Regenerations: Cultivating Connections to Earth, Art & Activism

Regenerations:

Cultivating Connections to Earth, Art & Activism

To regenerate means to bring into renewed existence, to replace that which is injured, and give it a new and more vigorous life.

Absorb yourself into Nature. Be still. Reconnect. Regenerations: Cultivating Connections to Earth, Art & Activism is an active investigation of our relationships to Nature, community, creative expression and outreach through outdoor immersion, writing and visual art.

All are invited to come back into your relationship with the earth through this five-part series based in all-day outdoor hiking experiences. Held one day a month from June through October, the cumulative sessions explore the practices of stillness and noticing, journaling and brainstorming, drawing and painting, and constructing temporal works of art in the landscape. Play with the inherent metaphor and symbolism found in Nature, sculpture with natural and introduced objects in the landscape, channel creative skills to express raw emotion, experiment with mixed media and word play.

Utilize these inspired activities in the visual and written arts as a medium and processing tool for: re-connecting with the natural world; identifying our individual and social spectrums of comfort and fear; learning about local issues affecting our environment; and finding positive resolution through creative expression and activism.

Collaboratively taught by visual artist Ivy Walker and writer Molly Murfee, each session revolves around a different topic and takes place in a different wilderness setting allowing participants to explore the depth of topics through being wholly engaged and immersed in the changing weather and elements of landscape. 

Participants who choose have the opportunity to communicate their visual and written expressions developed throughout the sessions in a local open air, public art display at the culmination of the series. An additional opportunity further takes these expressions, or representations of them, and sends them out into the larger global community of legislatures, industry representatives and other relevant audiences as a positive change creative outreach.

Quick Stats:

  • Sessions meet once a month June through October beginning at 9 a.m. and returning between 3 and 5 p.m. for a six hour immersion per session.
  • Sessions:
June 11th......Connecting in Nature: Stillness & Noticing
July 16th........Nature as Healer: Finding the Regenerative Creative Resource
Aug. 19th......Nature & Despair: Accompanying & Transforming Grief
Sept. 10th ....Creative Voice in Nature: Activating Your Expression
Oct. 1st........Creativity & Nature Activism: Inspiration, Approaches and  Actions                    
Oct. 6th........Expressions: An Outdoor Gallery Show
  • Cost: $75 per session + $5 materials fee per session.​ Individual sessions can be taken for non-credit. Undergraduate credit is available (ART 397 or ENG 397) for an additional cost of $125. Graduate credit is available (ART 510 or ENG 510) for an additional cost of $125. Also available is 4 CEUs for an additional $125.  All sessions must be attended for undergraduate/graduate credit and CEUs. 
  • Instructors: visual artist Ivy Walker & writer Molly Murfee
  • Registration & Information: www.western.edu/es  (Open May 1)

Registration:

Regenerations: Cultivating Connections to Earth, Art & Activism is designed to be taken as a full series with each session building on the other. While taking the full series is strongly encouraged, participants may also choose sessions individually. 

  • Register Here 
  • For Information on receiving credits please contact Extended Studies 970.943.2885. 

Required Equipment:

  • Basic equipment includes journal and writing utensil. Backpack with day hiking gear should include: 2 quarts of water; trail snacks; hiking clothes such as flexible, quick dry shorts or pants and short sleeve shirts; sturdy close-toe hiking boots or shoes; rain pants and jacket; warm layers such as fleece; visor or sun hat; warm, lightweight hat and gloves; sunscreen and lip balm with sunscreen. A complete equipment list will be given upon registration. Art supplies for individual session are supplied. If you would like additional materials for the final expression you may purchase those at your own cost.​

Physical Ability:

  • Moderate hiking ability required with ability to climb up to 700 - 1,000 feet of elevation gain and loss; ability to sit / stand / and walk on and off trail for six hours. A typical day includes hiking in for up to two hours with activities along the way, staying still in place for activities during the middle portion of the session, then hiking out.

Session Location & Transportation:

  • The wilderness setting for each session will be specifically selected based on conditions of flora, fauna, weather and habitat. Participants will be given the meeting place and hike location closer to the time of each session.

MONTHLY TOPICS

June 11 Connecting in Nature: Stillness & Noticing

Slow down. Tap in. And allow the modern world to fall away. Through silence, stillness and observation, reconnect to the deep resource of Nature. Process what you find there through imaginative visual and written art exercises that allow your senses and the floodgates of creativity to open, exploring complexity within the simple.

July 16 Nature as Healer: Finding the Regenerative Creative Resource

Identify your personal “Nature as source” through investigating concepts of beauty, solace and appreciation. How does Nature support you? What does it have to teach you?  Notice how Nature arrives to relationship with you. Celebrate these sources through art and words that recognize and honor place.

Aug 19 Nature & Despair: Accompanying & Transforming Grief

Acknowledge the difficulty of despair that is a part of being awake to these turbulent times and destruction of the environment. Explore how to creatively honor the wisdom of grief that can propel the hero’s and heroine’s journey forward towards empowerment and positive action. Learn how to process and express these raw emotions through land + art sculpture projects and powerful yet organized writing.

Sept 10 Creative Voice in Nature: Activating Your Expression

Explore how Nature can intersect with and support your creative vision. Ponder the concept of expression, how it moves through you and what you feel compelled to express while in collaboration with the natural world. What do you want to say about your relationship to Nature? Your joy or despair in it? How do you take these concepts and translate them?

Oct 1 Creativity & Nature Activism: Inspiration, Approaches and Actions

Investigate historical and contemporary approaches for creatively engaged activism within the visual and written arts. Experiment with expressing your creative vision that incorporates your connection to Nature and playful activism as a way to shift culture towards  an outward honoring and protecting of the Earth.

Oct 6 Expressions: An Open Air Art Show

Participants who choose have the opportunity to display their visual and written expressions developed throughout the sessions in an outdoor public art gallery in an easily accessed wilderness location. During Expressions: An Open Air Art Show the community may wander amongst the projects inciting discussion with the artist participants and each other. 

Detailed Course Description

INSTRUCTORS

Ivy Walker

Ivy Walker creates temporary artworks in the land and documents these through photographs. She places handmade paper cut-outs, or other art materials, into the land to evoke a temporary, poetic presence. Her artwork explores “the ephemeral” and how this quality, paradoxically, connects all life with the “Infinite.”   
Walker has a Master of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she also taught Drawing and Art Foundations as a part-time lecturer.  She received a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Printmaking from Colorado State University.  She is also a Certified Nature-Connected Coach who incorporates creating art with transformational life coaching sessions in the landscape.  Recently, she has shown work at Artcorps in Pueblo and in Denver at Redline Gallery.  Her work is represented by Gallery 3 in Crested Butte.  For more information, go to www.ivywalker.com.

 

Molly Murfee

Writer Molly Murfee’s favorite muse and passion is the writing of wild places and their inherent metaphor – especially as they wind around the persistent passion and fierce tenacity of mountain people living in the rhythms of their untamed home. She believes that writing can be a powerful tool to educate and entertain, placate or infuriate, speak equally to a politician or a housewife. This is an important vehicle for change in such crucial topics of our time such as the preservation of our wild places or the assurance of human rights.   
Molly holds Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in literature, creative writing and environmental writing specializing in the incorporation of outdoor experiential education into academic programs. She served as a faculty in field programs with Colorado College, Colorado State University, the Audubon Expedition Institute at Lesley University and Colorado Outward Bound teaching creative writing, environmental literature, environmental studies, environmental education, outdoor adventure skills and Leave No Trace ethics, across the United States, Mexico, Canada and the Bahamas. She has penned over 400 published articles locally, regionally and nationally.

Email Molly and Ivy at earthartactivism@gmail.com.  Check out the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/earthartactivism.