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Nature Connection Through Reflection 4-Part Class
January 8 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
An event every week that begins at 10:00 am on Wednesday, repeating until January 29, 2020
Dates: Wednesdays, January 8, 15, 22, and 29
Time: 10:00 a.m. – noon
Location: Montana Natural History Center
Start the new year strengthening your connection to nature and cultivating peaceful reflection.
This 4-part series is composed of activities designed to promote a mindful and observant presence in nature whether out in the wild, walking along the river trail, or in your own backyard. Course instructors are artist Kate Crouch, author Peggy Christian, and naturalist Christine Morris.
January 8: Meditative Art Making with Kate Crouch
This first class will begin with a guided meditation on gratitude for the natural world around us and appreciating the richness of what we already have. Practicing gratitude can help us focus on optimism, love, and joy while improving our resilience and health. We will then use images, drawings, stencils, paint, pen and ink, and a variety of other materials to build artistic collages that capture what we are most grateful for. Experiment with texture, pattern, color, and shape to create a layered art journal piece that can continue to grow after the class.
MNHC will provide all materials and supplies but participants may bring in additional photographs, images, stamps, stencils, or natural objects suitable for collage-style artwork.
Note: This class is 2.5 hours, ending at 12:30 p.m.
Kate Crouch has been teaching nature-based studies, art, yoga, and mindfulness for children and adults since 2002. She started her own Mindful Art Education business Mind Your Self in 2017. Her passion is encouraging students in the discovery of unity between themselves and the natural world. Kate has a Master’s degree in Arts Integration from the University of Montana, and has led educational programs for ZACC, SPARK Arts, and the Montana Natural History Center.
January 15: Sensory Writing with Peggy Christian
Find the words to express your observations and reflections. Author Peggy Christian will help you practice closer investigation and presence in your surroundings through a series of sensory-based activities. We will become inspired by a selection of readings to apply our own writing to our experience. This class is focused on gathering the words and descriptions through contemplative observation. Use the writing to enhance your nature journals, make poems, write field notes, or find another avenue to appreciate nature.
Peggy Christian has been teaching creative writing and creative reading to both adults and children for many years. She has given workshops in schools throughout the country, in Washington, California, Colorado, Vermont, and Montana, as well as overseas in New Zealand. Her books include If You Find a Rock and The Bookstore Mouse. Peggy is also a photographer and artist with her work shown in Missoula galleries and at the Montana Natural History Center.
January 22: Mindful Event Mapping with Christine Morris
Explore the connection between present moment awareness and the natural world through mindful walking and creating an event map. Becoming attuned to the more subtle features of the environment such as bird songs, winter shrubs, micro-climates, soil, and rocks is an enriching and peaceful naturalist skill. We will begin by focusing on our breath and footsteps to bring attention to our physical body. From there we will move our concentration toward the natural elements around us. As we walk along the river trail and in the Clark Fork Natural Area we will sketch an event and sound map. When we return to the classroom we will enhance our sketch with details and color. No drawing experience is necessary – these can be maps made of words or symbols.
January 29: Nature Mandalas with Christine Morris
Mandalas are used to focus attention, promote meditation, and contemplate a symbolic representation of the cosmos. We will gather natural materials to create our own mandalas thinking about rhythm, pattern, and meaning both in the design and what it represents. Depending on the weather, we will build the mandalas outside for others to enjoy, or bring items inside. Though we can’t take the mandalas home with us, we can photograph them for future contemplation, wall art, or note cards. Find tranquility and presence in this quiet practice.
Christine Morris is a naturalist and the Community Programs Coordinator at the Montana Natural History Center. She teaches the Master Naturalist course and coordinates a variety of other programs and activities for adults and children. She enjoys sharing the sense of fulfillment she finds in nature with her students and enhancing a connection to the natural world through science, art, and reflection.
Cost: $60 MNHC members, $65 non-members
Please ask us about scholarships! We want you to be able to take this class! Call 406.327.0405
Registration is required. Click on THIS LINK to register.
What’s the refund policy?
The course fee (minus a 25% administrative fee) is refundable if a cancellation is made up to 7 days before the event. No refunds will be issued for cancellations made after this deadline.
Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?
Nope! We will have a list of all the attendees.