Foreword Reviews

Putting Art to Work

Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5

Putting Art to Work is a rare and intimate tour of the world of art-based workshops.

In Putting Art to Work, Keith and Helene Chirgwin present their wholly informative, refreshing, and rich perspective on the use of art-based workshops as a tool for change and development in the workplace. Possessing several years of experience on the subjects of coaching, teaching, change management, and art-based learning programs, the authors have developed fun and entertaining workshops that are designed to help groups and individuals reflect on their lives and solve problems.

The striking book cover sounds the horn that art enthusiasts are in for a real treat with this photo-rich guide that illustrates the powerful effect that art can have on everyday life. At first glance, it may appear that the book would appeal only to people with an interest in art, but because the workshops are designed to promote change in the workplace, they are filled with universal themes; therefore, this book will be an asset to any service-oriented professionals.

The book is divided into two parts. Part 1 is steeped in social and cultural history, highlighting the work of different photographers and painters. While Part 1 discusses the importance of art-based workshops in the workplace and also offers advice on how to present successful workshops, Part 2 is the meat of the book—and the more engaging, as it presents a slew of imaginative and fun workshops.

Though all of the workshops are interesting and helpful, one stands out as the most memorable and creative. This particular workshop suggests having participants draw other participants by representing them in abstract form, posing the question to themselves: How can I reduce this person to a uniquely painted square of cardboard?

A visually satisfying collection of photographs is perfectly spaced throughout the book. The images, both eclectic and ordinary, will stir curiosity and provoke questions regarding each picture’s intent. The array of distinctive photographs makes it abundantly clear that a picture can communicate information far more quickly than words. Through these imaginative art-based workshops, participants will learn how to express their unique identities, while simultaneously developing habits of mind that will help them succeed in any setting, including the workplace.

The authors’ extensive teaching background in change management makes them star candidates to orchestrate these fun and satisfying workshops. Artists, psychologists, and social workers will find this title to be a great complement to any teaching program.

Reviewed by Jessie Jamie Coleman

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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