After a one-year hiatus, the Clatsop Community College Basic Design class is once again exploring the practice of Shinrin-Yoku through the multiple perspectives of visual art, environmental awareness, and sustainability. The Spring 2021 Basic Design class would like to extend an invitation to the community to take a break during the afternoon of Friday, June 11th from 2 to 5 p.m. to enjoy a leisurely walk along the beautiful campus trail that leads up to the column. The start location is at the back of the lower parking lot below the art building on campus. In lieu of a gallery reception for this year’s Annual Juried Art Student Show, the public is invited to attend a special gathering at 2 p.m. on June 11th honoring all of our art students’ creative accomplishments throughout the academic year and to recognize this year’s award winners.
The Shinrin-Yoku event was inspired by multi-talented local artist, performer, and activist Marco Davis, who conceived of the innovative event called Sunday in the Park with Art. This will be the fourth year that Basic Design students will install both individual and collaborative creative projects along the trail. The Japanese concept of Shinrin-Yoku, loosely translated into English as “Forest Bathing,” is a form of healing that involves wandering along a forest trail or spending time in natural places. This practice has proven to have many benefits, including boosted immune function, reduced blood pressure, reduced stress, improved mood, increased ability to focus, increased energy level, and improved sleep.
This year’s judge for the Annual Juried Art Student Show, Deanna Antony, the current Astoria Visual Arts Artist-in-Residence, recently conducted a workshop in which the Basic Design students collaborated in the beginning stages of creating a soft sculpture made out of upcycled fabrics using a unique process developed by the artist herself, which incorporates the free-form cutting of fabric combined with both machine and hand-stitching. The completed piece, further developed by Ms. Antony, will be installed on the trail for the event.
Several students in the Basic Design class shared thoughts about their experience preparing for the event. “I’m glad that we got a chance to make something beautiful out of garbage with this project,” Abigail Albright states. “I did two beach clean ups to gather materials to turn into a wind chime. I hope our art can inspire others.”
“Participating in the annual Shinrin Yoku event has increased my awareness of the amount of trash that now exists in our world,” Sherry Holdiman explains. “It’s exciting to incorporate garbage into a work of art. Returning to the forest and experiencing nature has therapeutic value.”
“I’m excited to be able to participate in an event that combines both wellness and taking care of the environment,” Isabel Talley comments. “I think the idea behind this project allows us all to think creatively while educating ourselves about the waste we contribute to the environment and how we can attempt to reduce it and repurpose it.”
As in previous years, the Basic Design class has created hand-painted rocks that will be interspersed along the trail for hikers in order to entice our community to get into the healthy habit of using the trail on a regular basis. The watercolor class also contributed to the effort by creating mini-frescos of miniature watercolors painted on plaster encased in small upcycled cans. When hikers discover a rock or mini-fresco along the trail, they may keep it or relocate it for another hiker to discover! Please join us for this open-air event celebrating the extraordinary healing powers of both art and nature.