I created the project in 2010. The mission is to offer fun and relaxing ways to use art for self-discovery, play, and connect with others.
- The project focuses on the art-making process, play, mindfulness, self-discovery and having fun.
- The project doesn’t focus on talent, making something pretty or coloring inside the lines.
From the beginning of time, humans used art to tell stories and make meaning. Just check out those beautiful cave paintings in France and Spain that date back around 35,000 years ago.
Art can also be used to heal. To remind us of things we need in our lives. To comfort us. To connect to places within ourselves that have no words.
Many of us loved to make art as kids. It was playful and spontaneous. As we got older, though, some of us stopped making art. Maybe someone told us our art was crap. Maybe our own critical voice said it was just no good.
Whatever it was, we lost the connection to it.
The Art Circle Project is about reclaiming this sense of fun and play that our early selves loved about making art. It’s about reconnecting to this place within us.
I call it a circle because a circle is a container. It’s a place where we can all witness each other without having to hide in a corner. It’s a place where every person is welcome. Using a circle metaphor for this project was inspired by two women. The first is Jamie Ridler, a creative coach and inspiring woman who — among other things — leads Circe’s Circle, an amazing group experience that I was part of in fall 2010. The second is Jean Shinoda Bolen, MD, psychiatrist, professor, and author of The Millionth Circle.
“Wonderful. That’s what it is to spend two hours with interesting women and art materials.
This isn’t a class, it is an opportunity. And I don’t have to plan the project, or clear a space in my house, or get everything out, or even clean up!
Maureen is a beautiful presence who guides and encourages. The result is a little piece of art I can share or keep private, love or hate, be proud of or be frustrated by. But it is all good, because it is done in the moment with color and texture and paper and crayons and paint and glitter pens!”
- EP, Somerville, NJ