We are Women in Search — Expressive Art facilitators who promote healing of the mind, body, soul and spirit through art and meditation. Using the layering of art forms such as painting, music, storytelling, sculpting, dance, yoga, and journaling, we evoke inner exploration, healing and peace. We create a non-judgmental atmosphere where you can relax and explore your inner self. Our goal is to create a place where you can create positive change in your life.
The process of expressive arts is found in ancient civilizations where religious and secular societies explore their awareness through ceremonies and customs. These ancient processes are powerful and can be utilized through art. We believe that creativity is a birthright and we can relearn ways to go inside ourselves to add to our life skills.
Our facilitators are trained in the field of expressive arts, and place the emphasis on the experience of our participants. We gently "push", or make available, the opportunities to explore inner truths and the authentic self through the activities of our playshops. Join us on our journey of self-exploration and discovery. You'll be surprised by the sense of peace and fulfillment you'll experience.
Cathy has always known that “playing” with her clay and art materials has helped her feel better and stay positive. Even as a child, her intuition told this truth. In essence, Cathy’s ability to write, create art and share with others led her to study Art and Education with a BA and MS in both. She has taught in both public and private schools and volunteered in the community. She was awarded the Pennsylvania State Teachers Award after completing her undergraduate work at Cedar Crest College, Allentown, Pennsylvania. While raising a family, she pursued Interior Design Consulting Certification and started Liott Interiors & Mia’s Designs in 1990. For 25 years she has practiced and served many clients in Sarasota, creating beautiful yet functional designs. She presently continues Liott Interiors & Mia’s Designs on a consultation basis only.
Life’s twists and turns always brought Cathy back to expressing and healing herself through the arts. She considers creativity a birthright and after receiving a Certificate in Expressive Arts Facilitating at Expressive Arts Florida Institute, she hopes to share the healing practice with others. After an internship at Girls, Inc. last summer, Women in Search…Healing Through the Arts was born!! The work with the girls validated her childhood practice of “going in” to discover and explore creative solutions for life skills! All the modalities such as dance, movement, music, sounding, visual arts, journaling, meditation are all layered in different ways to allow for freedom of expression in a very non- judgmental way.
Cathy continues to gain new perspectives on life through her own expressive arts practice of working with clay/pottery/sculpture and multi media art. “Playshops” are designed to create a safe container for those attending to witness one another and trust the process of creating for the sake of creating! She also enjoys traveling, journaling, walking the beach, gardening and playing with her grandson.
Patrice is a professional book illustrator, poet, writer, art educator and art & healing practitioner. She holds a BFA degree in Illustration and a Certificate in Art & Healing from the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida. For nearly 30 years Patrice has worked in the field of illustration and art education. She is a Fine Art Specialist K-12 at Oak Park School, Sarasota County's center school for the mentally, physically and emotionally challenged.
As an art educator she has been a faculty member of the Continuing Studies programs at Ringling College of Art & Design, Booker VPA, Art Center Sarasota, Venice Art Center, MacMurray College as well as an Artist-in-Residence at Girl Inc., Boys & Girls Clubs. Patrice has been a collaborating art educator with VSA teaching artists, her students and fellow teachers on Building Bridges in the Community funded by grants from the Kennedy Center and Van Wezel Performing Arts Center. This work earned her the prestigious C/SPA Distinguished Arts Educator Award for Leadership in Arts Education 2012 for Sarasota County. She has also been a teaching fellow at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY, Maine College of Art in Portland and most recently at Moore College in Philadelphia. Presently she is completing her book, Feather Mountain which is soon to be published.
Patrice's life has been greatly enriched by her studies in the healing arts, and has led her to develop programs to enrich the lives of others. She feels the intermodal foundations of expressive arts allows for a more holistic approach to accessing our creative spirit. Our search to connect with our authentic art spirit provides a motivation to attain balance and wellness. This promotes a genuine sense of happiness and fulfillment as we travel on our life path.
Each Women In Search workshop is more like a Playshop, because of their liberating nature. Our Playshops are devoted to women of all ages who are seeking self-discovery, personal growth, stress management, community building and healing. Playshops include all supplies that are needed to paint, write, dance, move, sing and participate in guided meditation in a non-judgmental atmosphere. Small groups ensure a safe and non-threatening place to explore these areas. You always have a choice to participate or not in the suggested processes, but we find trusting the process can be very thrilling and revealing! Join us for our Playshops and discover the secret to longevity and a more joyful life.
Due to limited space, we ask that you preregister here and pay with the button. Please message which playshop you are interested in. We will receive your payment and call to confirm.
The Heart Diaries...speaking beyond words
Patrice Kennedy, Arts & Healing Practitioner
Cathy Liott, Expressive Arts Facilitator
The Heart Diaries is a small support group (only 8 seats) that uses art & journaling to reduce stress, release anger, resolve conflicts and give voice to your soul. Even if you can’t draw! No judging, total confidentiality and commitment to oneself is essential.
Who will benefit?
Anyone who wants to take the first step towards gifting their soul with a voice through images. “ My pictures are my diaries.” – Edvard Munch
Explore, enrich your life by unblocking feelings & emotions through journaling and drawing.
When can I go?
Three consecutive, incredible Sundays.
February 4, 11 and 18.
Feb 4th — 10:00 am– 1:00 pm
Taking the First Step: Identify what you need and learn 4 basic steps to visually journal.
Feb 11th — 12 noon – 3:00 pm
Transform & Release Pain and Loss: Learn how to check-in on your feelings and emotions, overcome fear, and heal through self-exploration.
Feb 18th — 12 noon – 3:00 pm
Converse with your Images: Learn how to have a dialogue with your images and let your drawings tell the story. You'll practice art from the heart.
Register ASAP, since there are only 8 seats per 9 hr. course.
To reserve your seat, click the "Buy Now" button or call Cathy at 941-504-4325. Cost is $300 for 3 Sundays. Includes all materials.
Location: Lisa L Gallery/Studio—1975 Morrill Street, Sarasota, FL 34236
The God Box Clay PlayShop
Release worries, fears & stress with this ritual of hope! Write out your concerns on small strip of paper and place in the GOD Box to transform, heal and let go. Connect with Spirit through this simple yet profound ritual. Make one for yourself or a loved one.
Facilitator: Cathy Liott, MA Art Education, Expressive Arts Facilitator
Location: Carla's Clay Studio, 1733 Northgate Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34234
CLASSES FOR CONSTRUCTING NEW BOXES ARE HELD ON THURSDAY'S FROM
6:30 - 8:30 PM ON THE FOLLOWING EVENINGS:
CLASSES FOR GLAZING FIRED BOXES ARE HELD ON THURSDAY'S FROM
5:00 - 6:00 PM ON THE FOLLOWING EVENINGS:
$ 75 includes 2 sessions, instruction, clay, glaze and 2 firings.
Registration must be received by the Monday before class so that clay and materials can be prepared. Payment in full is required to register. To reserve your seat, click the "Buy Now" button or call Cathy at 941-504-4325.
Have questions? Just give Cathy a call.
MAP Girls with Stories
Create your own personal "MAP Girl" to explore the life paths you have traveled while discovering the joy of wandering in the land of creative possibilities. This playshop is a must for those who crave a deeper understanding of their inner artist and her desires to experience a more meaningful life through artistic expression. MAP Girls offers a delightful, comfortable guided tour of art making, journaling, and story telling. Yes, there will be stories, our stories, our pictures, our dreams.
3 hr. Playshop $ 60.00
Growing Pains — Growing Wings
Grief is a normal byproduct of life. Dealing with loss & change can be tricky and transformational! Women of all ages are called to trust the process of expressive arts to help find a path to joy again. No art experience is necessary. Your willingness to enjoy the layering of the arts, ie. visual, movement, journaling, meditation, music/sound, Qigong, and more will allow your creative spirit to address all that is needed from within.
3 hr. Playshop $ 60.00
Poet, Writer, Illustrator & Expressive Artist
My earliest memories of creative practices were of writing poems and drawing for my Italian Great Aunt Christine. I would sit at the table on her sun porch. She kept paper and pencils in the drawer and this was all I needed to be happy. A creaky rocking chair next to a big window overlooking her backyard provided a place where I could observe the changing seasons and arrival of tiny birds. A red cardinal balanced on a snowy branch would inspire my poetry. After the winter, blooming forsythia and lilacs would beckon us to search the yard for signs of spring. I wrote about my feelings and the beauty of the living world around me. Aunt Christine would post my poems on a pastel flowered tablecloth tacked securely to the sunroom wall. She honored me with a gift of my own writing space. Her time was spent nurturing my artistic nature without judgment or criticism. She would tell me I was a poet and I believed her.
I grew up in a family of artists, writers, and designers. My mother was an artist, interior designer, and space planner. My father was a man who loved books and music, especially Italian opera. It was the world I knew by heart. I was born both right and left-handed and my elementary years at Our Savior’s School changed my writing and art because my teachers would not allow me to use my left hand. This altered my creative response. It wasn’t until many years later that I would remember this by witnessing my left-hand writing, drawing and painting as naturally and easily as my right hand.
It was the summer of 2003, during an art teachers’ institute at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York when I learned my story. I was awarded a grant-funded experience where 21 high school art educators were given a month of studio space, classes, gallery tours, lectures, a mentor professor and time for total immersion in our art studies. My proposal was to explore the creative mind by using both hands. Out of curiosity, I wanted to learn how our creativity could be turned on through the use of both our dominant and non-dominant hands. When I began my research on this subject I did not remember being born both handed.
For thirty days I was completely free to spend as much time as I wanted in my studio space at Skidmore with my fellow art teachers from across the United States. It was quite a privilege to have earned a chance to do my writing and art without the daily distractions of the outside world. I eagerly began my journey with a smaller, well-centered studio space filled with natural light from above. I started each morning with a strong cup of coffee and journaling, free writing to stir my thoughts. I did not plan a schedule but rather allowed myself to move from one process to the next guided by my inner desire. I would write a page with left and right hand each day and gradually noticed that my left hand began to awaken. At first, I would consciously choose to put the pen or brush in my left hand and as time went on my hands would shift back and forth naturally without prompting.
I had large sheets of white and brown Kraft papers pinned to my studio walls with charcoal, Conte sticks, and a box of oil pastels openly inviting me to draw when ready and willing. I became perfectly content in my little sanctuary and craved more and more time to write, draw and paint. My left hand wrote in uncensored, more intuitive terms, liberating my words without a constant critic. The drawings I did with my left hand were more abstract and seemed to arise from my unconscious mind. The work of my right hand was always very precise and intentional, with a persistent voice of commentary whispering supervision. One day as I was drawing large figures on paper I wrote outside of my drawing, “Today I find great joy being a left-handed artist.” I paused to notice what the words said and wondered in that moment if I was born left-handed and then had my natural hand changed to my right?
Upon returning home that summer I called my Aunt Pat in Sante Fe, New Mexico. My mother had been deceased for many years so being close to my aunt, my mom’s older sister, I thought she might remember If I had been a left-handed child. When I spoke with her she answered me with great certainty that I was truly ambidextrous and that my mother, who was also an artist, knew what a gift this was. She said my mom went to speak with the principal, requesting that I be allowed to use both hands. My teachers at Our Savior’s Grade School, however, did not agree and set out to discourage the use of my left hand. I had no memory of this. Somehow through Divine guidance perhaps, I was brought to Saratoga Spring that summer of my 50th year to rediscover the use of both hands. Ever since that summer, I have been writing, drawing and painting actively with both hands and often paint simultaneously to create my abstract expressive pieces.
As a professional book illustrator, I was educated at Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida, where my mother also went to school. After graduation, my husband and I with our two young daughters moved back to my hometown of Springfield, Illinois, where I worked as a free-lance book and editorial illustrator and began teaching art. Ten years later we moved back to Sarasota, Florida where I became interested in the expressive arts. I found that I really wanted to study Art and Healing at Ringling College so I enrolled and completed studies in 2012. This was life-changing for me and helped me to fully reconnect with my authentic art spirit. My art began to evolve and emerge as I was able to let go of my self-imposed expectations and embrace this part of myself who had been silenced.
The drawings and paintings shown in my story today are all done with both my right hand and left hand. Now I am able to find great joy knowing that my creative energy is free and true. I have a grateful heart because my life’s journey has led me to a place where I have dreamed of being . . . where my art informs me. Peace.
"Women in search workshops has been an excellent tool for me over the past several years in opening a channel within leading me to my inner yearning of expressing myself through art. Being guided by the extraordinary facilitators in a safe, positive and nurturing environment has given me the gift of revealing My own unique creativity."
~ Barbara Carbone
"Patrice and Cathy create safe, sacred space where we gather to learn more about ourselves through creative expression. They work seamlessly as a team to facilitate our art making, offering what one participant dubbed a "buffet" of supplies. I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and highly recommend their work as both playful and supportive."
~ Julia Riley, RN, Registered Expressive Arts Consultant and Educator.
"I came today expecting to be coming to a gallery to see the works of local artists and was pleasantly surprised to be in a class called Moving Through Grace. We spent a lovely, calm afternoon building our own collages and letting our imaginations do the wandering for our fingertips- Very soothing and uplifting fun!" ~ Suzanne Robertson
"Very therapeutic! I was very focused on my collage subject. I would never do this on my own. Good chance or opportunity to just "Be" with no pressure. Thank you!" ~ Donna B.
"The class was 3 hours, that flew by with no thoughts except artistic concentration-relaxing, with only thoughts of self-expressing in creating a project-this was the "grace" class- very self-expressive!" ~ Jeannie C.
"I have attended 2 Women in Search...Healing Through the Arts playshops and they were unique and exceptional. Cathy and Patrice do an amazing job of allowing everyone to feel comfortable and welcome. The groups are small and intimate. There is no judgment of one's talent. You don't have to be an artist to participate. Anyone and everyone can surprisingly do this!! I left refreshed and energized. It allowed me to reflect and rekindle forgotten blessings. I highly recommend this experience!" ~Christine Koval
"The Clay Playshops are amazing! I've attended several because they are so uplifting. I love working in clay, even though I don't have a lot of experience with it. Cathy explains everything in a way that is relaxing and fun, incorporating spirituality, which makes the experience richer. The glazing might even be my favorite part because it's so spontaneous and less predictable. I love her classes and plan to attend more!" ~Karen Howard Hanlon
Towles Court Studio
1975 Morrill Street,
Sarasota, FL 34236
Catherine A. Liott