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Dancing Octopus Heath & Media

Classes/Workshops: Arts for Wellness


Surrealist Shorts

The Surrealists tapped the power of the subconscious for their artistic inspiration. Work in pairs or groups to use Guided Imagery meditation techniques to retrieve "postcards" from your subconscious. Use the postcards as the basis of a short story (part 1) or, if you take parts 1 and 2, a short video.

Next Offered: Late Summer / Fall 2014



Photography as Meditative Practice

“Tuning in” to a particular sense, or a particular element of that sense, can be a profoundly meditative experience that alters our ordinary perception. 

In this workshop, we will focus on how to deeply SEE, with a special focus on bringing your awareness to light.  We will also practice creating meaning and story through composition.  This is NOT a technical class, so any kind of camera, whether a cell phone, point-and-shoot, or a high-end DSLR, is fine to use. 

Next Offered: Late Summer / Fall 2014



Photoshop for Body Image

For tweens and teens, boys and girls.  Parents welcome.
(Topic inspired by some 13-year-old friends.)

Media creates illusions. That is the nature of media. The specific magic trick of corporate media (advertising, Hollywood, even the news) is to try to sell us all an aesthetic and a lifestyle that they dictate is “ideal”, and then try to sell us products to reach this “ideal”.  People of all ages often go to unhealthy lengths in an effort to strive for this media mandated idea of “beauty” or “sexy” or “successful”.  Teens and tweens, however, are particularly targeted by the media industry because when we are young we are still trying to figure out our identities.  So we can be more vulnerable to people’s suggestions of who we should be. 

How do you stand strong and break their spell?  It is easier than you think!

Learn to construct and deconstruct corporate advertising imagery by making yourself look "like a model" and by making a model look like a tuna.  :)   Once you learn how media images are made and why, you will never looks at these images the same way, and they will lose a lot of power over you. 

Also learn about success stories like a group of thirteen-year-old girls that took on Abercrombie and Fitch for their demeaning stereotypes of teen girls and WON to create change!

This workshop combines wellness discussion and learning about media analysis with learning practical digital media skills.   Bring a laptop or iPad with Photoshop, at least one media image that makes you feel small, and at least one media image that makes you feel GREAT! 

If you do not have a computer, please call to make arrangements. If you do not have Photoshop, you can download similar open source programs such as Gimp for free:  http://www.gimp.org/

Next Offered: Fall 2014