Winter Art & Yoga in Puerto Rico

Top left:  Student Natalie Townson working at Purple Beach; Bottom left: A post dinner “Namaste” after faculty cooked for the group that evening. At right: View across the bay at Red Beach.

Top left: Student Natalie Townson working at Purple Beach; Bottom left: A post dinner “Namaste” after faculty cooked for the group that evening. At right: View across the bay at Red Beach.

Last year Foundation, Painting and Drawing Professor at Montserrat, Judith Brown, established a study abroad program on the island of Puerto Rico and its small island ‘suburb’ of Vieques. While visiting Vieques, Brown was inspired to create an artistic program that not only harnessed the physical beauty and unique island pace, but also weaved in the practices of art and yoga.

“In addition to experiencing another culture, the political history and ecology, I designed the Puerto Rico program to encourage students to make a connection between the disciplines of yoga and the creative process. I want them to experience the benefits of yoga and its effects on their art. Practiced in tandem, it can be an effective strategy for emerging artists to harness their creativity from within.”

The components of the program include morning yoga practice, on site studio classes, visits to area museums, a day-long kayaking trip and time in the rain forest of El Yunque. The first Art and Yoga in Vieques, Puerto Rico program ran this past January and was considered by all to be a great success. Six students and three staff members attended the winter session and Brown was pleased with the results.

“I’m happy to report that nearly all of the students who attended the program continued yoga once back at Montserrat and feel it contributes to their artistic practice.”

The next Puerto Rico program will run January 2 – 15, 2010. For additional information, contact Judy Brown at judybrown@montserrat.edu.