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Reflections on the Garden Arts Series by Pendle Hill’s Arts and Spirituality Coordinator Jesse White

Jesse White, Arts & Spirituality CoordinatorOne Saturday each month from June through October, participants in the Garden Arts series gathered for creative and contemplative experiences, reflecting on what was currently growing in Pendle Hill’s garden. Flowers, vegetables, and even a caterpillar arrived via images in Zoom to welcome us back into Pendle Hill’s fold. Participants’ creative reflections to these images included visual art, creative writing/poetry, musical composition, and dance choreography. The program offered a gentle learning for participants and for me, as facilitator, about growing things’ wisdom and medicine for us in these strange times. Garden Arts provided a much-needed time to be together, inspired by the outdoors, which (for many of us) lifted our feelings of isolation. I personally found the time to be nourishing, inspirational, and hopeful. Here are some excerpts of what a few participants had to say of their experience in the program:

My experience with Jesse White is that she always takes me to exactly the right next step that leads me to experience my own deep creative self, the one that can allow co-creation to take place within and then somehow be released through a wide range of possibilities while enabling spiritual and artistic skill building tools to be added to my repertoire. I did not have such an “art” teacher growing up – but I was an educational administrator for the elementary division of a school in which our children had such a teacher – seeing the children thrive under her care where “her art and the children’s art were never confused was to see Spirit in action!! Never did I ever imagine I would have such a teacher for myself – And then I did at Pendle Hill with Jesse and over Zoom – with Garden Arts Jesse led us into Pendle Hill’s garden Zinnia’s, Squash, Sunflowers, radishes, pumpkins and eggplant – we became together students and teacher co-creators – What a magnificent soul nourishing soul-expanding experience!!!” — Cary Page, MD

A Pendle Hill Garden Treasure: Jesse White’s “Garden Arts” program is clearly a much-needed bright spot in 2020! This wondrous workshop shows the fortunate intersection of Jesse’s wonderful teaching style and new creative ways to use the Zoom online platform. In these months of much-needed sunshine, Jesse has brought us images of flowers, vegetables and fruits of Pendle Hill’s gardens for she calls “medicine” for our hearts, minds and souls. Her invitation to respond creatively has birthed new composed songs and poems, drawings and stories for me and my fellow artists. I now see my own garden as a source of creative opportunity as well. With much gratitude.”  — Pamela Poe, PA

Starting a weekend creatively with Jesse: I was one of the fortunate participants to enjoy time in the Pendle Hill Garden for artistic inspiration via Zoom. Teacher/Artist/Leader Jesse White offered a monthly Saturday gathering. I enjoyed the participants including visual artists, writers, musician/songwriters and those newer to expressing creativity. I loved savoring photos of different garden subjects, flowers, vegetables, plants. We each chose a garden “subject” to sketch, paint, or write a poem, story or song. It was delightful to set the tone of a weekend with creativity in the garden among Friends. Highly recommend this!” — Carol Cober, MD

We are grateful for John Meyer’s photography, and for Carol Sciarra’s stewardship of garden growth and her photography of individual garden growing things! Here were some favorite images from the series:

Pumpkin Flower, CC

Pumpkin Flower, CC

Alium Globes, JM

Alium Globes, JM

Kale, CC

Kale, CC

Straw Flowers, CC

Straw Flowers, CC

We hope to offer this series again, with a start date sometime in the Spring. Stay tuned!