounding areas, such as the multiple art galleries on Queen Street and the Pineapple Fountain. After viewing the artwork on display at galleries such as Robert Lange Studios, Horton Hayes Fine Art, Anglin Smith Fine Art, Valentino’s Pottery, and The Atrium, the kids were noticeably more inspired to spend time creating artwork.

summer art camp 2015

Field Trip to local galleries

Working so closely with children eager to fill their hands with paint or clay or anything else has heightened my interest in the art making process and has reminded me of the childlike enthusiasm that every artist should employ when creating art!

summer camp 2015

Naomi Edmondson-Summer Intern, Senior at the College of Charleston

Next »