To best protect the health and safety of our community, the museum is temporarily closed.

Collection Meditation

The art mindfulness exercises below will take about 5 minutes each to complete. You can shorten or extend the length of time as you wish. The goal is to relax and focus your attention on the image. You can view the image any way you like. If you can view it on a computer screen, you will be able to focus more easily on the detail, but you can also use the zoom function on your phone or tablet.

These images are part of the permanent collection of Plains Art Museum, but is not currently on display. When the museum is re-opened to the public, come visit the galleries. Find a piece of art that interests you and try this exercise in person.

Let’s begin.
Take a deep breath. Let it out slowly. Take another deep breath. As you slowly release this breath, allow your body to relax. Take a long look at the image. Start in the upper left corner and work your way across the top. Do the same with the middle and then the bottom. Allow yourself to rest in the image. Where do your eyes rest? If you are unable to find a place to rest your eyes, take another long look, surveying the image from left to right, top to bottom again. Rest your eyes in one small portion of the image. What do you notice? What details do you see? What colors do you see? Are the color variations subtle or harsh. Keep your eyes focused on those details for another 30 seconds or so. What do you notice now that you didn’t at the beginning? Slowly widen your view to the whole image again. How does the detail you focused on fit within the whole image? Allow your eyes to rest on the whole image for another 30 seconds. Feel your breath in and out as you do. Slowly return your consciousness to normal. How do you see the image differently now than you did at the beginning? Take a final deep breath. Let it out slowly and return to your day refreshed.

Artwork:
Neil Weston (American, 1886-1958)
Untitled (Green Agave Leaves)
Photograph
Date unknown
Gift of Frederick B. Scheel and the Scheel Family

This art mindfulness exercise will take about 5 minutes to complete. You can shorten or extend the length of time as you wish. The goal is to relax and focus your attention on the image. You can view the image any way you like. If you can view it on a computer screen, you will be able to focus more easily on the detail, but you can also use the zoom function on your phone or tablet.

Let’s begin.
Take a deep breath. Let it out slowly. Take another deep breath. As you slowly release this breath, allow your body to relax. Take a long look at the image. Start in the upper left corner and work your way across the top. Do the same with the middle and then the bottom. Allow yourself to rest in the image. Imagine yourself in this image. What do you see? What do you feel? What do you hear? Rest in the image for about 30 seconds. Do you see details that you didn’t see before? Keep your eyes focused on those details for another 30 seconds or so. What do you notice now that you didn’t at the beginning? Slowly widen your view to the whole image again. How does the detail you focused on fit within the whole image? Allow your eyes to rest on the whole image for another 30 seconds. Feel your breath in and out as you do. Slowly return your consciousness to normal. How do you see the image differently now than you did at the beginning? Take a final deep breath. Let it out slowly and return to your day refreshed.

Artwork:
Wayne Gudmundson (American, 1949-)
North of Tuttle, 1984
Black & White Photograph
Museum Purchase

Let’s begin.
Take a deep breath. Let it out slowly. Take another deep breath. As you slowly release this breath, allow your body to relax. Take a long look at the image. Start in the upper left corner and work your way across the top. Do the same with the middle and then the bottom. Allow yourself to rest in the image. Imagine yourself in this image. Where would you be? In the lush green of the foreground? Or near the barnyard in the background? What do you feel? What do you hear? What do you smell? Rest in the image for about 30 seconds. Do you see details that you didn’t see before? Keep your eyes focused on those details for another 30 seconds or so. What do you notice now that you didn’t at the beginning? Slowly widen your view to the whole image again. How does the detail you focused on fit within the whole image? Allow your eyes to rest on the whole image for another 30 seconds. Feel your breath in and out as you do. Slowly return your consciousness to normal. How do you see the image differently now than you did at the beginning? Take a final deep breath. Let it out slowly and return to your day refreshed.

Artwork:
George Pfeifer (American, 1947-)
August Evening, 1978
Watercolor on Paper
Museum Purchase

Let’s begin.
Take a deep breath. Let it out slowly. Take another deep breath. As you slowly release this breath, allow your body to relax. Take a long look at the image. Start in the upper left corner and work your way across the top. Do the same with the middle and then the bottom. Allow yourself to rest in the image. Where do your eyes rest? If you are unable to find a place to rest your eyes, take another long look, surveying the image from left to right, top to bottom again. Rest your eyes in one small portion of the image. What do you notice? What details do you see? What colors do you see? Are the color variations subtle or harsh. Keep your eyes focused on those details for another 30 seconds or so. What do you notice now that you didn’t at the beginning? Slowly widen your view to the whole image again. How does the detail you focused on fit within the whole image? Allow your eyes to rest on the whole image for another 30 seconds. Feel your breath in and out as you do. Slowly return your consciousness to normal. How do you see the image differently now than you did at the beginning? Take a final deep breath. Let it out slowly and return to your day refreshed.

Artwork:
Charles Beck (American, 1923 – 2017)
Dormant Tree, 1971
Woodcut Print
Museum Purchase with funds from Nicholas and Ene Vogel, Linden Associates fund

Let’s begin.
Take a deep breath. Let it out slowly. Take another deep breath. As you slowly release this breath, allow your body to relax. Take a long look at the image. Start in the upper left corner and work your way across the top. Do the same with the middle and then the bottom. Allow yourself to rest in the image. This image took a long time to create. Imagine yourself in this image. How would it have felt to watch the stars move across the sky. Rest in the quiet of the night image for about 30 seconds. Do you see details that you didn’t see before? Keep your eyes focused on those details for another 30 seconds or so. What do you notice now that you didn’t at the beginning? Slowly widen your view to the whole image again. How does the detail you focused on fit within the whole image? Allow your eyes to rest on the whole image for another 30 seconds. Feel your breath in and out as you do. Slowly return your consciousness to normal. How do you see the image differently now than you did at the beginning? Take a final deep breath. Let it out slowly and return to your day refreshed.

Artwork:
M. Patterson
Untitled (Long Exposure Mountain Scene with stars), Date unknown
Photograph
Gift of Frederick B. Scheel and the Scheel Family