Creation and Learning: Bridging the Artist and the Educator

labyrinth in green meadow with house in background

Wednesday, July 11, 2018  -  Monday, July 16, 2018

GilChrist Retreat Center 56265 Day Rd Three Rivers , MI

How do we build capacity for imagination, innovation, exploration and creativity? 
Both teachers and artists are engaged in the creative process. Both choose what they want to communicate and what they want to "craft," whether it be a painting, a performance, or a learning experience. In both instances, there is a desire to focus attention, to shift perception, to ask questions, and to spark response through the direction of the experience they desire to share. Yet what guides those choices? How are we aware of the very processes we engage to develop what we want to explore or express?   

This is s a retreat for teachers and artists of ALL disciplines to immerse, contemplate, celebrate, and share insights into how we recognize the creative and how the creative process informs our unique roles and lived experiences. The retreat will provide space to experience the essential value of inquiry, engagement, self-reflection, and creativity. As we delve into our own creative process, we can learn from each other's unique perspective and explore what it takes to develop capacity for innovation, imagination, creativity, and learning.  

This retreat will be offered in a studio format, much like a working artist. Days will be organized with a balance of independent and communal time. Participants will be able to experiment with different tools, media, and artistic disciplines, and there will be more than one activity available at any given time to explore. There will be art experiences unfolding on the property and facilitated group experiences each day. Participants should also expect time for independent self-directed practice. Both teachers and artists are encouraged to bring their own projects and materials to explore while on retreat, to play with their own creative ideas, and engage their own natural curiosity or interest.  
About the Facilitators
Nick Mahmat  believes a work of art is an inexhaustible source for investigation and can open up new ways of seeing, thinking, and being. He is a multi-disciplinary artist and facilitator, and recently began working for the Juilliard School in New York as a drama curriculum specialist. He also works as the Aesthetic Education Program coordinator for Kalamazoo RESA’s Education for the Arts Program.  He brings more than 10 years’ experience working as an aesthetic education practitioner with individuals of all ages. During that time he has worked with various arts and education organizations such as Patch Theatre and The Art Gallery of New South Wales, in Adelaide, AU, Lincoln Center Institute in New York City, The Davidson School of Design in Georgia as well as organizations throughout the state of Michigan.

Megan Schopf  is a teacher, artist, and lifelong learner. Megan began studying art 20 years ago, and her artwork often reflects a merging of nature, place, and figure. She explores perception, reflection, and awareness through the creative process, following what has heart and meaning, in the moment. She is devoted to providing environments that encourage growth and development of self, and brings over 15 years experience of working with both adults and children building awareness of the presence of the creative in where and how we live. Currently, she works as a Montessori teacher in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

General Information The cost for the retreat is $500 plus lodging. The cost for cabin accommodations is $50/night for single occupancy, and payment for lodging can be made directly to GilChrist by cash or check. Participants are encouraged to complete a registration form with a $50 deposit by June 10 to secure a spot and reserve a GilChrist cabin. Cabin check-in is 3:00-5:00 p.m. on Wednesday and check-out is at noon on Sunday. The retreat begins in WindHill at 6 p.m. on Wednesday and closes at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Sessions will be in WindHill and at various outdoor locations on the GilChrist property. Individuals are responsible for their own meals. There will be a shared potluck lunch on Sunday. 

To register or for more details, please email Megan Schopf .