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Slow Down and Reflect: Mindfulness in Museums

Slow Down and Reflect: Mindfulness in Museums

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In a culture of speed, museums are ideal spaces to slow down, reflect, and connect to ourselves and others. A mental health professional who
specializes in mindfulness and educators from three institutions—Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, University of Colorado Art Museum in
Boulder, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art—will define mindfulness and share varied approaches to successful mindfulness programs,
including slow looking and meditation. Participate in a mindfulness exercise, get tips for implementing programs, and brainstorm with peers in
break-out groups.

In a culture of speed, museums are ideal spaces to slow down, reflect, and connect to ourselves and others. A mental health professional who
specializes in mindfulness and educators from three institutions—Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, University of Colorado Art Museum in
Boulder, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art—will define mindfulness and share varied approaches to successful mindfulness programs,
including slow looking and meditation. Participate in a mindfulness exercise, get tips for implementing programs, and brainstorm with peers in
break-out groups.

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Slow Down and Reflect: Mindfulness in Museums

  1. 1. Slowdown and Reflect: Mindfulness at Museums Jessica Brunecky-University of Colorado Art Museum (Boulder) Erin Dorn-Crocker Art Museum (Sacramento) Jordan Looze-Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor Alicia Vogl Saenz- Los Angeles County Museum of Art
  2. 2. Agenda ❖ Welcome ❖ Short Mindfulness Exercise ❖ Slow-Looking Exercise ❖ What is Mindfulness? And why? ❖ Presentations of Mindfulness Programming ➢ Crocker Museum ➢ University of Colorado Art Museum ➢ Los Angeles County Museum of Art ❖ Break-Out Groups? Group Discussion? ❖ Share Out and Wrap-up
  3. 3. In a culture of speed, museums are ideal spaces to slow down, reflect, and connect to ourselves and others. At their core, museums provide a space for visitors to pause.
  4. 4. Be Here
  5. 5. Artful Meditation, Crocker Art Museum ❖ Brief introduction to the art in the gallery ❖ Meditation instruction designed for any level of meditator ❖ Group meditation ❖ Guided slow-looking exercise ❖ Dyad sharing time ❖ Group sharing time and time for Q&A
  6. 6. Participant Feedback: ❖ “Calms the Mind. Opens my eyes to art I might otherwise miss.” ❖ “It allowed me to appreciate art from a different state of mind. I was able to enjoy the pieces I was looking at with greater depth.” ❖ “Gave me permission to take time out.”
  7. 7. Art + Wellness Initiative at the Crocker Art Museum ❖ Artful Meditation ❖ Art Rx ❖ Sound Healing Yoga ❖ Baby Loves Art ❖ Art of Parenting ❖ Meet Me at the Museum ❖ Art on the Spectrum ❖ The Love Tour
  8. 8. University of Colorado ❖ 30,000+ students ❖ 5,000+ faculty and staff ❖ Many, many existing resources! CU Art Museum ❖ Free admission ❖ Focus on serving campus audience
  9. 9. University Partner Programs ❖ Guided meditation ❖ Walking meditation ❖ Mindful Close-Looking ❖ Area museum professional development workshop
  10. 10. LACMA Programs: ❖ Meditation & Art ❖ Mindful Mondays: Cultivating Empathy and Connectedness ❖ Drawing and Mindful Meditation
  11. 11. Meditation & Art ❖ Slow looking activity ❖ Meditation instruction ❖ 15-20 minutes silent meditation ❖ Reflection circle Drawing and Mindful Meditation ❖ Meditation instruction ❖ Drawing exercises with works of art
  12. 12. Mindful Mondays: Cultivating Empathy and Connectedness ❖ Mindfulness activity ❖ Slow looking activity ❖ Facilitated activities designed to connect with others in the group ❖ Reflection circle
  13. 13. Discussion Questions ❖ How do you envision mindfulness could be part of your professional self- care? ❖ What kind of mindfulness programs would you want to see at your institution(s)? ❖ What are the barriers you perceive in implementing a mindfulness program? ❖ How can you communicate the value of mindfulness programs to leadership?
  14. 14. Questions? Contact us! Jessica Brunecky, jessica.brunecky@colorado.edu Erin Dorn, erin.dorn@gmail.com Jordan Looze, jordanlooze@gmail.com Alicia Vogl Saenz, aliciavs@lacma.org

Hinweis der Redaktion

  • Welcome

    We recognize we are guests in the homeland territory of the Shoshone and Paiute. I extend my respect and gratitude to the many indigenous people who call these lands home.

    Introduce panelists
    Jessica Brunecky oversees mindfulness programming at CU Art Museum. The museum has hosted mindfulness programming for their visitors since 2014 and was part of the Hemera Foundation Meditation in Museums grant cohort in 2017. Current programs include: Feel Good Fridays, meditation held in partnership with Counseling and Psychiatric Services of the university’s student health center; pARTicipate, student focused mindfulness; and slow looking workshops for museum educators. Jessica will provide an academic museum perspective and address the logistics of the museum’s programming in this session.

    Erin Dorn (M.A. Art History, UC Davis) has four years of experience as a public programs coordinator at the Crocker Art Museum, where she also coordinates the Crocker’s Art Access initiative and Art+Wellness programs, including Artful Meditation (which she co-facilitates), Sound Healing Yoga, and Art Rx, a slow-art program for individuals living with chronic pain. Her work in meditation and wellness programming has been awarded grants from the Hemera Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and she was a presenter for the panel “Our Collective Wellbeing: Arts and Social Policy in California” at the 2018 Envisioning California Conference.

    Jordan Looze is a licensed mental health professional who has been engaged in the mental health field for 8 years. Engaged in trauma-focused counseling practices, including mindfulness practices. He has volunteered his services leading Boise Art Museum staff members in mindfulness exercises. He is an advocate for museums and the mental health of their employees and audiences.

  • -Alicia will lead group in short mindfulness exercise.


  • [Erin] For art-engagement mindfulness exercise
    GRANVILLE REDMOND (AMERICAN, 1871–1935)
    A Shepherd and his Flock in the Early Morning Mist, 1930
    Oil on canvas, 20 in. x 25 in. x 5 in. (50.8 cm x 63.5 cm x 12.7 cm), Crocker Art Museum, Gift of Dr. Jeffry Mann and Mr. Jerry Hollister, 2008.15

  • Jordan:
    Explain the difference between mindfulness and meditation
    -give simple mindfulness exercises for stress reduction
  • [Erin]
    Co-lead by experienced meditation instructor Ian Koebner
    Participants enter into a mindful state, and then seamlessly engage in guided slow-looking
    The guided slow-looking is tailored to the art
    The idea is to allow people to give themselves permission to just be with one artwork for approximately 15 minutes - letting everything else in life pass in the background
    In this way, it is a very mindful exercise
  • [Erin]
    We start and finish the program in a circle
    We now use a combination of meditation cushions and chairs
  • [Erin]
    After the initial group meditation session, people transition to gallery stools have were set up prior in front of works of art in the gallery
    People are encouraged to “select a stool, not a painting” - i.e., to not worry about what art they will be in front of
  • [Erin]
  • [Erin]
    Grant funding has been success for the meditation program because we grouped it as part of a larger Art+Wellness initiative to serve many different types of people in many different ways
  • We started down this road in 2014. We wanted to introduce meditation in our galleries to complement an exhibition and began investigating resources. What we found was a campus already rich in programs provided the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program and the Counseling and Psychological Services branch of our student health services on campus.
  • Our main in-gallery program is Feel Good Fridays. Every Friday during the fall and spring semesters we work with a contemplative psychotherapist from Counseling and Psychiatric Services, Matt Tomatz. He utilizes a type of meditation that incorporates yoga nidra, a relaxing and restorative technique that has been adapted for the 21st century lifestyle. He is very careful to present guided meditation ‘divorced’ from yoga, as he comes from a background working with veterans on campus. He uses a technique for restorative meditation called irest.
    You can google it if you would like more info. We found working with Matt a natural fit as his specific interests are in serving students who may need help with substance abuse, processing anger and men’s issues, those who may be veterans, or students who may be experiencing anxiety. For us, the museum seemed like a natural place for this type of meditation.
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
    Located in mid-city Los Angeles, urban neighborhood
    Large Encyclopedic art museum- Art dating 1000’s of years old (egyptian, Meso-America) to art made now.
    -strong collections include: Latin American Art, Korean Art, German Expressionism, Costumes & Textiles

    Currently at LACMA we offer three public programs that incorporate mindfulness. Mindful Mondays: Cultivating Empathy and Connectedness and Meditation and Art, Drawing and Mindful Meditation

    Super Popular
    societal need to unplug from a fast-paced and overwhelming world
    provide spaces to slow down, and have meaningful interactions with themselves, fellow participants and works of art.
    -origin story

  • (go over format)
    We have noticed that mindfulness and meditation coupled with slow-looking at art greatly enhanced the experience for participants. Even with familiar works of art, participants report that they see and feel the art differently and with more depth.
  • I’d like to end with a short mindfulness practice to take you into the next part of your day:

    While reflecting on this artwork from the Japanese collection:
    A Jellyfish Like the Moon. Nagasawa Rosetsu (Japan, 1754-1799)
    Japan, late 18th century



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