Arts Consortium / Project Gear Up

APRIL17 & 18, 2002 / BAYTOWN, TEXAS, USA

Students and
"Get Real"
in workshops
designed to inspire

The Mandala Project recently participated in the first annual Arts Consortium in Baytown, Texas. Organized by Dawn Davishall for Project Gear Up, the event was attended by 100 high school freshmen and teachers from local middle schools and high schools.

Held at a local college, the consortium consisted of four workshops, each of which was attended by all participants. The objective was to encourage students and teachers to consider creative ways to approach their learning experience, both in the academic and the personal arenas.

The consortium theme was "Get Real." Participants were asked to consider what values, goals, and problems are real for them, then creatively express and address those issues.

Photo above: Consortium organizer Dawn Davishall addresses students at the closing ceremony.

The Workshops

The Consortium consisted of four workshops which were attended by participants in groups of 25 each.

Journaling Workshop
PRESENTER: Chara Curtis
Participants engaged in a series of journaling exercises which alternated use of the right and left hemispheres of the brain. Beginning with the question "where am I now in my educational experience and life," they learned to stretch the elastic time called "now" back to the earliest event, physical and/or emotional, that impacted the topic question, through what has occurred since then, and into the future, where dreams and goals reflect the circumstances of now.

Examining different aspects of the question from alternating perspectives of rational thought and creative imagery, each student selected a focal, or pivot, point on which to base a personal story. The story included both the actual journey and "the road not taken."

The writings were not shared, but were held in sacred confidentiality by each writer.

Labyrinth Workshop
PRESENTER: Cathie LeVasseur

Sculpture Workshop - UB3D
PRESENTER: Cheryl Evans

Mandala Workshop
PRESENTER: Bailey Cunningham

Foto above right: Students create mandalas centered around the theme of "Who Am I?"

Images from the Experience

Participants gathered at the end of the event for a closing ceremony and to view each others' art works.

At the end of day two, each participant was given a seashell on which to write something about the experience. One wrote, "Art is inside you, so it never dies." Another wrote, "Always look inside your self to express your art." The shells were gathered and placed in a basket. As participants left the closing ceremony, each chose a shell as a momento of the experience.

This banner was displayed on a table in the gallery for participants to embellish during the two-day event.

Students create personal mandalas.

Sculpture and mandala made by a student.

Chara Curtis admires sculpture and mandala art created by students.