Charlotte professor’s new book advocates mindfulness in art classes

Friday, September 22, 2023

A new book by Professor of Art Education Jane Dalton introduces mindfulness-based expressive arts practices to art teachers. Published by Davis Publications, a leading publisher of art education materials and resources, “The Mindful Studio: Cultivating Creativity and Well-Being in the Art Classroom” advocates for the importance of cultivating one’s inner life as a fundamental part of creative practice —for both teachers and students.

“In 1990, I was formally introduced to meditation and yoga,” Dalton said. “Both became lasting practices that sustained me through many of life’s challenges. Today, expressive arts and meditation are woven into the fabric of my personal life and classroom practice. I have found that engaging in practices that move me toward my own transformation are at the heart of both teaching and living. In my creative practice — whether it is formal, exhibited work or less formal, expressive arts-based experiences — mindfulness is an essential element. Being fully present to materials, process and intuitive promptings awakens creative expression and enhances well-being.”

“The Mindful Studio” is organized into four chapters. The first introduces and explains mindfulness as a practice and offers exercises to encourage readers to establish a “culture of mindfulness.” The second integrates mindfulness with the expressive arts, demonstrating ways to expand creativity by incorporating other modalities, such as poetry and movement. In chapter three, “The Art of Self Care,” Dalton guides teachers through the process of “visual journaling” as a path for their own mindful practice, and in chapter four, she demonstrates how mindfulness in the art classroom engages the whole student, mind, body, and heart.

Read more on the College of Arts + Architecture website.