Art: Front and Center.
In our movements overall, and in various wellness spaces, too, art is there…but in smallish ways.
These days, art is mostly provided as a garnish—there, but set off to the side to accentuate the more brilliant main dishes offered on today’s abundant table of wellness, justice, and healing offerings. Art supplies are relegated to time-out spaces, quiet rooms, wellness sanctuaries, decompression stations and comfort spas. We engage art to settle the neurons that settle the nerves that settle the body. Most often we use art as a medium for pause and momentary distraction, little more, and that’s unfortunate.
By no means am I throwing shade, this is not a put-down or a poke at anyone. This is just a simple observation. I am deeply gratified to see so many grassroots geniuses and good cause champions fighting to rid the world’s woes. We each have a role to play and, when it comes to nonviolent peace work, I say the more the merrier. All of those aforementioned artistic outlets are very excellent uses, and it thrills me to no end to see art included in these spaces for those purposes. The stuff works wonders everywhere. Moreover, I also know that, when used for personal practice and applied with deeper intention, it can be a righteous query, a reflection, an exploration and roadmap back to Self. Art is food for the Soul.
Friends, it would be ridiculous to believe that art, in and of itself, is the game-changing panacea for all global ills. Art is merely a pebble in the larger mosaic of pieces needed to complete the full big picture of healing we envision for the world. All I’m saying is art expression oftentimes is an underestimated, underutilized power mechanism. Its properties stretch beyond diversion, entertainment and tension release. Along with being fun, distracting and even soothing to the senses, it is as well a very accessible and helpful exercise in wellness. Poetry, music, dancing bodies, Crayons, ink pens, pencils, chalk, and paintbrushes; all these are colorful joysticks to be used any day, every day.
Art is power because art empowers and, with the help of OAASIS friends, I aim to keep art front and center. Together, let us upgrade art expression from a mere garnish on the plate to a spicy appetizer or special treat. Artistic expression should be offered as a tempting invitation to the coming courses of social justice brain foods. Imagine enjoying an intoxicating poetry aperitif before biting into that tough slab of anti-oppression work. How about a nice invigorating collage, while digging into that entrée of Social Justice 101? And for dessert, care for a sliver of interpretive movement or perhaps a piece of impromptu Jazz Jubilee after devouring that heavy tray of International Human Rights and Environmental Justice? Art is a great compliment to almost any conversation, hearty or light. To feed our need for voice, as well as to nourish the ailing spirit, art in all its ways can be more than a morsel of help. It can be that source of healthful sustenance required for meaningful introspection, soulful exploration and personal growth.
Bigger than a prop, may our artistic expressions be powder blue prompts toward self-awareness. Let us gather and draw upon bright orange nudges at curiosity. United, may we find our evergreen calls to self and to the service of others. Let us strengthen each other as we don our hearts with war paint and muster the will needed in preparation for our nonviolent revolution of change.
Will you stand with us front and center for the causes of creativity, community and justice?
Join us each month and let’s Art It Out. Looking forward to being in community with you.