Healing through the arts workshop

Emma KelseyStaff Writer

Last week a very unique and special workshop was held here on campus: Healing through the Arts hosted by Junior Cristina Sirbu. Sirbu has Philosophy and Russian Eastern European studies double majors with a minor in music and is involved in many ways on campus.

Senior Sage Kiefer talks about the structure of the workshop and the impact it had on students who came. She said the structure was set up relatively loosely, because they wanted to see what fit the crowd best. 

“In essence, we introduced the topic, Cristina talked about her mission, I introduced myself and my art and then Jessica led us in a guided meditation to get in tune with ourselves. Cristina also asked a prompt on a sticky note at the start of the workshop and the same question afterwards to see if anything had changed.” 

Kiefer says that her current works “focus on intense and fleeting ephemeral moments that I try to document in my art as to live more presently and much healing has come along with letting these feelings go,: Kiefer said. 

After the meditation, attendees moved into an exercise of reflection where they would pick a paint swatch based on their current emotion and try to illustrate it. 

“The ultimate goal was to create a safe space for attendees to learn and then express themselves,” Kiefer said. 

The experience seemed to resonate with many of the attendees; those who participated seemed receptive to the activities.

“The experience was quite wonderful, there was a lot of good feedback from the guests and I quite enjoyed talking about my process in collaboration with Cristina and the Counseling Center! It was a bit nerve racking to be that vulnerable in front of people but overall a fantastic experience.” Kiefer said. She added that overall, people were very positive about it and expressed that they liked getting in touch with their emotions through art, even if it may be intimidating at first. 

“My favorite park was connecting with my community! It’s quite lovely to see everyone come together to learn about a certain topic and do exercises with it. I also loved seeing the end results of unleashed creativity on all the paint swatches.” Kiefer said. 

“Since I was little I wanted to make a change in the world. I never knew what I’d do, I was just a believer of change. Throughout my time at Gustavus I learned that one CAN in fact make a change in the world. Whether that is simply inspiring, providing, or helping someone who has the power to change or whether it’s actually being the one who creates the space and availability to educate and do the change. This is my goal in life, and this event served to bring people together, give them the opportunity to connect, get inspired, learn, and do things together (painting).” Sirbu said. 

Sirbu shares that her professor Katie Boone helped her and her ideas come to light, and that this event was just the beginning of the bigger things yet to come.

“I think the event went great. It wasn’t something phenomenal, there’s room for improvement, but I was happy to see people connecting with one another, making conversations, and being aware of their own selves and values. I saw and collected insights of people at the event; and I plan to use those for the future where I will be creating more opportunities for people to come together and heal whether that is again through painting, or other things like origami, learning an instrument, etc.” Sirbu said. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *