Personal resilience in the time of climate change
Through immersive engagements with art, landscape and meditation, Nature|Spirit|Art helps participants cultivate personal resilience in the face of climate change. This three-session workshop provides participants opportunities to experience their gratitude for the Earth, explore their climate grief, re-imagine their relationship to the natural world, and take collective action in service to the planet. Drawing on the extraordinary modernist landscape art at The Phillips Collection, as well as the plant and animal life in Washington, DC, Nature|Spirit|Art helps participants develop tools to face the climate crisis with a buoyant and courageous spirit. We will engage eco-critical art theory, eco-Buddhist thought, art-making, and practices of mindfulness and meditation.
Registration is limited to 20 participants who can commit to be present for all three meetings.
- Thursday, June 8, 5-7:30 pm– The Phillips Collection (1600 21st Street, NW)
- Saturday, June 10, 10 am-3 pm – Phillips@THEARC (1801 Mississippi Ave, SE)
- Thursday, June 15, 5-7:30 pm– The Phillips Collection (1600 21st Street, NW)
June 8: Grounding and Gratitude
After introducing ourselves to one another, we will familiarize participants with our approach to the workshops’ three pillars: nature, spirit, and art. We will locate ourselves in the context of The Phillips Collection and in its urban environment while introducing a mindfulness meditation focused on delight and gratitude.
June 10: Grief and New Perspectives
Grief (morning session): Even as we are sustained by our gratitude for the Earth, personal resilience demands that we honestly confront our grief and fear for the future of the planet. Participants will then have the opportunity to respond creatively to their experiences (for example: with a photo, a drawing, a journal entry) and share their responses in small groups.
New Perspectives (afternoon session): Climate resilience requires habits of thought that free us from the human-nature binary and help us re-imagine our relationship to the Earth. In this session we will explore the wooded environment of THEARC in Southeast DC through a collective service project.
June 15: Moving Forward with Agency
In this final session, we will approach key works in The Phillips Collection meditatively and critically, building to a final commitment to action on behalf of the planet. This session is dedicated to strengthening our sense of agency in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges.
Joshua Shannon is Professor of Contemporary Art History and Theory at the University of Maryland. He is the author of several books on modern art and is currently writing a new book called How and Why to Look at Art in the Time of Climate Change.
Robert Hardies is an experienced leader of workshops, retreats and pilgrimages. From 2001 to 2020, Rob was senior minister of All Souls Church, Unitarian in Washington, DC, where he led award-winning campaigns on behalf of voting rights and marriage equality. He was the Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Martha’s Vineyard, and is currently the Lead Minister of the First Parish in Cambridge, MA.
Aparna Sadananda comes to mindfulness practice from a science background. She holds a PhD in cellular neuroscience from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai, India. In addition to leading art-based meditations at The Phillips Collection and the National Museum of Asian Art, she is a senior yoga teacher and trainer at Yoga District in Washington, DC. She is also an artist, specializing in Indian folk art and a musician, trained in traditional Indian singing.
IMAGE: Hedieh Javanshir Ilchi, Something discernible in the hollow space of its absence, 2022, Acrylic on individual Masonite panels, 36 x 54 in., The Phillips Collection, Contemporaries Acquisition Fund, 2022