Take An Art Break

Inspiration Awaits

Inspiration Awaits

at your local art museum.


                              Crystal Bridges Art Museum’s elevator, going up …

By Lisa Rasmussen, M.F.A.

Co-Founding Director of Art is Moving

Are you feeling as overwhelmed as me?

There is no question, we are living in turbulent times. Every day when I look at the news, I am dazed and confused by all the political conflicts, natural disasters, mass extinction, abuse, and cultural unrest. I feel like it’s all escalating at such a fast and bleak pace. What can we do?

An Art Break to the Rescue

There is one powerful tool that each and everyone of us can use to navigate through these stormy waters; it’s art. We can Take an Art Break! Inspiration awaits all around you, it really does. Art Break’n is our core tenet here at Art is Moving. We know that engaging with art intentionally via creating, viewing, connecting, or seeing through a different lens are extremely beneficial for individuals and communities. Art truly inspires!

Inspiration is truly powerful because it allows us to expand our perspective on what is possible. We can see how truly great the human potential can be, and when it relates to a common talent we possess, it sparks motivation to take action, do more, and be more.

– Joe Wilner

For me, to “Take an Art Break” is way of being, it is an experience. There are so many dimensions to it. I know from personal experience that art is a tool for well being, self care, and personal empowerment. Through my own interpersonal Art Break practice, I nourish my own inner world, fostering peak experiences of flow and awe by intentionally engaging with art. It is the ultimate self care practice and the only way I stay sane. Art Break’n also strengthens my perseverance and service as an art advocate, teacher, director, and life coach to awaken creativity in all people. Art, creativity, and beauty ignite higher levels of consciousness.


Take an Art Break at an Art Museum
It’s Way Cheaper than Therapy

One of my favorite ways to tap into the “inspired,” art field is to “Take an Art Break” at a local art museum. I try to get my art museum fix as often as I can. In the second week of September 2017, I visited my sister in Northwest Arkansas . As always, a visit the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art was at the top of my to-do list. This museum just gets better and better. Inspiration is definitely awaiting me and you.

Chihuly: In the Forest at Crystal Bridges

This time, I saw an outstanding Dale Chihuly‘s eco art exhibition, In the Forest. It combined nature and art, two of my most beloved things to do on this planet. My group and I were so moved by this exhibition, we decided to spend the whole day there so we could see these fantastic sculptures light up in the night. To our delight, there were four interactive art making stations and a glass blowing demonstration. Crystal Bridges is a perfect example of how all museums should be! Art galleries, interaction, education, direct experience, creation, community, connection, and reflection.


Day and Night, “In the Forest” stunning work by Chihuly at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville Arkansas.


Here’s an overview of my Art Museum Journey and my epic Art Break, besides two visits to the Chihuly exhibition…

I viewed a spectrum of American Art and Art History in the main galleries


I challenged my perceptions and created a photo essay for capturing the art through my iPhone


I created art! Here is my art break hanging in the museum. Hah, now I can say my art hangs in a major museum. I love that in 2017 most museums that I visit have an interactive component. Love it! When Lauren and I first started Art is Moving in 2008 this surely was not the case in San Francisco. The dominant trend was a non interactive component at museums. People were only encouraged to be viewers. This lack of direct experience was fuel for our fiery mission here at Art is Moving. We want to get art into the hands of as many people as we possible. I’m so elated the zeitgeist followed suit!


I slowly engaged and reflected for a long time with a few artworks


I ate art, twice! via an interactive painting made of candy.


I had an art education, through the glass blowing demonstration and through a docent tour.


The whole day was a complete blast and I got to spend some quality and magical time with Art, my boyfriend, and his Mom.

It just not me.

Check this wonderful video out on Museum advocacy.

SPARK is a powerful and emotional short film about humans, and the profound impact that Philadelphia museums and cultural institutions have on their and hearts and minds.

So, on that note, let’s take an art break at a museum.

Yes, I know this sounds easy, but did you know the average view time for a work of art is less than 25 seconds? Although I think interaction and direct experience is super important, the viewing is vital too. So, let’s combine all of this into one Museum Art Break!


How to Mindfully Go to a Museum

The Recipe

I.  Plan and Prioritize

Schedule your art break

  • It would be ideal if you could spend an entire day at the museum. That’s not possible for everyone, so just spend as much time as you can.

Find an art museum near you

  • HERE is the official Museum Directory
    • No museum in your neighborhood? No problem! Go to a virtual Art Museum and Take an Art Break on one of these sites. See the directory HERE
  • Visit the museum’s website
  • Look up the museum’s hours
  • Research the museum’s feed and look for FREE Days
  • Plan around a guided tour so you can take one and learn a bit more about the art
  • Make a priority list for what you’ll see
  • If bringing kids brief them on museum etiquette. HERE is a fun “Museums Rule!” video to show them

Gather Supplies

  • Bring your priority list of artworks
  • Bring a sketchpad and pencil

II.  Process

  • Go slow. Try doing the Slow Art Movement. “Like the Slow Food movement, the Slow Art movement is grounded on the premise that one should savor artworks in a conscious and deliberate manner rather than simply gulp each one down as “eye candy.” Read More HERE
  • Join a guided tour
  • Listen to an audio tour
  • Read the information attached to the items that interest you
  • Take frequent breaks
  • Take time to wander around and just look and feel and experience the art
  • Discuss your favorites with your companions
  • Do any interactive art making available
  • Pick a favorite work of art and write or sketch about it
  • On your way home process with your group.
    • Ask them about their favorite part of the museum. See how your experience compares with theirs.
      You can even shoot a short video on your smartphone.

III.  Reflection

  • Reflect on how you feel.
    • What artwork would you keep (if space and money didn’t matter)?
    • What did you learn?
    • Are you inspired?
    • If you went with companions or family, how did you connect?
    • Did you feel a shift?

IV. Show us your Art Break!

If you dare, share. Share it everywhere with #takeanartbreak. We would love to see what you created and hear about your process!

For more information on the benefits of this type of art break and other related stuff, check out the links below:


Feel free to read more about the

benefits of art on our resource page here.

Art is Moving creates, initiates, and shares community art projects that encourage and empower people to make art part of their daily life. We do this because we know that art makes people better. And, better people make a better world.

Just for fun!

Check out this conversation Lauren, our friend Mark and I had about the Dale Chihuly exhibit at the de Young Museum in 2008. Things have changed so much in the museum world since then. I love the transformation!


Share your Art Break Ideas with us!

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Contact us here to get involved.