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Lillstreet One-Day Retreats Combine Relaxation and Creativity

By Patty Wetli | March 25, 2013 7:49am
 Lillstreet Art Center's one-day retreats are one part yoga session, one part art class.
Lillstreet Art Center's one-day retreats are one part yoga session, one part art class.
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DNAinfo/Casey Cora

RAVENSWOOD — Lillstreet Art Center has come up with a way for patrons to be productive while recharging their batteries.

The Center is introducing one-day retreats — held in the new Lillstreet Loft space at 4437 N. Ravenswood Ave. — that combine yoga and art classes, though not simultaneously, to help  revitalize attendees physically, mentally and creatively.

The inaugural retreats are scheduled for April 6 and 21. Both include a yoga class for people of all abilities, a meditation session, lunch and a three-hour art class. Everyone leaves with a piece of handmade art.

"It's a great way to say to yourself, 'I'm really going to take this time. This day is mine,'" said Claire Hurwitz, special events manager at Lillstreet. She also happens to be a certified yoga instructor who will be leading the initial classes, eventually handing off to the folks at Bloom Yoga.

The 75-minute yoga sessions will focus on movement and breath, erring on the side of a "more relaxed class," according to Hurwitz.

"This is not about coming to a major yoga workout. It's really about getting you in the mindset of being creative," she said.

First up, on April 6, is "The Art of Asian Ink Painting," which teaches the traditional art of sumi-e ink painting, a style of brush painting that solely uses black ink.

Students will experiment with brush strokes and various techniques on silk, creating their own handmade silk scarf.

The April 21 retreat focuses on "Intuitive Painting." Students will paint with unusual tools, mix colors, create textures and generally focus on process over outcome.

The goal, Hurwitz said, is to bring the feeling of a weekend getaway to the city.

"There's not a lot of places where you can spend a day relaxing and being creative in Chicago," she said.

Additional retreats will be announced for Lillstreet's summer session. According to Hurwitz, subjects could potentially include a class in travel photography, open air painting and outdoor yoga on Lillstreet's rooftop deck.