Posts by Teryn O’Brien

Alzheimer’s Association

Alzheimer’s Association Art Program Revives Lost Memories

With the backing of the Alzheimer’s Association, an art program called Memories in the Making helps people paint their memories. Losing one’s memory through dementia — be it short-term or long-term — is an excruciating experience both for the sufferer and for their loved ones. Often, people who live with dementia because of Alzheimer’s disease or other memory impairments don’t know how to interact or function in a world that no longer works easily for        …read more

indigenous people

The Vibrant Art of Indigenous People Tells a Story of Survival

Indigenous people reclaim their cultural identities through art. A voice is invaluable, and being able to tell one’s story is the key to cultural survival. However, in the case of America’s first people — or indigenous people, a rather simplistic term used to identify over 500 federally recognized tribes in the U.S. — their stories have been censored by the powers that be. Yet a volatile history hasn’t stopped indigenous people from creating a thriving contemporary        …read more

romantic poetry

The Evolution of Romantic Poetry through the Ages

A look at romantic poetry and our evolving views of love since the beginning of recorded history. For the modern mind, the words “romantic poetry” might bring up this simple refrain: Roses are red / Violets are blue / Candy is sweet / And so are you. Or maybe a Hallmark card with a few lines of cheesiness. Romantic poetry can seem silly. I mean, aren’t we past all that? Many of us roll our eyes at tacky romanticism,        …read more

snow sculpting

Take a Front-Row Seat at the ‘Super Bowl of Snow Sculpting’

Check out the stunning work on display at the International Snow Sculpting Competition. Snow can be shoveled, piled and plowed, but it can also become a gorgeous form of art. Using the simple, pure medium of frosty precipitation, snow sculptors manage to capture the beauty of winter in a unique way. Snow sculpting competitions bring a sense of joy and friendly rivalry to the picture as artists compete to make unforgettable works, creating a special        …read more

How Creative Expression Can Help You Heal after Trauma and Loss

After my friend died while in a religious cult, I suffered traumatic grief. That’s when I learned creative expression could help the brain and body heal. On October 30, 2012, I got the phone call no one wants to receive. The sister of my best friend and kindred spirit, Bethany, was on the other end. Bethany had died — and not only had she died, but she’d been murdered in what turned out to be        …read more

solar system

Painting the Solar System with Pigments of the Desert

Stella Maria Baer paints the solar system with sand and cacti pigments, evoking the otherworldly landscape of the American Southwest. Stella Maria Baer — a widely respected painter and photographer who currently resides in Denver, Colorado — grew up in the enchanted, surreal deserts of Santa Fe, New Mexico, in a family of artists going back generations. “Art was always part of our family’s language and landscape,” she explains. Her mother was a weaver, and        …read more

Christmas traditions

9 Festive & Quirky Christmas Traditions from around the World

From crashing your neighbors’ homes to noshing on KFC Christmas dinner, maybe it’s time to add some international Christmas traditions to your celebrations. All across the globe, people celebrate the holidays in creative and some downright quirky ways. As you prepare your own holiday festivities this year, take note of these nine unique Christmas traditions from other countries. 1. The Gävle Goat in Sweden In 1966 a man named Stig Gavlén decided to build a        …read more

work environments

7 Ways Companies Are Improving Work Environments & Job Satisfaction

From impressive perks to professional development, companies are discovering surprisingly innovative ways to increase engagement with their teams and fine-tune work environments. In 2017 Gallup came out with a new study of the workforce in 160 countries, and the results were downright depressing. Jim Clifton, CEO of Gallup, went so far as to claim that the world’s workforce is broken. Why the extreme language? According to the study, only 15% of employees worldwide are actually        …read more

George RR Martin, Meow Wolf, House of Eternal Return

With George RR Martin’s Help, Artists Open Immersive Fantasy Realm

How art collective Meow Wolf convinced George RR Martin to invest $3 million and create a real-life fantasy/sci-fi world — and how it’s paid off. Imagine walking up to a beautiful, eccentrically styled home. You’re not sure what to expect, but you’ve heard odd things are going on at this house — and it’s up to you to investigate. To your right is a brown wooden staircase with numerous family portraits carefully lining its ascent        …read more

Tour the World with 7 Incredible Instagram Photographers

Escape into exotic images captured by Instagram photographers from every continent. Everyone can agree that social media platforms like Instagram have changed everything, expanding what we can see and experience. Culture can meet culture in a variety of ways online through the visual inspiration of an Instagram photographer. Following Instagrammers from around the world can take us out of the familiar, introducing us to beliefs, ideas and lives that are so different (but often so similar, too)        …read more

Irish in America: From the White House to Where the Streets Have No Name

4 artistic and cultural contributions of the Irish in America. Many see St. Patrick’s Day as a time to get tipsy. Others wonder why we celebrate the holiday at all. To be fair, many don’t realize why a country as small as Ireland could be so important, but the Irish have greatly influenced the United States. In fact, the two nations’ histories are intertwined. Ireland is a small country with a huge heart. Visiting it today, one feels the        …read more