Author: kd-carolkd-control

Art, Nature, Meditation & Expressive Arts

1. Art, Nature, Meditation and Expressive Arts Program

Reflections At Guild Park (Summer 2022)
Part of National Trust For Canada's 2022 Historic Places Days.

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Guided nature walk, meditation and expressive art workshop exploring the rich colours of oil pastels. No experience necessary with art or meditation. All materials are supplied.

Get started just by “breaking the crayon”!

Led by: John Mason, President Friends of Guild Park and Gardens, and Carol Knowlton-Dority, Visual Artist/Educator

View a presentation with further details here.


2. Art and Nature Meditation

Friends of Guild Park

"I create Expressive Art experiences for children, adults, multi-generational and special interest groups. My programming may combine a nature walk, meditation, a meditation on a painting, as well as Expressive Art activities. These programs are ​provided by educational, arts, cultural, nature, social support services and organizations." - Carol Knowlton-Dority


3. Art and Meditation: Exploring Visual Art and Meditation

Observe Visual Art through the quieting practice of meditation, guided visual exploration of artwork, small group discussion and personal reflection.

Open to all levels of meditation practice. No experience with visual art is necessary.

Past programs at: Cedar Ridge Cultural Centre (City of Toronto), Jaya Yoga Centre, St. John the Divine Convent


4. Expressive Arts Workshops

Expressive Art Workshop
Expressive Art Workshop
Expressive Art Workshop
Expressive Art Workshop
Expressive Art Workshop
Expressive Art Workshop
Expressive Art Workshop
Expressive Art Workshop
Expressive Art Workshop
Expressive Art Workshop
Expressive Art Workshop
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Expressive Art Workshop
Expressive Art Workshop
Expressive Art Workshop
Expressive Art Workshop
Expressive Art Workshop
Expressive Art Workshop
Expressive Art Workshop
Expressive Art Workshop
Expressive Art Workshop
Expressive Art Workshop
Expressive Art Workshop
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I create Expressive Art experiences for children, adults, multi-generational and special interest groups. My programming is provided by educational, arts, cultural, nature, social support services and organizations.

Expressive Arts Workshops encourage reflective observation of paintings and art activities designed to engage participants with their own exploration of inner experiences. Using simple art materials, guided discovery and problem solving challenges that emphasize divergent, interpretive thinking, workshop participants have opportunity to see, feel, imagine and reflect as they work with art materials.

While supporting individual expression, Expressive Arts activities also encourage collaborative learning and interaction with others.

Expressive Arts are a widely accessible means of language and culture neutral communication, learning and experience for participants, and are therefore recommended as an effective and highly equitable approach for learning, personal expression and social communication.

Workshops include:

  • Self-awareness
  • Self Reliance
  • Discovering Empathy
  • Journey Into Peace: A Bullying Prevention Program Through Visual Arts
  • Meditation
  • Meditation, Prayer and Visual Art
  • Exploring the Work of Great Artists
  • Exploring Paper Sculpture Techniques
  • Reflections at Guild Park and Gardens
  • Shaping Early Success at School: Parent Workshop, Toronto District School Board

I have led workshops for City of Toronto, Scarborough Arts, Friends of the Guild, University of Toronto, St. John the Divine Convent, and throughout the Toronto District School Board.

Journey Into Peace

Journey Into Peace:
A Bullying Prevention Program
Through Visual Art

Journey Into Peace is an empathy development/social responsibility program. Through the experience of viewing fine art and making art expressions, students are given the opportunity to explore and process key bullying prevention concepts. Expressive arts are a widely accessible means of language and culture neutral communication and learning for students, and are therefore recommended as an effective and highly equitable approach for learning.

Conflict

    • Equal Balance of Power
    • Difference of Opinion

Bullying

    • Imbalance of Power
    • Intent to Harm
    • Distress Caused in Victim and Bystanders
    • Repeated Frequent Attacks

In JOURNEY INTO PEACE,
visual art becomes a bridge to:

  • Discovering Self Reliance: the biggest factor for success! Experimenting with paper sculpture we build Self-Reliance skills:

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  • Developing tolerance towards differences, and insight into the powerful emotions which connect us all.

Anger

Peaceful

  • Exploring and experiencing the attitudes, resources and tools by which peace may be created within ourselves and in our community.

Exploring Strategies for Managing Difficulty

What Are Your Best Strategies?

Moving from a Difficult Place to a Better Place:
Build a Strategy Bridge

“My Strategy Bridge shows - take one step at a time. It is hard at first, but then you get to a point, where you can just slide right in!” - Grade 6 Student


“Ignore the bully. Keep your eyes on the goal and move right through.” - Grade 5 Student


“My bridge is zig-zagged, wavy and chained. It expresses 3 different ways to change your emotion. The chain represents strength, the waved line represents calmness and the zig-zag line represents independence, that you’re strong enough to ignore the bully.” - Grade 7 Student


 

Every Bridge tells a story: Here the bully is illness

“My Grandmother has short term memory loss and I am using 3 strategies to help cope with watching her struggle. I should accept and appreciate differences because then I won’t feel as bad and just think of it as a difference rather than a problem. I also think I should stay calm so that she won’t think that I think she isn’t capable of doing [things] herself. The last strategy—I will be kind and treat her as a normal human being.” - Grade 8 Student


 

This Grade 8 student envisions herself in a powerful way:

“Plan-If I have a plan, I can follow it to success.
Self Reliant- I need to be able to do it on my own, knowing it, using what I have.
Brave-If I am brave, I can get through hard times.
Risk-I can take a risk to help me reach towards my goal.
Outsmart-I can tell myself that I need to be…
Friends-My friends can always help me through hard times.
Be assertive- I need to be able to control myself and say
Faith-I need to believe in myself, or nothing will be accomplished
Confident-I need to be able to tell myself I can do this
Stay calm- I can’t make [allow] myself to be frightened…"


Journey Into Peace:
A Bullying Prevention Program
Through Visual Arts

Lesson 1: Self-Reliance: Responding To Challenge
Lesson 2: Accepting Difference/Appreciating Difference
Lesson 3: Peaceful Community
Lesson 4: Exploring Conflict And Bullying
Lesson 5: Exploring Strategies For Managing Difficulty
Lesson 6: My Role In Creating Peaceful Community

Lessons explore Paper Sculpture, Colour and Expressive Line, Fine art, thematically linked music, story telling, drama & discussion.

Daily News by Carol Knowlton-Dority

Journey Into Peace: originally designed from Grade 5 to Grade 8 students in the Toronto District School Board and Lakelands District School Board, has been adapted to support:

  • high school students
  • special needs students
  • City of Toronto, Shelter, Housing & Support Division
  • University of Toronto: Scarborough College, Department of Arts, Culture and Media, Regis College
  • St. John the Divine Convent

Ontario’s school system is a microcosm of our diverse society. Day after day, children work and play along side peers from distinct cultures and unique family configurations. They are confronted with differences and persistent social challenges that most adults could not manage with grace.

- Carol Knowlton-Dority with Genevieve Chornenki,
Alternative Dispute Resolution, Ontario Bar Association


Journey Into Peace:
Reviews & Recommendations


Student Quotes

“When Carol was here the best thing about it was she took her time with things-it was never a rush. What I have learned is that you can have as much power as you want. Now that I have power, next year bullies can’t touch me.” - Michael

“Something that I learned was that gossiping is bullying someone. That is something that I will work on.” - Sara

“I liked learning about self-reliance and I also learned to stand up for myself.”

“I really liked the whole experience, but I really liked it when we had the drama plays.”

“Dear Carol, I learned many things from you that are really helping me in life. For example we wrote strategies, I wrote stand up for yourself and I did with a bully.” - Kishoth


Testimonials

The students were very involved and it was evident in their work and by their enthusiasm that they were making connections between the concepts and language of visual arts. They were able, therefore, to produce meaningful expressions of their ideas. - Martin Himelson, Guidance Resource Teacher, TDSB

I would highly recommend this program as it allows students to process key concepts through engagement in visual art activities. It gives students a first-hand, affective and communal experience of the concepts concerning bullying and the attitudes, resources and tools required to build peaceful schools... Carol Knowlton-Dority, an artist and qualified teacher, is encouraging and full of energy. - Pat Broderick, Principal, TDSB

I was impressed at her ability to engage students in the art activities and more importantly, her ability to empower students to share their personal insights and feelings. She creates a warm, inviting and safe atmosphere where students can take risks through the expression of art. - Mercedes Carli, Guidance Resource Teacher TDSB

Students were also encouraged to look at positive role models such as Martin Luther King and Mother Teresa, who used courage to overcome huge obstacles in a non-violent way. The lessons taught throughout Journey Into Peace resonated with the youngsters. “There are a lot of emotions that people have when they’re being bullied, and one thing you can do is to use humour to get through it," said fifth grader Lucas Strezos. Fellow student Ori Solomon said the program helped him gain insight into the nature of bullying. “I learned that bullying is not always beating someone up, it can also be insulting people.” - Justin Skinner, North York Mirror

Wow! The “Journey Into Peace” program was real and inspirational for our students in the CISS project! The Community Initiative for Student Success (CISS) pilot project is a community-based program that addresses the recurring problems of suspensions of elementary students…The experience of visualizing and problem solving through visual art helped our students discover strategies which “bridge” the gap between their personal “difficult” place and their “peaceful” place. Even several weeks after the hands-on experience, the students continued to refer and relate to the bridge image: it was central to the students’ development as we continued in our curriculum, which focuses on the value of self-awareness and self-advocacy. The students enjoyed the “Journey Into Peace” program and were motivated to look inside themselves and have courage to engage in their own journeys. - Trina Wasilewski, Consultant, TDSB; Aldona Volunge, Principal, TDSB

The particular concept for each lesson was well developed, the instructions were clear and there was much opportunity for vocabulary development for the students. The students responded enthusiastically to the art challenges: the activities were open-ended allowed for individual expression and gave students a chance to explore ideas through problem solving.
The challenge of building the “strategy bridges” helped students to personalize and consider the best choices for managing their own difficult situations... The students enjoyed looking at the paintings: very interesting and thoughtful discussion evolved from this opportunity. To share all the ideas and artwork the students produced through the program we arranged the art pieces in the Gym. Throughout the day, each class in the school was invited to tour the work. In the evening, the students brought their families in to see their work, meet Carol and visit with their Teachers and the Principal. - Grace Lauretti-Martin Teacher, TDSB

I worked with Carol for eight weeks…as she presented Journey Into Peace with students of each grade 7 class. I was impressed with the concept of using visual art as a vehicle for anti-bullying discussions and equally impressed with the execution of the program... Carol was very well organized and extremely hard working. She co-operated with four different language arts teachers and ten classes. She created an atmosphere conducive to learning throughout the six sessions, honoured discussions and helped students produce very individual work. Students developed an understanding of personal resources and strategies for confronting difficult situations… Student evaluation of the program was very positive and they were amazed that art could be used to talk about emotion. Staff enjoyed working with Carol over the six sessions. Many commented on the depth of discussion and the new understanding that students developed… - Peggy Payne, Principal, TDSB


It was truly a dynamic experience working with artist/educator Carol Knowlton-Dority and her Journey Into Peace program. One of the strong points of the program is its ability to create reflective moments which further supports the thinking process encouraged in students in the class as a whole. When we returned to the classroom, we found occasions to draw from our common experiences in the Journey Into Peace program and relate the ideas offered in the program to every-day classroom experiences. This was especially important as we have students with special needs, which the program naturally accommodated by validating individual experiences and perceptions and thereby enriching the whole class experience.

My class really enjoyed the art challenge from Lesson 2: Accepting and Appreciating Difference, which focused on the Group of 7 paintings. I found it to be an excellent complement to our classroom study of these painters. The students worked co-operatively to create a large image. Students worked in cooperative teams to create individual sections, which fit together like a puzzle and demonstrated clearly that every part, no matter how insignificant it may appear, plays a part in creating a meaningful whole.

Lesson 4 really helped students to realize the difference between conflict and bullying. The art challenge required that the elements of conflict and bullying each be represented, as a drama, using colour and shape. The subject of conflict and bullying was discussed in the context of great leaders who changed the world (Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa); leaders who were ordinary people who made positive choices about how to respond to difficult situations. This context was assuring as well as inspiring to students.

The students enjoyed the opportunity to strategize and problem solve as they created paper sculpture bridges to show their best choices to help them manage their own journeys from a" difficult place" to a "better place".

Both students and staff enjoyed the program very much. The students’ work was displayed in their classroom and throughout the school. I would highly recommend Journey Into Peace. An excellent program!

- Kathryn Tanguay, Grade 5 Teacher

A Moment In Eternal Time by Carol Knowlton-Dority

Murals

The Smile Mural

Produced for Dr. Karen Pepper, Family and Cosmetic Dentistry (2016)
Video by TCK Productions


Visual-Tactile Murals for DeafBlind Ontario Services

Under The Sea (detail)
Under The Sea (detail)
Under The Sea (detail)
Under The Sea (detail)
Rainforest (detail)
Rainforest (detail)
The Farm
The Farm (detail)
The Farm (detail)
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Under The Sea (detail)
Under The Sea (detail)
Under The Sea (detail)
Under The Sea (detail)
Rainforest (detail)
Rainforest (detail)
The Farm
The Farm (detail)
The Farm (detail)
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Four Murals:

  1. Under The Sea: Kitchener, Ontario
  2. The Rainforest: Jackson’s Point, Ontario
  3. Nova Scotia Seashore: London (Byron), Ontario
  4. The Farm: Peterborough, Ontario

DeafBlind logoThese Visual-Tactile murals, created for DeafBlind Ontario Services, are designed to offer residents a multi-sensory experience.

Each mural has a variety of 3-D elements and textures to enhance its visual features. Using a combination of wood, felt and sculptural media, such as acrylic modelling pastes and gels, dimension was built out from the mural’s surface. Surface textures were created by incorporating sand and fibres into painting mediums. Installed in Snoezelen Rooms, Snoezelen environments are created for children, adults with disabilities seniors with senile dementia, individuals with mental illness, and persons with chronic pain, challenging behaviours, and brain injury. The Snoezelen environment is safe, non-threatening and gently stimulates the senses. All participants experience self-control, autonomous discovery, and exploration within an environment that is self-directed. Research has shown that Snoezelen/multi-sensory environments provide effective support for therapy, creative teaching and expanded life experiences.

View local media articles about Carol’s installations in DeafBlind homes near London, Ontario (in Byron) (Londoner) and Kitchener Ontario (Kitchener Record).


Mastermind Educational Mural

Mastermind Education Mural
Mastermind Educational Mural
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Mastermind Education Mural
Mastermind Educational Mural
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Meditation

Meditation Mural

Commissioned in Memory of Arthur and Helen Joynt
Acrylic on 7′ diameter board
Westminster United Church, Whitby, Ontario


< Portrayal  |  Sculpture >

Canadian Living DIY

Do-It-Yourself Art Activities for All Ages
(published in Canadian Living Magazine)

Inspired by the Dura Garden Art Installation (learn more here), Canadian Living asked Carol Knowlton-Dority to publish a series of DIY art activities for all ages (2010-2012) which are still available online. Scroll down for images of the crafts with links to the detailed articles.

Canadian Living November 2010 spreads

Princess Sock Puppet
("It's Showtime" series)
Learn how to make it »

Dragon Sock Puppet
("It's Showtime" series)
Learn how to make it »

Puppet Theatre
("It's Showtime" series)
Learn how to make it »

Fluttery Butterfly Window Decoration
("Butterflies & Gardens" series)
Learn how to make it »

Monarch Butterfly Mobile
("Butterflies & Gardens" series)
Learn how to make it »

Butterfly Garden Stake
("Butterflies & Gardens" series)
Learn how to make it »

Helping Hands Place Cards
("Thanksgiving" craft)
Learn how to make it »

Spooky Window Decoration
("Halloween" craft)
Learn how to make it »

Remembrance Day Poppy
("Remembrance Day" craft)
Learn how to make it »

Bedazzled Star Tree Ornament
("Christmas" series)
Learn how to make it »

Cookie Plate for Santa
("Christmas" series)
Learn how to make it »

Your Own Russian Dolls
("Stack up the fun" craft)
Learn how to make it »

Easy Plastic Flowers
("Flower Power" craft)
Learn how to make it »

Family Tree
("Family Focus" series)
Learn how to make it »

Mother's Day Card
("Family Focus" series)
Learn how to make it »

Beaver Hat
("Canada Day" craft)
Learn how to make it »

Art, Nature & Meditation Videos

The four videos embedded below offer a meditation experience on several works from the Exploration and Wild Rabbit Visits galleries.


The Dance

Based on The Dance, acrylic on canvas, 30” x 24”


Exploration

Based on Exploration, acrylic on canvas, 60” x 15”


Swimming Bunny

Based on Swimming Bunny, acrylic on canvas, 30” x 40”,


Wild Rabbit Visits

Based on Swimming Bunny, acrylic on canvas, 30” x 40”,
Long Jump, acrylic on canvas, 48″ x 48″, and
Moon Dance Rabbit, acrylic on cradled panel, 24″ x 24″

(Re)turn to Stillness

Installation view

(Re)turn to Stillness:
An Art Installation and Meditative Experience

An Art Installation and Meditative Experience

(Re)turn to Stillness is an outdoor/indoor public art installation that brings together contemporary visual art with meditative practice. You can learn more by reading through the installation outline. An online version of this experience is available through the video below.


(Re)turn to Stillness:
An Art Installation and Meditative Experience

Guided Visual Art Meditation and Historical Performance at Spadina Museum:
Historic House and Gardens

Carol laughing by her easel
Spadina House

(Re)turn To Stillness is a part of the City of Toronto program Awakenings, which features art projects that explore untold stories, awaken new perspectives and invites the public to join the conversation. An overview of this section may be viewed here, and an online version of this experience is available through the video below.

"In a breath, life can change."

Exploration

Exploration series gallery

Exploration

The Ask
Awakening
Exploration
The Dance
Contemplation
Reflection
Between Worlds
Metamorphosis
Meditation
Enveloping
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The Ask
Awakening
Exploration
The Dance
Contemplation
Reflection
Between Worlds
Metamorphosis
Meditation
Enveloping
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The Exploration Series

Note: If you are viewing the gallery on a small device, please scroll down for a list of works included in the gallery.

  1. The Ask, acrylic on cradled panel, 24” x 24”
  2. Awakening, acrylic on canvas, 20” x 16”
  3. Exploration, acrylic on canvas, 60” x 15”
  4. The Dance, acrylic on canvas, 30” x 24”
  5. Contemplation, acrylic on canvas, 24” x 20”
  6. Reflection, acrylic on canvas, 30” x 24”
  7. Between Worlds, acrylic on canvas, 40” x 30”
  8. Metamorphosis, acrylic on canvas, 40” x 30”
  9. Meditation, acrylic on board, 36” x 16.5”
  10. Enveloping, acrylic on canvas, 72” x 48”

< Sculpture  |  Interior Crossing >

Moon

Moon series gallery

Moon

Lunar Landscape
Night Vision
Day Journey
Luna
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Lunar Landscape
Night Vision
Day Journey
Luna
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The Moon Series

Note: If you are viewing the gallery on a small device, please scroll down for a list of works included in the gallery.

  1. Lunar Landscape, acrylic on canvas, 28” 22”
  2. Night Vision, acrylic on cradled panel, 30” x 30”
  3. Day Journey, acrylic on cradled panel, 30” x 30”
  4. Luna, acrylic on canvas, 36” x 36”

< Interior Crossing  |  Inner Voyage >