How Landscape Heals

Saturday’s event for Marin Mind/Scapes at the de Young Museum was a wonderful experience. The Piazzoni Murals Room formed the perfect setting for our program on the Healing Power of Landscape. The program began with Dr. Michael Freeman’s seating slide show entitled The Titans’ Circle of Life, Inspiration, Courage, Leadership and Passion, accompanied by songs of James Taylor.  Images of leaders in all walks of life, including Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, Winston Churchill, Judy Garland, Sir Isaac Newton, and Thomas Edison.  One visitor who wandered in from the bustling halls of the de Young asked incredulously, “Carrie Fisher? I didn’t know she had bi-polar disorder.” Yes, and so did Ernest Hemingway, Paul Robeson, Abraham Lincoln, and many other famous leaders and visionaries.

Dr. Freeman’s presentation on The Healing Power of Landscape was fascinating in its depiction of the evolution of humans and our migration from our origins in Africa. Dr. Freeman spoke of how our hunter/gatherer beginnings link us to the landscape and the many different ways that landscape connects us with our selves.

Laurie Thompson, librarian of the Anne T. Kent California Room, Marin County Free Library, and Marilyn L. Geary, Marin Mind/Scapes project director, introduced their film Marin Mind/Scapes, after which Dr. Freeman moderated a Q&A session with the amateur and professional artists in attendance. Questions included how to break through artistic blocks and whether the artists think of others when creating art or only their own vision. The audience responses have been very positive and gratifying. Several wanted more time for the Q and A session.

“A varied presentation (slide show, video, panel discussion). Didactic, information, impressionistic. Bravo!”

Byron Griffin, Homa Karimzad, Marilyn Geary, Sherrill Miller, Steve Emery, Kathleen Lipinski, Charm Dupress, J. Thomas Soltesz, Laurie Thompson

“This was truly excellent.”

“Excellent in all ways. Very happy I came to this. Thank you so much.”

“It was a wonderful and inspiring experience! Thank you.”

“Excellent film, forum as well.”

“Nature, art, mental health, and oral history all all primary interests of mine and was a delicious combination to encounter.”

A big Thank You to all the artists for sharing their stories and their art. Thanks also goes to Beverly Kell, NAMI-Marin  and Tish Brown of the Fine Arts Museums’ Access Program for co-sponsoring this event.

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