ArtWalk Night in Downtown Abilene draws a crowd of Abilenians each month to engage in a host of wonderful activities. Viewing art galleries, listening to live music, checking out vendors and performers, doing some shopping at local businesses, making and viewing art, and more, it’s a happening event to attend on the second Thursdays of each month.
Your Abilene Public Library is adding a new program to ArtWalk Nights, in partnership with our friends at the Center for Contemporary Arts, and hosting a new Art Book Club for adults. Our first meeting will be on Thursday, August 10 at 6:00PM and hosted at the Center located at 220 Cypress St. in the heart of ArtWalk activities. If you’re an adult who has a passion for art and its impact on society, you might want to check out the first session of this club.
Our first discussion group will be led by Evynne Caffey, a local art teacher and photographer, who will lead an insightful and informative discussion on the book “Your Brain On Art: How the Arts Transform Us” by Susan Magsamen and Ivy Ross. Magsamen is the founder and director of the International Arts + Mind Lab, Center for Applied Neuroaesthetics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where she is a faculty member. Ross, is the Vice President for hardware product area at Google, where she leads a team that has won over 225 design awards.
Copies of the featured book selection are available for checkout at your library, as well as digital copies available through Libby. Get your hands on a copy and come ready to discuss at this first session, again being hosted at the Center for Contemporary Arts on Thursday, August 10 at 6:00PM during ArtWalk Night. Future book club selections will be shared as we continue this club through the remainder of the year. For more information about this new book club, contact librarian Jay Smith at 325-676-6025 or via email at email@example.com.
About the Book: Have you ever gotten chills while listening to music, or felt a sense of calm while gazing at a painting? We have experiences like those every day, but rarely stop to consider what’s happening internally to cause them. In this book, the authors explain how, by understanding how we biologically react to aesthetic experiences, we can not only heal as individuals but thrive as communities. Using the new science of neuroaesthetics, which explores our physiological reactions to art, the authors show us how, for instance, gardening can help a person heal from trauma or listening to a major fifth interval can snap the body out of a fight-or-flight response.
Beyond enjoyment and abstraction, art can change the way we operate on a daily, practical level. And, in addition to helping each of us heal from stress, anxiety, burnout, and other malaises of modern life, neuroaesthetics can effect major change in society writ large, whether through public art murals in high-crime areas or music and dance therapy for patients experiencing neurodegenerative disorders.