Art Hounds: Work with your hands to calm your mind

Art Hounds recommend simple arts and crafts to meditate by, South Asian dance classes and the album "From Our World to Yours"

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A basket making kit next to an array of brightly colored drawings
If you're feeling anxious, Art Hound Sarah Nassif recommends making something with your hands. She suggests assembling a coiled basket from a kit made by Teresa Audet, or coloring drawing sheets made by Tia Salmela Keobounpheng.
Courtesy of the artists

Fiber artist and botanist Sarah Nassif believes in the power of working with your hands, especially as a means to calm the mind. She’s been coloring in drawing sheets by artist Tia Salmela Keobounpheng (aka Tia Keo) and wove a simple basket from a kit created by Teresa Audet. Nassif recommends trying out these or similar activities if you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed by the news.

Amateur dancer and actor Jarrod Downy-Beard has been taking dance classes with South Asian Arts and Theater House, or SAATH MN. In recent weeks, SAATH MN has begun streaming its classes via YouTube; Downy-Beard says they’ve helped him to get up off the couch, get moving and lift his mood. Classes range from Bollywood to folk to classical South Asian dance and are streamed live on Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings.

These days Macalester professor Jenna Rice Rahaim is listening to the album “From Our World to Yours” by string duo Gao Hong and Issam Rafea. Gao Hong plays the Chinese pipa and Rafea plays the Syrian oud. Rahaim says while the two instruments come from very different cultures, together in the hands of this duo they combine to make beautiful music.

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