Arti Gras mask

Arti Gras! Celebration of Art and Spirit


February 25, 2017

17th Annual Arti Gras! Imagine…Creating Hope ~ Peace ~ Compassion ~ Vision
for our troubled world

Location: Trinity Lutheran Seminary, 2199 East Main Street, Columbus, Ohio 43209 (Map/Directions >)

Registration Fee: $40 PREPAID, $55 at the door; all paid registrations include 3 classes, 2 raffle tickets, all materials, and lunch.

Engaging in any creative activity enriches life, and yet most people are intimidated by the very words “art” and “creativity.” Arti Gras! provides a safe, judgment-free space to explore creativity and spirituality. We focus on the creative process rather than on the finished product.

This event offers a wide range of possibilities for exploring the creative elements of the life journey, featuring a menu of mini-workshops that include art journaling, gentle dance/movement, written word and poetry, simple sculpting, paint, mixed media, and collage. This is a grassroots, hands-on experience open to all. Children under the age of 16 are welcome if accompanied by an adult. A fundraising raffle to benefit the Spirituality Network features items such as original works by local artists, handmade quilts, art supplies, books, gift certificates for services, and more.


Class descriptions are on this page and in the brochure. Preregistration is strongly encouraged.

To register and pay online, proceed to the registration page >

To register by mail, download and print the brochure and mail to the Spirituality Network, 444 E Broad St, Columbus OH 43215. Registration brochure (PDF) >

Session I 9:45am-11am ~ Session II 11:15am-12:30pm ~ Session III 2pm-3:15pm

“Yes! And…” Improv as a Spiritual Practice: Introduction to Improvisation led by Karl Stevens (I)

Imagine what would it be like to be open to the present moment, greeting others’ ideas, hopes, and plans with a resounding “Yes!” then adding to them and helping with them? Improv can help us become more open to the world, and its graces.

Mindfulness and Flowers: Flower Arranging led by Kathie Houchens (I)

Connect to the Eternal One who speaks LOVE through nature, while creating a small floral arrangement for your altar or table. We will incorporate Zen symbolism, principles of design and spirit-led meditation to discover a perfect answer to everyday stress. No experience necessary. All materials provided.

Contemplation in Watercolor: Watercolor Painting led by Bobbi Gill (I)

Create your response to a guided meditation using simple watercolor techniques. Let your imagination lead your choice of color, brushstroke, and shape in this contemplative session.

Idea Incubators! Seed Pod Sculpture: Plaster Sculptures led by Carol Phillips Whitt (I & II)

Seed pods are nature’s incubators, nurturing potential and, at just the right moment, dispersing the next generation of life. We will use plaster fabric strips on paper/stick forms to create “pods” to hold our new ideas. We will discuss the notion of thoughts/prayers as energetic forms going out with real impact.

Paper Prayers for Peace: Origami led by Kirk Rustin (I & II)

Cultivate mindfulness and inner balance through the practice of origami paper folding. We will learn the traditional crane, a symbol of peace in the Buddhist tradition.

Pieces Taking Shape: Fabric Collage led by Renee Wormack-Keels (I & III)

Discover a new way to create fabric art using simple designs and fusible web. Create a small art quilt from colorful fabrics without any stitching. Finished pieces will be 4" x 6" or 8.5" x 11". No sewing experience necessary.

Finding Intimacy with God: Body Prayer led by Nicole Hamme (II)

Take a journey into your heart and soul to discover calm and connect with the Spirit of God within as you climb fully into your body. Based on the book by Doug Pagitt and Kathryn Prill, Body Prayer: The Posture of Intimacy with God, we will learn body prayer postures in an engaging, gentle movement session. Suitable for all levels of mobility.

The Art of Memoir: Written Word & Discussion led by Bonnie Coleman (II & III)

Many say they want to write a memoir. This session will provide some ideas on how to begin as well as methods and ideas for creating memoirs and family histories. Handouts to take home will include resources for your memoir and to aid in data gathering for family histories.

Journaling with Art as Our Guide: Written Word led by John Holliger (II & III)

In this contemplative writing session, we will respond to one of several photographs. Each image will include the photographer’s reflection and an inviting question to prompt your writing. This practice can help us see more deeply into what is before us wherever we find ourselves.

Listening for the Divine Whisper: Many Prayer Modes led by Brenda Buckwell (II & III)

Sacred listening engages our entire being—not just our ears. We will explore prayerful listening via “visio divina,” or sacred seeing, using film; “audio divina,” or sacred hearing, using music and motion; and meditative movement. No experience required, simply a desire to listen for the Divine whisper.

Suminagashi—Floating Ink, Floating Lives: Paper Marbling led by Karl Stevens & Lisa Palchick (III)

Suminagashi is the ancient Japanese art of paper marbling where the only thing the artist can control is the color of inks used. Ink floats atop a pool of water, rice paper is submerged, then lifted out, showing the pattern of the ink. This can be a deeply meditative practice of letting go as you create spontaneous, unexpected works of art.

Gathering up the Fragments: Collage led by Judy Johnson (III)

Life can feel so fragmented from all of the roles we fill. Translate your yearning for coherent life into a collage reminder of what you value, find beautiful, and envision for your future.