Image of "be still" art project
  • Retreat
  • Arts and Culture
  • Wellness and Healthcare

"Life Flow" is a retreat for women of color who identify with one or more marginalized identities and take part in social efforts/leadership in their communities. This workshop opens an opportunity to share life stories via guided discussion and creative expression. Art, contemplative practices and restorative yoga are the three major components of this offering. Culturally competent, suitable, and accessible retreats of this nature are essential in today’s society. The goal of this project is to offer visual arts as a vehicle for contemplation and self-expression in a safe space, as well as to communicate salient experiences in a group setting via discussion and integration of restorative yoga. My goal is that participants will value the visual arts as a powerful tool in the narrative of their lives. By creating a supportive learning environment that empowers the participants to utilize the art materials to create a meaningful piece, I believe the participants will walk away feeling confident in discovering the potential of their artistic voice.


About the Facilitator
Alessandra Pye, MA, LPC is a psychotherapist and visual artist managing a private practice in Kalamazoo, Michigan. With 15 + years of experience in mental health, Alessandra became formally trained in Couple, Marriage, and Family Therapy at Western Michigan University, where she acquired a Masters Degree in the department of Counseling Education/Counseling Psychology. Originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil, Alessandra now lives in Kalamazoo with her husband and children, and she enjoys spending time in nature and in her art studio.


Retreat Details

Friday, May 17

  • 5:00-9:00 p.m.: Participants will share past experiences, engage in contemplative practices such as journaling and stillness, share a meal together, and add our first layer to our canvasses--a process we will call "honoring."

Saturday, May 18

  • 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.: Sharing present day challenges and triumphs, engage in contemplative practices such as journaling and stillness, and add the second textured layer to our canvasses--a process we will call "experiencing."
  • 2:00-6:00 p.m.: Participants will share dreams for their future, engage in envisioning group practices and exercises, and add the last layer to our canvasses--a process we will call "manifesting."

Sunday, May 19

  • 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Group gathering to show pieces and end retreat in honorable closure.


To join this retreat
E-mail Alessandra or call her at (269) 762-4861 to register for the retreat. Early bird registration is $325 through March 22, after which the cost increases to $350. Space is limited. Once you have registered with the facilitator, contact GilChrist to reserve your lodging using the online registration form or by calling the main office at (269) 244-1130. Lodging is $50/night per person in addition to the program fee.


GilChrist Retreat Center

Three Rivers , MI 56265 Day Rd