The Expressive Arts Experience - Yvette Lyons, Ph.D., Expressive Arts Therapist
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What is Transformational Arts?

 
What is Transformational Arts?
 
Someone recently wrote me and asked me about transformational arts.  What is Transformational Arts?  What is the art of transformation?  Or better,  How are the arts used for transformation?    Although I have been doing this work for quite some time, both personally and professionally, I really had to stop and think about defining this concept.  
 
To start, let’s simply look at, What is Transformation?   Transformation is about change. For the purpose of this blog, we will say, the change in consciousness.  And, when you change your consciousness, you change your world.
 
I have heard many artists speak about how creating their art is life changing, and therapeutic, and how they feel changed by the process.  Energy and emotions are released leaving from for light, insight, and healing, which allows for a new perspective.  After engaging in the process of art making we are changed.  Many find the creative process a spiritual experience. 
 
A quote from RASSOULI one of my favorite visionary artist, known for his unique style of Fusionart states,
 
“Observing beauty is my religion, both inner and outer beauty. I reach to make it visual. I long to find the expression in the flow from my heart.” Rassouli
And, 
 
 “The fire of desire is the catalyst for the creation of every great work of art.
Everything we do is prompted by the desire to become the inspiration that moves the world.” Rassouli
 
When engaging in the art process for self growth, healing and transformation, no artistic ability is necessary.  We only the willingness to trust the Self, and allow what needs to be expressed to come through.   Art is intuitive, it passes through us.  Art releases emotions and energy from the inside out without the need for words.   The process of art making is transforming.  It leaves us changed.  Color, form and image becomes the language for our unexpressed.  
 
The use of dance is also transforming.  Dance/movement changes the brain.   Our most basic expressions in our lives start in the body.  Dance is used worldwide to express, inspire, honor, celebrate and entice.  The use of movement and the body for personal change and transformation is deep and powerful.  Gabriel Roth, creator of the 5Rhythms says,
 
 “The more you dance, the more you sweat.
 The more you sweat, the more you pray.
 The more you pray, the closer you come to ecstasy."
Gabrielle Roth
 
Dance movement  is like a moving meditation.  And just as art for transformation does not need any prior artistic ability,  dance for transformation does not need any prior dance experience or training.   It is about the PROCESS  of moving our body to release old past pains or emotions to make room for growth and healing.
 
Music is very also healing.  Music is highly documented as a means to heal the brain and body.  Take Senator Gabrielle Gifford’s recovery.  She was able to bring back speech after her horrific incident through singing and music.  I once witnessed performer Sting in an interview say that his music was his psychiatrist throughout  his life.  Music transforms us, our cultures and our world.
 
Transpersonal arts, is the use of the arts to transcends us from the personal to a realm beyond into the spiritual for a change in consciousness through the various expressive arts.
 
Since engaging in the arts is transformational, how then does our course entitled, "Transformational Arts" differ?  Well, this is were we focus more closely on the sacred in the arts.  We examine the sacred in art, dance, music, ritual and storytelling, cross culturally, and psychologically.
 
 
 

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