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Art and Dementia with Catherine Chastney

ART AND DEMENTIA WITH CATHERINE CHASTNEY INTRODUCTION  For our thirtieth episode, I’m delighted to be talking to Catherine Chastney. Catherine is an art educator and owner of social enterprise I Picture This. Catherine’s work focuses on bringing art and the joy of discussing art to older people, from creating conversations in care homes, to creating art cards during lockdown and working with people living with dementia. In this chat we explore the strong values that guide Catherine's work - she is passionate about that anyone can look at and discuss art, she loves using art to bring people

How to develop a reflective practice

 HOW TO DEVELOP A REFLECTIVE PRACTICE INTRODUCTION Today I’m talking about how to develop a reflective practice in your work. A reflective practice is simply the art of thinking about or reflecting on what you do. It is a way of recognising, capturing and articulating what we’re learning on a moment by moment basis. First I'll share more about what reflective practice is and the benefits of introducing reflection as a practice into your work. Then I'm going to share 7 different ways you can use to develop your reflective practice and 3 tips to get you

How to Engage your Audience with Colour in Art Discussions

 HOW TO ENGAGE YOUR AUDIENCE WITH COLOUR IN ART DISCUSSIONS INTRODUCTION Today I’m focusing on colour. Colour is one of the 7 elements of art along with shape, line, form, texture, value and space. It's a vast subject - but today I don't want to focus on colour theory or the science of colour. Instead, I want to get you thinking about how you approach colour with your audience during an art discussion. I’m going to look at different ways you can create discussion about colour with your groups to get them engaged in artworks. Colour is

Using art and objects to learn wellbeing skills and improve mental health with Louise Thompson

USING ART & OBJECTS TO LEARN WELLBEING SKILLS & IMPROVE MENTAL HEALTH WITH LOUISE THOMPSON INTRODUCTION  Today I’m really excited to be chatting to Louise Thompson - a museums and wellbeing consultant as well as the health and wellbeing manager at Manchester Art Gallery for the past 9 years. We’re talking how about art and objects can be used to learn wellbeing skills and improve mental health. Louise has over 12 years experience of arts and health practice and is hugely passionate about using culture and creativity to improve people’s wellbeing. We discuss: Louise’s work and some of

Success-Factors for Leading Discussion-Based Programmes Around Art

SUCCESS-FACTORS FOR LEADING DISCUSSION-BASED PROGRAMMES AROUND ART INTRODUCTION  Today I’m sharing some thoughts about how you can successfully lead engaging discussion-based programmes around art. I’ll be talking briefly about the difference between conversations, discussions and dialogue before moving into 11 tips for successfully creating and leading conversations around art and objects. Don’t forget last week we covered 6 common fears about leading art discussions and I shared some tips on what you can do to overcome these! So do go back and listen to episode 18 as a podcast or read the blog post, if you haven’t already. 

Common Fears Around Leading Discussion-Based Programmes ( and How to Deal with Them)

COMMON FEARS AROUND LEADING DISCUSSION-BASED PROGRAMMES (AND HOW TO DEAL WITH THEM) INTRODUCTION  Leading tours and educational programmes that are based on discussion, inquiry and interaction can be a scary business. Both for you and for your participants. And if you’re about to take your first steps, it might seem really daunting. However, do remember that any concerns you have are perfectly normal and you’re not alone (we’ve all been there and had to start somewhere). Take it one step at a time and with time, practice and guidance, it will get easier (I promise!). In this post,

How to use the Unveiling Stories thinking routine to Investigate Multiple Layers of Meaning in a Photograph

How to use the Unveiling Stories thinking routine to Investigate Multiple Layers of Meaning in a Photograph SUMMARY Today I’m talking all about how to use the ‘Unveiling Stories’ thinking routine to investigate multiple layers of meaning with a photograph. This is part of a new series of episodes on the podcast where I share a thinking routine with you and all the insights for how you might be able to use it with an artwork or object with groups - either in-person or online. Unveiling Stories was our ‘thinking routine of the month’ for June in the

6 Best Practices for Sharing Information

6 BEST PRACTICES FOR SHARING INFORMATION IN YOUR ART DISCUSSIONS SUMMARY Many of us are experts in our field - possibly art historians, historians or archaeologists - and want to share that incredible knowledge with the groups we lead in our programmes. But knowing what information to share, how to share it and when to share it is often tricky – especially on interactive, discussion-based programmes. And what happens when you add too much information? And how much is too much? Sharing information that is engaging and memorable (without overloading your participants) is a great skill to master.

How to Develop a Daily Slow Looking Practice

HOW TO DEVELOP A SLOW LOOKING PRACTICE Slow looking is not only an important part of my work, it is also a personal practice - something that I’ve been doing regularly for the last few years. I’m really interested in developing my observational skills and I’m also fascinated by what happens when we spend a longer period of time looking at something. Our general approach to looking is, however, flawed and we try to look at things as briskly and efficiently as possible. We need to slow our looking down and give our brain the time and space

Introducing The Art Engager Podcast

The Art Engager Podcast Trailer Welcome to The Art Engager podcast! This podcast here to help educators, guides and creatives engage their audiences with art, objects and ideas. Each week I’ll be sharing a variety of strategies, ideas and inspiration to help you to engage and connect with your audiences and confidently lead lively art and artefact discussions. Trailer Highlights What The Art Engager podcast is all about How and why creating real engagement with art and museum objects can be tricky What is Visible Thinking in the Museum? What we're going to be talking about on this podcast