Art, Mindfulness and Psychology: Racial Identity through the Lifespan

Fall 2016 and Winter 2017 quarters

Taught by

This program will use art, psychology, and mindfulness to explore the intersectionality of race, racial identity and societal health. The practices of mindfulness and creating art can increase our individual and collective resiliency to be able to respond to racial identity issues and structural oppression in adaptive and creative ways.  Mindfulness and the body will be a central focus of the work.  In the studio, we will focus on building skills as well as the expressive qualities of art, to explore non-verbal ways of processing our readings, writings, and discussions about race. The program will integrate mindfulness through theory, practice and its application in relation to developmental psychology, racial identity, and art practice.  Questions to be explored include: How are mindfulness and art making being integrated into working with people at various developmental and racial identity stages of life?  How do systems of racial identity live in the individual, family, and social bodies?  How can the practices of mindfulness and creating art be integral to the healing of racism?

The program offers 16 and 8 credit options.  All students will explore racial identity through the lifespan by developing skills in mindfulness, drawing and ceramics through intensive studio practice. Students taking 16 credits will also study developmental psychology and related quantitative reasoning skills for social sciences. 

In fall, the program will focus on child and adolescent developmental psychology. In the ceramics lab, students will work though the basic methods of forming in clay and learn essentials for glazing and firing.  Students will also be introduced to basic drawing skills. Constructive critique sessions on key pieces will help students to develop their ideas. In winter, students will focus on adult, geriatric and end of life developmental psychology. Building on the foundational skills and concepts in ceramics and drawing from the fall, students will develop a series of pieces that address the complexity of their own understanding of racial identity.

Students will have an opportunity to learn using diverse modalities and multiple intelligences.  The program will participate in in depth dialogue, art-making, writing assignments, theoretical tests for developmental psychology studies, and critical study of important texts. This program is designed as a two-quarter program of study preparatory for careers and further study in psychology, fine arts, art therapy, education and cultural studies.

Program Details

Fields of Study

consciousness studies cultural studies psychology visual arts

Preparatory For

psychology, fine arts, art therapy, education and cultural studies


Fall Open Winter Signature

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered

Day and Evening

Advertised Schedule

8 credit section meets Tue/Thu 6-10pm

First winter class meeting (16 credits): Monday, January 9th at 9am (Art Annex 1114)
First winter class meeting (8 credits) : Tuesday, January 10th at 6pm (Art Annex 1114)

Online Learning

Hybrid Online Learning 25 - 49% Delivered Online

Special Expenses

Students should expect to spend between $60-80 on personal art supplies and clay in fall and $40 in winter. These amounts will vary based on student driven projects. New students who enroll winter quarter will need to purchase some of the tools that the class used in fall as well as the new items for winter.  In addition, students who attend the NCECA conference should expect to pay approximately $170-$371, for NCECA membership and registration fees, three nights hotel at the convention site, transportation to Portland, and a one-day shuttle tour to see exhibitions in Portland.  Transportation within the city and food during the conference are additional and at the students' own expense.


$100 in fall and $85 in winter for art supplies.


2016-11-07Signature Requirement added for Winter
2016-05-10Winter fees increased.
2016-02-03New fall-winter opportunity added.