Words + Works from Alumni

2016 SoulLabVT Art as Alchemy: Creative Concept Development

Mia here.  I applied for the Art as Alchemy course in the sticky heat of Vermont summer, with a desire to deepen + grow my existing performative arts piece. I am a movement artist + choreographer + scenery designer and had been working all summer on a triage called Fete. With the teaching/guidance duo of Guest Artist: Estefania Puerta & Jungian Therapist: Jennifer Kerns, I was able to dig into the meat of what creatively wanted to exit me and enter the world. I also learned many practical skills about the logistical side of art-making, the production of live art events and writing concise statements about my work.

My project began with a vision I had while biking through a lush river-side trail, which became the site of dance/theater piece. I imagined a multitude of women, many many women in white.  They were far away across the river, so far their features were discernible. I imagined them performing simple tasks- filling buckets, tending to each others manes, laughing, speaking their hopes and fears, as if to a dear friend. Reveling in humanity and the breath of life.

Then I imagined hundred of people milling about the forest, stumbling upon little pockets of care and beauty, made by humans. A woman on her typewriter punching away in anger and hope- a letter to her loosening lover, bodies slowly/quickly moving through the brush+lush- with just a glimpse of their skin between the trees, music played by a lady floating down the river. I envisioned having toast and breaking bread and making spirit, going through all things woe+delight with celebration.

With great personal effort and many immersive sessions of Art as Alchemy, these ideas came forth on a sun crisped September day. Este encouraged me to think of the grandiose possibilities of performance, and then how to practically bring them forth into reality. Jenny helped me tend the desires of my creative psyche, digging up instructions from characters of my dreams. Art as Alchemy was an incredible course, and I have moved onto an internship with Temenos Vermont. Since then, I have been more and more activated in performance making. Lydia Kern (an Art as Alchemy alumni) and I created a piece exploring the spine and the breath and a collaboration between a sculptor and a choreographer. I am now working on a performance called PLANTMAGICDUST with an incredible dancer Erin Duffee. We are investigating our bodies in relation to plant life. I greatly encourage anyone wanting to amplify their creative works and gain a fascinating perspective into their own depths and desires to take these steps with SoulLabVT.  

Click here for more words+video on my Art as Alchemy project!

Mia Pinheiro