A Global Collaboration: Art that transcends in public places

Art that transcends in public places
By Elissa Melaragno

Colors In Motion: Persona

A reverent, serene, and unconditionally loving citizen of the world 
who speaks all languages and understands all cultures. 
Dedicated to bringing beauty and centered calm to our busy lives.
One who is ever present, selfless, and uniquely seeking to engage us— 
to remind us of what truly unites us all, our humanity, and out likeness. 

A still image from TOUCHSTONE #26: Prisoner of Time

A still image from TOUCHSTONE #26: Prisoner of Time

Six years ago, Linda DeHart embarked on a path having little idea where it would lead. It emerged from a body of watercolor meditations that she painted over several years as a practice in being present in the moment. In her own words, “Initially, I produced a thousand paintings, which I began to see as components of larger works. From those paintings, three digital artists and I collaborated to create ‘sojourns’ of moving visual imagery synchronized with music. The inspiration was spontaneous. The collaboration arose from intuition. The result was a digital program of ten parts, The Human Journey, which brings comfort, inspiration, searching, joy, beauty, and peace to those who experience it.”

Soon the vision expanded, inviting other art forms into the process: dance, sculpture, original musical compositions and soundscapes, voice, light, aurora borealis photography, poetry, and prose—imagination unbounded. The community of contributors expanded, inspired and united by a desire to offer beauty and centered calm in people’s busy lives. 

“Conscious that none of us has all that is needed,” Linda says, “we become equally aware that, together, we discover things beyond our imagining. Collaborating over short and long distances, we now have three years of monthly TOUCHSTONE works of art offered to the world to see and experience. Colors In Motion emerged as a multi-national, multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary collaboration. Arising from a creative bond that our team shares toward a common goal for good, we find ourselves making contributions without attachment, working in relationship, going forward not knowing, giving more than we thought we would or could, experiencing Life, Energy, Passion, Interest, Pulse, and drawing inspiration from the process and strength from the accomplishment.”

The very intention of Colors In Motion as an artistic collective is to offer people a deep level transformational experience of peace. It is the desire of the 35 artists with whom Colors In Motion has collaborated that the healing and meditative qualities, which infuse the work, feed and nourish the consciousness of the global community of change agents who work diligently towards the equality, nourishment, and good of all life. To experience these works of art in their full video formats, visit colorsinmotion.com.

Sound and visuals... sensitively and seamlessly combined...

February 2014   
“the pond” 

The musical composition of “the pond” is from Joshua Hummel’s forthcoming album inspired by the Chinese symbolism surrounding the lotus flower. The lotus flower’s symbolism derives from the purity and beauty of its blossoms, which arise from the muddy waters in which it grows. It is widely regarded as a symbol of divine birth, spiritual development, and creation itself. 

This musical exploration is made visible with carefully selected peaceful moments of Linda DeHart’s watercolor paintings, offering viewers a place of beauty and calm—a restorative Zen environment that can bring attention to one’s inner healing powers. Sound and visuals are sensitively and seamlessly combined by Christopher Graefe.

Joshua Hummel, a composer, pianist, and Haiku poet, is the recipient of various composition awards including the prestigious Leonard Bernstein Award. His music has been performed in Carnegie Hall, throughout the United States and in Paris, Croatia, Perugia, Rome, London, and Moscow. As the composer of music and soundscapes for Colors in Motion, his music skillfully balances accessibility, artistic integrity, and innovation. Visit joshummel.com for more information.

December 2013 
“Walking in Beauty”  

Linda’s work in color and light takes us beyond the painting to a place of inner transformation.

You are invited to walk in the beauty of this TOUCHSTONE, which blends the music of Niels Eje in a harmonious and loving balance with a stunning visual journey through Linda DeHart’s paintings. Digital compositor Christopher Graefe evokes new dimensions by relating Neils’ and Linda’s natural rhythms of sound and form, of separation and reunion, of peace and reminiscence.

Sourced from a watercolor painting over 12 feet long created at her Maine summer studio, Linda’s work in color and light takes us beyond the painting to a place of inner transformation. 

The music of “Walking In Beauty” features “Tranquil Moonlight” merged with the MusiCure classic piece “Butterfly Garden.” MusiCure, the work of Danish musician Niels Eje, is a specially composed evidence-based music created to have a calming and de-stressing effect and made in close collaboration with international researchers and healthcare professionals. Visit musicure.com.

August 2011   
“Light Dances” 

We invite you into the silence of Light Dances, to enter beauty with your eyes, to feel rhythm with your soul.

We invite you into the silence of Light Dances, to enter beauty with your eyes, to feel rhythm with your soul. In July, at the Noyes School of Rhythm in Portland, CT, Meg Brooker danced. Linda DeHart painted. Christopher Graefe filmed. Christopher then collaged the art forms through his creative mastery of digital compositing for this TOUCHSTONE. 

Beauty is the fundamental nourishment of the human soul. In our modern existence, we too often lose connection with our source. We move to an ever-increasing rapid pulse, multitasking, accomplishing, focusing on the next moment, the next day, and beyond.

Meg Brooker, Artistic Director of Thel Dance Theatre/Austin, TX, danced as a member of Lori Belilove & Company/Isadora Duncan Dance Foundation. She has performed, taught, and lectured about early modern dance work in Russia, Crimea, Italy, Costa Rica, and the United States, and teaches world dance at Texas State University. 

“Say Nothing”

Sound healer Chinling Hsu, inhaling and exhaling, creates a setting for Sufi mystic Rumi’s transcendent poem...

“Say Nothing” explores the luminosity of clouds, the warmth of the sun, the sounds of rhythmic breath—rhythms of life that inspire a sense of inner calm when we give ourselves time to experience them. 

Christopher Graefe mingles the sinuous subtleties of light and sound in this digital composition of peace and illumination, enhancing our space for contemplation, inviting us to a place of emptiness in order to “say nothing.” 

Sound healer Chinling Hsu, inhaling and exhaling, creates a setting for Sufi mystic Rumi’s transcendent poem, “Say Nothing,” translated and recited by Persian scholar Iraj Anvar. Reverend Beverly Dale delivers Iraj’s translated English counterpoint to Iraj’s recitation in Persion, his native tongue. As a vocalist and performer Beverly frequently weaves the inspiration of Sufi mysticism of the East into her ministry in the West. 

Rolling clouds and fog banks of the Pacific inspired Linda DeHart in crafting unique paper sculptures, which provide an ephemeral context. Fibers, mixed in waves of water and selectively captured on a wire screen, were shaped and molded as they gave up their moisture and the artwork emerged reflective, translucent, and light-filled.

Linda DeHart
Partner, Colors In Motion

Principal of DeHartArt, Linda DeHart creates art that uses the power of color and motion to carry the viewer beyond the object of the art to a place of inner transformation. Linda’s mastery of color is expressed through digital art, watercolors, appliqué tapestries, paper sculptures, silk paintings, and more. Her portfolio encompasses original and commissioned art, which range from large-scale architectural settings to small-scale individual works. In 2009, Linda launched Colors In Motion at the British Consulate General in Boston. She is Creative Director/Visual Artist of the Colors In Motion creative team. She holds a BFA (1961) from the Rhode Island School of Design.

Christopher Graefe
Partner, Colors In Motion

Christopher Graefe is the Dynamic Media Director at Colors In Motion and Director of Content Development at Sensory Interactive, Inc. His passion lies in digitally compositing beautiful, memorable experiences in collaboration with artists, dancers, poets, and musicians from all over the world. He brings two decades of experience and outstanding achievements in design and technical experience to multimedia projects, from large-scale immersive media installations to mobile interactive applications. He has received national recognition and publication for product design and research from Apple Computer, the Industrial Designers Society of America, the Association for Computing Machinery, International Design Magazine, and Businessweek.

Elissa Melaragno has been deeply involved with art, holistic healing, writing, and spirituality since the age of 18. As professional visual artist, Elissa has work in private and public art collections in North Carolina, Massachusetts, and elsewhere. For her, writing has been an ongoing part of the process of creating art and deepening spirituality.