Artful Practices for Well-Being
From mindful walks to drawing prompts, we’ve got your guide to activities and ideas for connectedness and healing through art.
May 18, 2020
Alone in my apartment due to measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19, maintaining a routine while not knowing what each day will bring or how much longer this will go on, I’ve felt emotionally exhausted. It’s difficult to not give in to despair, and yet it’s important to hold onto hope. COVID-19 is intensifying the vulnerabilities that all of us face and is requiring each of us to sit with more uncertainty than perhaps we feel we can manage.
One thing sustaining me right now is a new initiative I’m working on with colleagues in MoMA’s Department of Education, called Artful Practices for Well-Being. In 2019, after a trip to India, our School and Teacher Programs team launched a series of professional development workshops for teachers focused on how art can be used as a tool for social and emotional learning. The Museum closure has prompted us to consider how we might expand on that, reach out to more people, and focus on nurturing our individual and collective wellbeing. As someone who is actively engaged in trauma therapy, I think of everything through the lens of trauma-informed practices. I’m a believer in the possibility of healing from even the most difficult of circumstances.
Brainstorming for the Artful Practices for Well-Being initiative, we asked ourselves, “What do people need right now? What will people need going forward? How can we help? What are our parameters?” Several themes emerged that helped us establish our goals and propose activities and practices that explore connectedness; self-care; groundedness; non-judgment; empathy and compassion; resilience; radical acceptance; empowerment; and structure, routine, and intentionality.
To start, beginning this week, @MoMALearning will offer regular prompts, activities, and reflections—from mindful walks and meditative drawing to portrait empowerment and poems for getting grounded—that draw inspiration from works in the collection. We’ve shared three videos below; be sure to check back on Twitter for more.
Little Joys in Our Neighborhoods | Artful Practices for Well-Being
Join MoMA visitor researcher Jackie Armstrong and educator Lisa Mazzola in a mindful walk that invites you to notice the little joys in your neighborhood. Being present and looking out for little joys promotes a feeling of groundedness that we all need right now.
Mindful Drawing | Creativity Lab at Home
Join MoMA educator Larissa Raphael to experience a step-by-step mindful-drawing exercise using observational drawing as a way to stay present and engaged.
Meditative Drawing | Creativity Lab at Home
Join MoMA educator Pablo Helguera for a meditative drawing exercise, inspired by a technique used by artist Paul Klee.
We hope these will help create even the smallest shift to make things a bit more bearable. It’s okay to feel grief, anger, confusion, and to feel exhausted, unfocused, and unmotivated. Just like this pandemic, those emotional states are not permanent. Things shift continuously and it’s up to all of us to ride these changes as best we can, look out for each other, and be gentle with ourselves.
Mutual Aid by and for Artists
We’ve compiled a brief list of grants, counsel, and care resources for artists during the COVID-19 crisis.
Apr 28, 2020
Art-Making Activities Families Can Do at Home
For kids ages six and over, we rounded up some of our favorite drawing, collage, audio, and movement activities inspired by artworks in MoMA’s collection.
Cari Frisch, Elizabeth Margulies, Sara Bodinson
Mar 20, 2020