AMHERST, Mass.-Now in its third year, the Mead Art Museum's series of evening meditation sessions are scheduled to begin again on Thursday, February 23, with a second session on Tuesday, April 3. The meditation sessions are free and open to the public and are held in the museum's galleries at 7:30 p.m. Designed to foster mindfulness and deep engagement with selected works of art, the sessions will be guided by Dr. Pamela J. Russell, the Andrew W. Mellon Coordinator of College Programs, in dialogue with one of the Mead Student Docents. Recent studies have demonstrated the importance of prolonged looking for gaining a full appreciation of a work of art. The Mead's meditation sessions will provide the chance for art lovers and meditation practitioners alike to bring their interest in art to a new level of engagement. Each session will combine quiet meditation with time for shared responses to the looking exercises designed by the facilitators.
The February 23 session will focus on an early 17th-century Dutch painting, St. John the Baptist, by Pieter Lastman, 1616 (AC 1970.9), and the April 3 session will offer a chance to contemplate Al Ayn (The Fountain), 1882 (AC 1972.109), by American painter Frederic Edwin Church, who was a member of the Hudson River School.
Participants are welcome to attend one or both of the sessions. Anyone taking part should wear comfortable clothing and expect to sit on the floor or on a cushioned stool provided by the museum.
A complete schedule of the museum's events is posted on the Mead's website at www.amherst.edu/museums/mead/schedule. The Mead Art Museum houses the art collection of Amherst College, totaling more than 16,000 works. An accredited member of the American Association of Museums, the Mead participates in Museums10, a regional cultural collaboration. During the academic term, the museum is open Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to midnight and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, please visit the museum's website, www.amherst.edu/museums/mead , or call 413/542-2335.