Katie Cassidy Unites Yoga and Art at 530 Burns Gallery

Todays News

BY PHILIP LEDERER SRQ DAILY WEDNESDAY PHILANTHROPY EDITION WEDNESDAY JUL 18, 2018

530 Burns Gallery and local artist Katie Cassidy have joined forces for a special program uniting art and wellness, dubbed “Art & Yoga: Joining the Mind, Body & Spirit.” Debuting last night, the program combines art exhibition with chair yoga, seeing the artist lead an introductory course while surrounded by art inspired by the process.

Clearing the main room at 530 Burns Gallery, staff can fit at least 20 chairs, with enough space on either side for freedom of movement. On the walls at every side, large-scale works by Cassidy evoke sea, sky and land, in great atmospheric canvases that simultaneously intrigue and soothe the viewer. At the front, a lone chair for Cassidy.

The introductory course lasts about an hour, with special focus on breathing. And it’s a yoga discipline accessible to most, says Cassidy. Not only is it an introduction, but chair yoga, by its very nature, democratizes the activity to a certain extent. Yoga poses and stretching remain integral part of the exercises, but staying seated throughout means different poses and eliminates the need for constant getting up and down, which can be tough on creaky joints or stiff backs. Flexibility and strength will improve with time, but, at least for an introduction, Cassidy focuses on the meditative aspects, especially the breathing.

A Registered Yoga Teacher, Cassidy has been practicing yoga “for longer than I’d like to admit,” she says, and never gets tired of sharing it. “It goes through your whole being,” she says, and, for her, has become an integral part of her artistic process. “I can get my mind focused, my mind calm,” she says, “and be able to paint.” In a centered state of mind, Cassidy picks up her paints and hits the canvas—oils, always, so she can layer to “tremendous” depth. “I like viewers to be able to travel through the canvas for miles and miles and miles,” she says, “and get into that state of calm and peace.”

For those interested, Cassidy will be leading another session in 530 Burns Gallery next Tuesday, July 24. Call the gallery to reserve a spot.

Pictured: "Hallowed Pause" by Katie Cassidy. Image courtesy of 530 Burns Gallery.

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