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January 30, 2012 / alice

what’s in an image?

imagine you’re standing in a room with more people than you can count. some you know, some you don’t know. the walls are stark white but hardly noticeable behind many groups of bulletin boards as far as the eye can see. the boards are grouped.  and the different groups of boards belong to different people. each board, titled differently and each  picture captioned with an individualized explanation of the image. each image displayed connects you to more information about the image.  various images are duplicated and carried from one group of boards to another group of boards. linking people together in an indiscriminate fashion. it’s as if each person has their own miniature gallery of art they share and can be shared with everyone else in the room.

so why am i am writing about this?! because, i’ve been overwhelmed. not by starting the new semester, not by the job search, not by the teaching i’ve been doing…..

this imaginary journey i had you go on. is what it’s like to get sucked into the world of pintrest.

my pintrest page (follow me!—–>) & let me know if you want and invite!

posts from people i am following

everyone’s posted images

it is the utter joy i experience in browsing beautiful images WHENEVER I WANT! and what do i see when i look at my collection of images ? a reflection of myself.  the best way to describe this website, to those who haven’t found it yet, is a never ending sea of virtual bulletin boards of images people connect with. like collections of picture albums filled with photos you haven’t taken but still love like your own.

to drive this point even further…. have you ever been able to pass up the opportunity to look into a coffee table book stuffed with giant colorful photos? i think not….

the beautiful things we witness in the world make our hearts sing, calm us and remind us who we are.  on pintrest we show images of places we want to see, things we want to cook, projects we want to make, develop our style, find beauty and connect with people we’ve never met about our passions.

it’s not just found images that we that we identify with. given the chance we can create pictures that depict our life experiences and remind us of our constitution.

this week i led an art project for a delightfully small class of two middle school boys. everyone else was absent and this led to a deepening artful exercise that they truly loved and connected with. i asked them to stop and think about some aspects of their personality they struggle with. i asked them to contemplate …..  am i quick to lose my temper, pick fights with my siblings, be negative about my writing or math abilities, be stressed, lose patience with my parents or not be the best friend i can be?  then i asked them to think about how they overcome these things and what that means to them. from these thoughts they created abstract paintings depicting overcoming the aspects of their lives that are truly difficult for them.

overcoming weaknesses

overcoming weaknesses 2

i can see this project being used in certain circumstances with children, teens or adults who struggle with even bigger issues of violence, self esteem, quitting smoking or being separated from their families. using images to remind us of what we struggle with, focus on what makes us strong and imagine how things can be when we triumph. finding beauty, in ourselves.

(disclaimer: i am not an art therapist! while these activities can be used for self reflection in a class i don’t recommend trying to use this exercise for someone coping with trauma without a professional therapist or art therapist)


Leave a Comment
  1. edantron / Jan 31 2012 3:37 am


  2. Wendt / Feb 2 2012 4:14 am

    Pinterest is overwhelming.
    Your class must have been incredible.

  3. herestheproblem / Feb 7 2012 3:08 pm

    Aw. You make pinterest sound so lovely. Well done

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