LYDIA CHESHEWALLA

RECIPROCAL WISDOM

Reciprocal Wisdom: Symbiotic Learning Through Play

A new paradigm for education in a shifting world.

Combining Indigenous pedagogy and contemporary learning models, I have created an art curriculum for children that is informed by and responds to climate change, sustainability efforts, and art's impact and reliance on the natural world. Guided by children's curiosity and innate desire to play, this curriculum supports a flexible approach to learning about historical and contemporary art through an ecological perspective.

Why?

Every generation inherits the world from the generation before it. Artists have always played the role of observers, commenters, critics, interpreters, and activists amidst the changing cultural currents of the world. Guided by these two basic ideas, I wanted to encourage the next generation of young artists and creatives to consider the impact art has and could have on the world through a non-anthropocentric lens.

Goals

  • Inspire children to look more closely at the natural environment in ways that inspire curiosity, awe, and respect.
  • Deepen understanding of the interrelationships between art and ecology.
  • Teach sustainable ways to engage with a changing planet as an artist.
  • Using a real model of artistic durational practice, demonstrate how art can engage with ideas across many disciplines to create change over time.
  • Explore historical and contemporary art forms that collaborate with land, act as remediation/conservation efforts, and draw attention to how art emerged from nature.
  • Introduce the idea of transgenerational collaboration, a deep-time informed understanding of human relationship to land.
  • Learn the communication skills necessary to facilitate effective collaboration.
  • Utilizing expansive and big-picture thinking alongside detail-oriented practices.
  • Comfortability in risk-taking and non-attachment to outcome/flexibility in expectation.
  • Explore what art is and can be through the exploration of many mediums.

Areas of Focus

01

PLAY

02

CURIOSITY

03

CLOSE LOOKING

04

RELATIONSHIP


Experience

Homeschool Art Class, Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, OK   2018 - 2020

The curriculum for the 2019-2020 year focuses on the relationship between art, earth science, philosophy, and deep time, engaging children in an age-appropropriate, transdisciplinary exploration. I combine traditional studio practices with sensory and curiosity play in the gardens, using simple ideas such as a rock collection to engage the kids with more complex concepts of time, natural cycles, and durational art making.

Past curriculum (2018-2019) was focused on building emotional intelligence through vocabulary and communication skills, working towards collaboration, and encouraging risk taking through art.

Teaching Artist - Any Given Child, Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, OK   2018 - 2020

Provided input from teaching year-to-year, as well as inspiration from my current research as a working artist, to develop  programming that centered on close looking.

Teaching Artist - Summer Camp, Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, OK 2019

  • Art in the Garden - An art class taking place predominantly outside.
  • Get Fired Up - A two-week intensive pottery class culminating in a smoke firing.

Teaching Artist - Youth Arts Council Workshop, Living Arts of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK 2018

Led an ephemeral art workshop centered around historical and contemporary art works focused on environmental awareness and ecological remediation.

Teaching Artist - Summer Camp, Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, OK 2018

  • Express Yourself! - An artistic exploration of feelings, identity, and creating safe spaces.
  • Upcycled Art - Creative art making using unlikely materials.
  • Ephemeral Art - Using natural materials to create temporary works of art.

Teaching Artist - Any Given Child, Hardesty Arts Center, Tulsa, OK 2017

Teaching Artist - Adult Summer Camp, Current Studio, Oklahoma City, OK 2016

Teaching Assistant - Summer Camp, Firehouse Art Center, Norman, OK 2010


Trainings

Non-Violent Communication through Space, Held Holy Tent, led by Lynn McLellan and Jeff Tretsven.

Trauma Workshop through Ankrum Institute, led by Lynda Jacobs, LPC.

Embryology Workshop through Ankrum Institute, led by Miriam Rose, PhD.


Research & Resources

21st Century Skills

Paradoxes of Group Life

King Arthur's Round Table

The Body Keeps the Score

Visible Learners

Studio Thinking 2

Keepers of the Earth

Blog posts filed under #opentabs


For All Ages

My curriculum prioritizes children but is adaptable for any age range.

Offering

Flexible art lessons and curriculum for homeschool students.

Ecologically-centered art workshops for all ages.

One-on-one lessons for creating conscious art.

Consulting on how to add mindfulness to your practice.

Peer-to-peer support and training for parents and educators.

Online or PDF-guided art activities to stay creative & centered while physical distancing.

Contact

I am currently available for bookings. Connect with me to find out more.

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