• Mindfulness is the practice of observing and accepting the exact moment in which you find yourself. You are noticing and accepting thoughts and feelings as they arise in your mind and body without judgement.

  • During your visit, we recommend selecting one or two artworks to explore.  Each mindfulness exercise will take about five minutes. 

  • If you are in the gallery with the artwork, It may be helpful to use headphones to listen to the audio content in this pathway. Spend time examining the artwork from all angles; observe your surroundings, including other pieces of art in the gallery space. Experience your chosen artwork from below, from far away, or from the side! How does your perspective change? What new things did you see? 

  • For visitors at home, take time to zoom in on the images of the artwork as you listen to the recording. Explore the intricacies of the artwork and look for details you wouldn’t have seen upon first glance!

Forest Stream

This beautifully crafted painting by German artist, August Macke, depicts a forest stream near the Tegernsee, a lake in Bavaria. The style of this artwork is reflective of the artists interests in both French Fauvism (an artistic movement that experimented with abstraction) and the natural world. The artist uses a variety of brush strokes to create movement and texture. Bright colors add to the depth and intensity of this landscape, allowing the viewer to imagine themselves standing in nature and observing this scene.  Consider how this painting also explores how a viewer might feel if standing by this stream. 

Swing Landscape

American artist Stuart Davis calls attention to bold colors and forms while depicting a landscape of the Gloucester, Massachusetts waterfront in an abstract manner. The artwork is influenced by jazz and swing music, made visible through the use of color and space. The dynamic visual movement in this artwork carries your eye to each element, bringing excitement to the viewer with each new interaction. Take a moment to deeply examine this artwork and all of its various elements as you experience this mindfulness activity! 

Ritual Food Vessel (Liding)

This bronze cast vessel is a beautiful example of Chinese art. It was probably used as a burial offering and may have contained food. Intricate animal forms and spirals cover the surface of this vessel. Can you look closely and consider why these images may have been used?

Grave Marker of a Child with Dog

These stone markers are made in a variety of shapes and sizes, but all four were made as part of Greek funerary practice. In fifth- to fourth-century Athens, these markers served as memorials in family plots that were situated along the roads outside of the city. The images carved in relief are idealized images of the deceased man or woman with their families. In spite of the standardization of image types, there is still a poignancy that connects viewers to the lives of individuals, and, especially, to those of children.

Cautionary note: The following mindfulness meditation discusses death, grief, and loss. If this feels too overwhelming for you to explore right now, you can listen to another mindfulness meditation with a different work of art here.

Mask in the Form of a Hippopotamus Head (Otobo)

This intricately carved hippopotamus mask was made by an artist in West Africa. Worn atop the head during performances, the mask was decorated with feathers, fiber, leaves, and cloth. Imagine how daunting and aggressive this mask would seem as the masquerader forcefully moved through the audience, imitating the fierceness of the hippopotamus. Think about how the added elements of feathers and fabric would have made this mask larger than life and added to the powerful presence of the performer.

Arts-based Wellness at the Museum

Lauren Daugherty is an art therapist at the Eskenazi Museum of Art and she loves her job! She is passionate about helping museum visitors connect with artwork on a personal level and believes that discovering and reflecting upon the things we enjoy, dislike, or otherwise connect with in works of art can lead us toward personal growth.

At the Eskenazi Museum of art, we believe that participating in mindfulness through looking at works of art allows us to become more open to new perspectives and helps us to engage and connect with our own inner worlds. We hope that through this experience, you will gain the confidence to become more comfortable learning about a new artwork and learn to grow and reflect on your personal response to this activity and the world around you.


This pathway was developed by the Education Department at the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art. Special thanks to Frank Diaz, Indiana University Associate Professor of Music, for the creation of the mindfulness audio scripts, and to Erik Dickson, Indiana University alumnus and Truman State University Assistant Professor of Music, for the recording of the mindfulness audio tracks.