Creation and Learning: Bridging the Artist and the Educator

Tuesday, August 1, 2017  -  Saturday, August 5, 2017

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 visual artist and facilitator as well 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. She brings over 15 years experience of working with organizations and individuals in their creative process.  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. Currently, she works as a teacher for a Montessori school in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

General Information
The cost for the retreat is $225 plus lodging (four nights at $45 per night). The retreat begins with a late afternoon gathering and a meal. All other meals are the responsibility of individual participants, and each guest space is equipped with a complete kitchen. Participants will be able to check into their cabins by 1:00 pm on August 1. There will be three full days of retreat, with a late morning gathering concluding the retreat by noon on August 5.

To register, please email Megan Schopf or phone her at 269-506-2074.