Art That Pushes the Envelope

Art Sphere Inc.’s “Envelope Project” is a creative assignment for all ages and has been especially helpful for those facing physical, mental, and emotional challenges, including poverty, incarceration, and violence. This workshop curriculum helps individuals and groups to explore their lives through self-reflection and to empower themselves through making art.

When we are awaiting news, envelopes can represent lack of control.  If we get the news we like, we will be happy, and if we don’t get the news we anticipate, we are disappointed.

As the symbolic dream meaning of envelopes explains, everyone struggles in life with frustrations that at times can only be overcome by cultivating a harmonious mental attitude.

As part of “The Envelope Project,” participants write themselves a message to be read in a year, five years, or even ten, or for a particularly challenging point in their lives. On another unfolded envelope, they draw their internal self on the interior of the envelope and their external self on the outside of the envelope and then refold. Inside the refolded envelope, they put messages or images to strengthen this inner self. The outside of a third envelope can be collaged with images of what might be holding one back, the inside with images of what one wants.

Often the underlying questions students ask themselves are: How do I perceive myself? “How am I pushing myself to new limits?” “Is my identity different because of _______?” How can I better come to terms with my inner and outer selves? What messages do I need to tell myself to be the person I want to be? How can I retell difficult news so that I no longer suffer but instead use the difficulty or challenge as a tool for strength and healing?

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