Arts.mic or Mic.com just published an interesting article on art’s effect on the human brain. Some of the highlights of the article were that “experiencing art decreases stress levels” and that “the brain is hardwired to process art.” The article also noted that the biggest benefits come from actually producing art.
“Along with the perks of enjoying and experiencing art, there are real-world benefits to making the art with your own two hands. According to a 2014 study, producing visual art improved psychological resilience and increased brain activity for the participants by the end of the experiment.
The study had two groups of recent retirees. One group was given lessons by an art educator and the participants actively created pieces of visual art that displayed their own personal form of artistic expression. The other group was treated more like a discussion class, where they talked about and interpreted selected paintings and sculptures. Both groups had their brains scanned before and after the period of courses.
The brain scans of the two groups before the classes (T0) and after 10 weeks (T1).Source: Anne Bolwerk/PLOSOne
Of the two groups, the one that produced art reaped the neural benefit of increased connectivity in the brain’s default mode network over the ten weeks of art class. This area deals with cognitive process like introspection, self-monitoring and memory.
As Hyperallergicpoints out, the researchers speculate that the first group got the gains because of the combination of motor and cognitive processing. They state in the study, “The visual art production intervention involved the development of personal expression and attentional focus on self-related experience during art creation.” Utilizing motor skills and thinking about art together becomes more beneficial instead of doing either separately. “
Here is a quick tour of the 2nd Annual Summer Sketchbook Spectacular Exhibit at Chases Garage Gallery, York, ME. To all of you who made it and participated…THANK YOU!
Also, a big thanks to Cait Giunta and Ned Roche the Co-Owners and Directors of Chases Garage for hosting the exhibit, helping hang, and for being such great ambassadors of the arts on the Seacoast. Thank you.
In a recent SPIN article REM frontman Michael Stripe is prompting students at NYU in a new collaborative project “NEW SIGHTS, NEW NOISE”.
“Each week, Stipe and a different special guest will give the class’ 18 students a prompt, and they’ll respond with ‘100 images and gifs, both found and made, all of which will be uploaded to a private class website,’ and projected on the walls, automatic for the people (sorry). At the end of the class, the space at 80 WSE Gallery will open up to the public so they can see what they accomplished.”
The Inspiration Station is a center in the CRES Studio that young artists can visit for:
– Art History Books
– Reference Books
– Science Specimens
– Still-life Supplies
– How-to-Draw Books
– Drawing Prompts
Each year the 3rd Grade students of Maine spend a large part of the year learning about our beloved home state. The video below illustrates a collaboration between the music educator at my school, Karen Littlefield, the artists and musicians of Coastal Ridge Elementary School, and myself.
The students perform Mike Nobel’s “Coast of Maine” for their spring concert “Maine Night”. Students in the CRES studio were asked to create thumbnail sketches and then a finished piece based on the lyrics.
Coast of Maine (On the Coast of Maine) Lyrics
By Mike Nobel
Welcome to a day along the coast of Maine
No place could ever be more beautiful to see
Stars are in the sky on the morning tide
The fishin’ boats are rockin’ the ocean birds are calling,
“Welcome to Maine” “Welcome to Maine”
Come see the sunrise high on Cadillac Mountain
Come see the sailboat reaching for the horizon
Come let the water carry you away
Along the rocky coast of Maine.
On a stormy day along the coast of Maine
The salty winds are singing, the buoy bells are ringing
On the rising tide, waves are breaking high
and when the storm is clearing, it’s Mother Nature saying:
“Welcome to Maine” “Welcome to Maine”
Come see the rainbow rising over the island
come see the children racing into the ocean
Come learn the song in the music of the waves
On the rocky coast of Maine.
For the first two weeks of school we went outside in the garden in search of inspiration in nature. Here are a couple of the students discoveries. Along with observational drawing many of them also fell in love with collecting and rubbings.