Donna Bliss Interview with Carol Austin, PHD Clinical Psychology, TACHP Faculty “Your Brain Your Art”

NorthShore University HealthSystem February Blog:

February 10, 2020:  Donna Bliss Interview with Carol Austin, PHD Clinical Psychology, TACHP Faculty “Your Brain Your Art”

Carol is an artist and psychologist who works with her students to explore the unique relationship between creativity and the brain.  Described as “mind blowing”, this class stimulates creativity, stretch the mind, and help overcome blocks to understand how we think and process information. Carol also focuses on exploration and personal discovery and to foster cooperative group processing and sharing.

Donna: “Carol, tell us about the impact of creativity on our brain and general outlook on life.”

Carol: This class, “Your Brain Your Art” aims to help everyone think and process information.  For example a Left Brain person processes one way, and a Right Brain student processes their way, both can use creativity to slow the aging process”.

Donna:  That is intriguing, we all want to stay young and vibrant.  Can you explain how that works?”

Carol: Trying new things stimulates the brain function, enhances memory and helps the aging brain.  We don’t really forget things, our brains are just on overload, so it take longer to remember.  When I deal with aging students I sometime hear, ‘Nothing interests me, I’m complacent, or I need to try something new.’ If your brain is healthy you will try new things.”

Donna:  What is the specific link between art and creativity and brain function:”

Carol:  Ask yourself how many hours did you spend in school leaning history? How many hours did you spend learning to make decisions, or how much time does it take you to process information?  Using that same amount of time being creative will give you insights that will help you in your creative expression, and slow down the aging process.”

 

Carol Austin teaches, “Your Brain Your Art” at The Art Center Highland Park, and will offer that class for the Spring Session.

Follow these Tips for a Healthy Art Filled Holiday

The holidays are the perfect time to celebrate life and spend time with family, friends, and loved ones. However, during the holiday season it can also be stressful to keep your mental and physical health in the forefront of your mind. This season, make sure you continue to build in time for your health and wellness, let creativity melt your stress.
The Art Center Highland Park and NorthShore University HealthSystem have partnered to bring health and wellness to the community. Take a few moments for yourself and try one of these winter mini classes. Bring friends and family with you.

These workshops will give you the opportunity to make gifts for your family and friends, experience the visceral joy of being in a drum circle, and taking a moment to relax and create.

December 5th, Life Rhythms Drum & Singing Circle Workshop

Life Rhythms is focused on adults wanting to improve memory and participate in making music on an individual and group level. There are significant intellectual, social and emotional benefits inherent in making music and research has shown that drum circles can improve cognitive activity by allowing participants to be a part of something they feel has purpose. Keeping engaged and active by participating in recreational and therapeutic drumming activities in a community setting benefits long term health and wellness and overall quality of life.

December 7th, Visual Storytelling through Phototransfer
This unique, hands-on workshop with local artist Victoria Marchio will provide you with an opportunity to select and transfer your own images to create a mixed-media canvas that will tell a story about the theme of your choosing. By using carefully chosen images and text you can create a canvas that expresses a political, social, moral, or cultural issue that is of importance to you. Watch powerful images emerge from a theme about which you feel passionate!

December 13th The Joy Project: Art and Wellness
Introduce art to your wellness practice in this one day workshop and find joy in the creative process by slowing down and taking a breath. Through exercises in mindfulness, play, journaling and expressive art making, we will discover the connection between

creative activities and well-being. Each class begins with setting an intention and a warm-up exercise. Discover your creativity by playing with paint and other mediums in a relaxed and supportive environment.

December 13th Making Mandala Ornaments Workshop
Come explore mandala patterns and color combinations as we design, draw, and paint on pre-cut wooden ornaments for you to take home. Great for gifts or holiday decorations.

These are a few of the offerings to brighten up your holiday. Check out our website: theartcenterhp.org you can see all the winter-mini classes that can help your outlook this holiday.

Wishing you and your family a very happy and healthy holiday season.

The Art Center Highland Park and NorthShore University HealthSystem Partner for Health and Wellness Curriculum

The Art Center Highland Park and NorthShore University HealthSystem Partner for Health and Wellness Curriculum

The Art Center Highland Park sees the intrinsic link between creative expression and wellness, plus the trend of an aging population in the area as an opportunity to expand. That’s why they are partnering with NorthShore University HealthSystem to expand their Health and Wellness curriculum.

“I was looking for a corporate partner for this new expansion and my attention was drawn to NorthShore University HealthSystem’s core mission, ‘to preserve and improve human life’. There is great synergy with our goals as artists, so I reached out to them,” says Donna Bliss, Director of Development for TACHP.  “Their direct activities to achieve this mission are achieved through the provision of superior clinical care, academic excellence and innovative research and our activities are to create challenging programs that activate the brain, creativity and create community. We’re going ‘full spectrum’ on healthy living.”

While NorthShore launched their initiative Healthy You, an online source for timely health and wellness news, inspiring patient stories and tips to lead a healthy life, TACHP expanded their curriculum from three to nine Health and Wellness Classes, offered in multiple days and times, plus workshops.

Healthy You covers a range of topics from

  • 6 Ways to Boost Your Immune System
  • Healthy Eating on a Budget
  • How to Maximize the changes of Daylight Savings Time

TACHP offers the following:

  • The Art of Play (and Intro to the Art of Play
  • Word Play
  • The Joy Project
  • Sketchbook Journaling
  • Your Brain, Your Art
  • Life Rhythms Drum and Singing Circle

Contact NorthShore University HealthSystem: https://www.northshore.org/healthy-you/

The Art Center Highland Park: www.theartcenterhp.org