This video presents a small portion of the artwork and writing produced by participants in Intuitive Art Making and Writing workshops. The workshops were held weekly from August 2009 to May 2010 at Center on Halsted, Chicago and made possible through a 2009-2010 Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellowship. The project intention was to create a safe space for SAGE (Service and Advocacy for GLBT Edlers) members to connect with others and reconnected to their creative intuition and awareness. Each week, participants gained and shared personal insight through the Open Studio Process of art making, writing, and sharing.
The Open Studio Process involves writing an intention, making art using basic materials and then witness writing when the art is complete. The witness writing is an invitation for each person to take in the work they just made and begin to write whatever comes to mind — some people dialogue with their art, others may describe what it felt like to make the work or what they feel as they sit in relation to it.
After the witness writing, the group comes together and each person is invited to share some or all of what they wrote (or participants may choose not to read at all, every aspect of the process is voluntary). We share only what is written on the page, we do not “explain” or otherwise talk about the work or writing. As each person reads, the others simple witness that person’s words, honoring that person’s truth. The value-neutral environment is achieved by a “no comment” rule. No comments, bad or good, are made during any portion of the session.
The video is comprised of nearly 100 images of participant artwork and recordings of both intention and witness writings. Participants explored issues of loss and transition, identity and personal growth as well as the joys of community and relationships. Each person individuated the process but working collectively all were supported by the safety and encouragement the group provided.
Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellow 2009-2010
The Intuitive Art Making project was made possible through a 2009-2010 Schweitzer Fellowship. Special thanks to the Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellows Program, Center on Halsted, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, and the Open Studio Project, Inc.