This Mental Health Awareness Month, Hyde Park Art Center invites you to join us for a free day of wellness activities to center your mind with art, sound meditation, yoga, and workshops!
Sound Meditation with Jay Taylor of Current Vibrations
Join meditation facilitator Jay Taylor for an experience in immersive sound. Sit back and allow the precise frequencies of the crystal singing bowls to support you in reaching a deep state of relaxation. No previous experience is required to participate and receive the benefits of this meditation.
About Jay Taylor
After a ten year middle school teaching career, meditation facilitator Jay Taylor decided to explore a new path. Over the past 5 years Jay has facilitated nearly 2,000 sound meditation experiences in and around Chicago supporting thousands of people. His intention behind each of these meditations has been one of service. Following each meditation participants often share that they feel a deep sense of peace, relaxation, and harmony. Jay stands firmly in the possibility that sound is the wave of the future and a key to providing release, relaxation, rest, and rejuvenation.
Flow Yoga with Alexis Sponsored by lululemon
Flow is an all-levels Hatha influenced yoga class. Participants will be guided through a slow and gentle warm-up. Participants will then transition into a buildup of energetic sequences using asana (yoga postures) and breath to welcome the release of tension and stress while inviting peace and ease. Like in vinyasa, participants will be encouraged to pair breath to movement through each series of postures.
Various options for postures will be offered and participants are always encouraged to listen to their bodies while flowing.
Being a jovial mover and shaker with over 7 years as a group fitness leader, Alexis believes that Yoga offers a much-needed balance in this turbulent thing we call life.
Hailing from Kansas City, MO, Alexis has spent the last 3 years making Chicago home. Working at the intersection of art, education, and wellness for more than a decade, Alexis has always been drawn back to two components of previous roles—the impact of movement breaks in the classroom and the gratitude experienced and witnessed in community-based wellness classes.
Alexis teaches in-person and virtual classes throughout the city. She’s led staff and student wellness sessions for nonprofits such as Ronald McDonald House Charities, Chicago Youth Centers, One Million Degrees, and the FHIRE Lab Cohort of WashU (STL).
Alexis is a 200-hr RYT through Yoga Alliance, a doctoral student, artist, and consultant. She’s committed her life’s work to being a movement and healthy living advocate, prioritizing under resourced communities. When not on the mat she’s a student to life finding time enjoying nature, being creative, and creating opportunities for community connections.
She can be reached at email@example.com or @littlespaceswellness on Instagram.
Art Making Activity: Create Your Own Affirmation & Mantra Art Cards with Resident Artist Rhonda Wheatley
Join artist and energy worker Rhonda Wheatley for a hands-on workshop aimed at helping participants confront self-doubt and limiting self-beliefs by creating a set of positive, affirming art cards. Participants will create an artwork inspired by their goals, dreams, and aspirations, then identify some of the ‘sore spots’ where they may be doubting or limiting themselves. Participants will then flip those doubts into positive statements, make artfully embellished cards for each one, and discuss ways to use affirmation cards to reinforce positive thinking.
About Rhonda Wheatley
Rhonda Wheatley (she/her) is a Chicago-based multidisciplinary artist, energy worker, and educator whose installations and interactive projects are grounded in the speculative and metaphysical. Her recent projects include a solo show at Hyde Park Art Center (HPAC); group shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA), DePaul Art Museum, and Art League of Houston; and performances as part of the MCA’s In Progress series, at Gallery 400, and at the Terrain Biennial, to name a few.
Wheatley seeks to cultivate healing and personal transformation via wellness workshops, such as those she’s facilitated with Creative Capital, The University of Chicago, Threewalls, 3Arts, Chicago Artists Coalition (CAC), 6018North, and more. Additionally, she teaches at Hyde Park Art Center and has taught contemporary art at Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis. Wheatley received CAC’s inaugural Coney Family Award and a 3Arts ‘Make a Wave’ Grant, and she was a Loghaven Fellow. She received her MA from DePaul University and BA from Loyola University.
Comedic Relief with Marcus Banks
Local Comedian, Marcus Banks, presents ‘You Scary’: An Experimental Stand Up Comedy Special. Marcus Banks is a stand up comedian based in Chicago who has been performing all over the city and in parts of the Midwest for 5 years. Much of Marcus’ comedy comes from living in the dichotomy of fearing his environment but also being feared as a Black person. He’s scared but also unjustifiably feared. His fears also feel irrational at times. In elementary, when someone called you ‘scary,’ it meant you were afraid. Like many others, Marcus has experienced trauma that has amplified his previously dormant anxiety. In times of stress, his unacknowledged anxiety has shown its face and felt like an insurmountable obstacle. Only through community support, has he been able to overcome it.
Influenced by his experience in both predominantly white and Black spaces, and how he’s perceived in both, Marcus has decided to design or create a space of healing which will include mediation, prayer, improv, sketch, and stand up comedy. Marcus will spend 30 minutes telling jokes and stories that touch on his journey with anxiety and tools that have helped him unpack and heal. Join Marcus and his friends for a unique variety show aimed at making you feel lighter.
About Marcus Banks
Marcus Banks is a stand up comedian based in Chicago, Illinois. After graduating from Boston University in 2017 and running out of couches to hop on in LA, Marcus decided to give stand up comedy a try and hasn’t turned back. He’s performed at all of the major clubs around Chicago and produces an all Black comedy variety show called My Best Friend is Black.