Art Department Chair Mandi Batalo has studied how environments affect creative thinking for years. Her personal journey involved yoga and she observed that after meditating or after a yoga class, she experienced her best creative thinking. “With interest in mindfulness on campus, it seemed like the right time to bring a sound bath to campus,” said Batalo. A meditative experience where people are bathed in sound, sound bathing has increased in popularity in the last year. The gong sound bath at the Gresham Art Gallery brought people from campus and the district together.

The gong sound bath was facilated by Patty Wildasinn, author of Yogable: A Gentle Approach to Yoga for Special Population. The session included gentle movements and sound vibration. Such sound vibration can work on the nervous and glandular systems to help release blocks in the body such as worry and stress.

With requests for more sound baths, Batalo hopes the Gresham Art Gallery can become a center for art, mindfulness and community. Batalo plans for more events at the gallery that center on mindfulness and art, including a MIndfulness and Photography workshop. “We want to use the gallery as a community setting,” said Batalo, “so others can view the art, learn from the art, heal with the art, engage in dialogue with the art and each other and come together as a community.”