Odyssey Spirit Caves Mom's Bones Tikkun Olam Weaving Totems


Workshops: Myth, Metaphor and Art at Work

Are you or your organization encountering creative dilemmas? Growth challenges? Unanticipated losses? "Cultural" rifts? Seeking new directions?

Are you or your relationships struggling with distraction overwhelm? Poverty of insight? A serious case of the Blahs, the Blues, or exhausting round-robins of the blah, blah blahs?

For a fresh approach to problem solving, pathfinding, and regeneration, check out the unique Myth and Art Workshops outlined below. These workshops combine the artistry of several of my sculptural series with evocative mythological themes that stimulated my own creative process. Elements from Homer's Odyssey, Ovid's Metamorphoses, poetry and powerful symbols from world cultures bring collective wisdom to bear on issues of ongoing development, relationships, and organization, and facilitate alignment of direction, meaning, and purpose.

We often hear the phrase "a work of art," yet the "work" of art, what art can do, is less often considered and even less often applied to creative dilemmas in our work environments, daily lives, and evolving worldviews.  As illustrated in other sections of this website, I have created several series of sculptures, which, it turns out, have work to do. In the six workshops below, my sculptures, writings, and their symbolic associations entice the visual imagination and our own mythic foundations into new territory – your territory, engaging unexplored capacities in problem solving, transformational process, and integrative practice.

The workshops and exhibits are adaptable in focus, venue, duration, size, and demographic. They can be individualized as stand-alone or companion presentations for deepening awareness in a variety of settings, professions, and life stages: corporate leadership and orientation retreats; galleries; art schools, education (schools, liberal arts universities, departments of civics, social work and psychology, anthropology, classics, religion), spiritual centers, social planning (government, civil service, city planning, land use, environment, architecture, realty), community centers (cultural integration, immigrant assimilation), spirit-based organizations, senior centers (life planning, memoir, retirement, relocation, identity and aging), veterans groups, in gender reconciliation (men's groups, women's groups, writing groups, book groups), social artistry workshops, and individual guidance.

Contact me to arrange for workshops, presentations, and/or exhibits. A brief summary of six current topics follows.

1. Islands of Experience in Homer's Odyssey: Facing the Unknown in Leadership and in Life

Scylla, Charybdis, and Clashing Rocks Primary resources for this workshop are my Odyssey series and Homer's Odyssey. Homer's Odyssey is a complex, powerful, ancient story with relevance and wisdom that do not fade. This story is a cultural cornerstone for western civilization. It is often described as a hero's journey home from war, but Homer's Odyssey addresses so much more than that. It tells not only of a man's long journey home but also of his deepest longings, and of the travails of his family, waiting twenty years for his return. The twenty sculptures of my Odyssey series provide the visual and symbolic landscape for the workshop, where participants explore parallel elements of their own journeys, decisions, challenges, losses, and regeneration. A review of a prior exhibit and presentation at a nearby university offers a description of the evocative power of this sculptural series and the issues this workshop explores.  

2. Weaving Odysseus Home: Explorations in Gender Reconciliation

Thumbnail, Eagle within Gates of Dream This workshop also draws on Homer's Odyssey and my Odyssey series of sculptures, but through a different lens. Here we follow the threads of Feminine Challenge and Wisdom woven through the story. We witness the concerns not only Penelope, the waiting wife of Odysseus, but also the influence of other personifications of the Feminine, Athena, Calypso, Circe, the Sirens, Queen Arete, Princess Nausicaa, even Odysseus's old nurse Eurycleia – to mention only a few. All either demand or invite Odysseus into relationships moderating the masculine skew of war, while at the same time, far away, the adolescent son of Odysseus struggles with Feminine Presence. It is said of warriors that a disruption of the inner masculine- feminine balance interferes with their ability to form or resume meaningful, intimate relationships when they return home. It is also clear that the cultural wars between patriarchy and matriarchy perpetuate an unnecessary and harmful imbalance of the masculine and feminine both internally and in the culture, profoundly affecting our capacity to integrate the polar tensions fully within ourselves and to enter into balanced relationships with one another. In contrast to "what is said," the unspeakable and the ineffable, the "not-yet-said" in our culture obscures the cost of this vast duality. As our emerging consciousness reckons with sexual wounds and gender wars, and looks toward recognition, healing, and gender integration, this workshop explores the re-integration of the feminine and masculine both symbolically within each of us, and in the daily experiences and expressions of  modern culture and personal life.

3. The Sacred Feminine in Art, Dream, and Daily Life; Tracking Spirit – up close and personal

thumbnail, Triple Goddess This workshop pairs my sculpture series Spirit Caves with the ancient Greek poem Homeric Hymn to Demeter, Ovid's Metamorphoses, studies of the Heroine's Journey, my own writings – and yours. Meet the Triple Goddess, the Washer at the Ford, the Dark Goddess, the Hag, the Crone, and other psychoactive personifications of the Sacred Feminine.

4. Empty Nest and the World Tree: Home Base in Changing Circumstance

Thumbnail image from Empty Nest sculpture This workshop draws on my works, Empty Nest, and other elements in the Mom's Bones series, in the context of cultural symbols for centering, depth, and transcendence. Developing awareness, attention to emotional issues, and rites of passage honor transitions in family life, work life, spiritual life, and the life-death transformation itself.

5. Anima Mundi: Creative Tension in Work, Life, Love, and Art

Thumbnail, Ripples of Sun over Earth and Sea Anima Mundi, a Latin term for the "Soul of the World," is the focus and title of my large triptych, a highly textured, intensely colored wire and fiber sculpture which has evolved over two decades as I resolved the creative tension each new change posed. Anima Mundi is included in two albums on this website, in Weavings, and in Tikkun Olam.This workshop discusses the tensions inherent in the creative process, not only within art, but in leadership, growth, and environmental awareness. It explores how we discover "the size of what we are doing," how to work with the inherent polarities of creative work, and our own complex, personal relationship with the Spirit of Earth.

6. Circling and Centering within the Life Journey

Encrypted directions for Truia labyrinth

Try this short, simple workshop for some serious fun! Unfinished tasks nagging? Late again? Work piling up? Deadlines hovering? Flipping out? Clutter clobbering? Old habits no longer helpful? In this workshop, learn skills to intercept procrastination by supporting intention! Invoke ancient patterns and symbols from the Greek and Celtic traditions to create visual and tactile supports useful in everyday life, for beginnings, for gauging emotional state, and for values orientation. Replace that focusing cigarette, that stiff bracer, that hidden bag of crunchies, and the scathing inner voice with a finger-jog through your own microcosmic labyrinth. Quickly outline and evaluate your priorities with a Pilgrimage in a Nutshell. Let the Discernment Spiral assess your inclination and provide emotional support for going in and coming out. Align your intention and available energy with the priorities and sense of purpose, task by task, day by day, throughout your life journey!

Contact me for a more detailed description of the above workshops or for a consultation to discuss issues of significance and how we might adapt one of these workshops to meet your needs. Enlist new synergies in the ongoing challenge to create a balanced, sustainable, holistic future.