Cherilynn Morrow: Creativity is Playing at the Interfaces

Dr. Cherilynn Morrow has been a professor of Physics & Astronomy at Georgia State University with a focus on innovative instruction and education research. Her primary roles have been working with colleagues to re-vitalize introductory physics teaching in a collaborative, integrated lecture/lab environment called Studio Physics, and to make physics more accessible and engaging for future educators as well as for pre-professionals in medicine, law, and business. In addition, Cherilynn serves as Principal Investigator for a NASA grant ($500,000) to enhance Global Climate Change education in the state of Georgia.

As of August 1st, 2012, she is leaving her professorship to put greater focus on the pursuit of her artistic dreams. In addition to her passion for developing the minds and hearts of students and teachers in the context of science education, Dr. Morrow is also a singer and budding songwriter. She is a strong advocate and practitioner of integrating music and the arts in service to science education and loves to communicate in ways that transform rather than inform.

“One of the enormous sources of creativity is that interface between realms that seem, at first blush, unrelated. Like science and spirit or art and science. Where such realms weave together…. that’s where my being feels the most creatively activated. I love to explore those interfaces — allowing new possibilities to reveal themselves. This often involves collaborating and co-creating with people from a variety of domains… playing together at the interfaces, and developing new capacities within ourselves in the process.” ~Dr. Cherilynn Morrow

Listen to Cherilynn’s Art as Worship interview on Empower Radio.

Cherilynn invented AstroJazz – a multi-sensory public education program that integrates live jazz music with beautiful imagery and the wonders of astronomy. For AstroJazz, Morrow sings, co-composes songs, writes the lyrics or lyrical parodies, researches the science content, and prepares the animated PowerPoint slides that, along with the songs. She interweaves astronomical commentary and audience interactivity throughout the program.

Atop Maunakea in Hawaii after completing the 7-hour NASA webcast of the Venus Transit. Photo by Ron Beard

In June 2012, the Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo, Hawaii hosted AstroJazz in support of NASA-sponsored outreach activities related to the June 5, 2012 Venus Transit of the Sun. Cherilynn also served as a science and education commentator for the NASA webcast of this rare celestial event from atop Hawaii’s 14,000-ft volcano, Maunakea. Part 14 features Cherilynn doing a kinesthetic demonstration.

Cherilynn commented, “I am trained formally as an astronomer and I’m passionate about education. Through AstroJazz, I integrate music, astronomy, visual art, and education. I want the program to inspire people to greater connectivity with their cosmos …to stir their minds and hearts in a way that lets them experience a greater intimacy with our universe.” She goes on to say, “There are more atoms in the tip of your thumb than there are stars in the observable universe. All the quantum physics and relativity is going on in all of us! Human consciousness is a marvelous example of the creative and evolving energies of our universe.”

Cherilynn earned her BS in Physics (with minor equivalent in French) from George Mason University, and her PhD in Astrophysical, Planetary and Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Colorado. She’s worked as a graduate fellow at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), a postdoctoral fellow at Cambridge University, a visiting scientist at NASA Headquarters, an education program director at the Space Science Institute (SSI) and the SETI Institute.

She was the lead developer of the Saturn Educator Guide for NASA’s Cassini Program, and is the originator of a nationally renowned curriculum called Kinesthetic Astronomy (KA) which engages the human body to learn basic astronomy (for grade 6 through adult learners). Cherilynn developed the Family Guide to the Sun and several other interactive educational resources available online, some of which have been translated into other languages.

She says, “The universe is clearly a very creative place and all of us inherit that beautiful story of evolution and creativity. We’ve got to own it. And as we do so, our own creativity and sense of purpose — our soul’s code — will find its expression. We will know what we’re here to contribute because it makes us come alive. I just love Howard Thurman’s idea that what enlivens us is what the world needs.”

Cherilynn’s personal interests include aviation, athletics, and the arts. She loves to sing, dance, fly, dive, climb, write, run trails, and practice yoga. She has trained extensively with pioneering jazz vocalist Rhiannon. In August 2011, Cherilynn completed a 6-month, 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training at Pranakryia Atlanta.

Creative writing samples include her article for SPACE.com, which expresses some humorous perspectives on traditional and modern techniques for observing the Moon.

Find out more about Cherilynn and AstroJazz at www.astrojazz.net.

Listen each Wednesday at 9am Eastern on Empower Radio to hear another artist’s story. Share your art and your comments on the Art as Worship Facebook page. Namaste!

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Juliette Mansour: I Collaborate with God

Street photographer Juliette Mansour is a first generation American raised in the 1970s when other concerns besides artistic expression took precedence. After having completed graduate school studies, it made sense for Juliette to use her strength in learning languages and her ease with communicating with other cultures as a start to her professional history. She devoted her time as an English as a Second Language teacher – until an unexpected left turn inspired her toward self-taught web design, which turned into a career in Information Technology and web marketing projects. As the founder and owner of Casa Dresden, Juliette found a way to blend her love for languages, the written word, and cultural diversity with her career experience in IT, graphics and web development.

 “All my life I’ve been collaborating with God but until I hit a crossroads and was forced to redefine my spiritual life, I wasn’t ready to truly collaborate. Now, I feel more like a co-collaborator, willing to explore anything. So that’s what I did with photography…. Now, I just listen and do what my heart tells me to do.~Juliette Mansour

Listen to Juliette’s Art as Worship interview on Empower Radio.

Juliette Mansour Photography was created as the artistic branch of Casa Dresden. Today Juliette enjoys a comfortable balance as a sub-contractor by day, continuing her web design and marketing experience, while at night she hones her passion for her photography work. Juliette actively grooms herself in the genre called street photography, using both film and digital mediums.

While she still uses her digital SLR for event photography for small clients, Juliette prefers film and loves to lose herself in the darkroom.  Juliette says, “Film requires a different kind of artistry — it requires almost a spiritual side to the photographer. There is a lot more waiting involved. There’s something absolutely magical about being in a dark room and picking that one negative that really speaks to you. It’s in its raw form and all you have to do is shine the right amount of light on it. You stick that piece of paper in the chemical and watch the image materialize.”

Juliette is one of the few street photographers in Atlanta. Inspired her own fascination with street photography and the amazing back story of street photographer, Vivian Maier, Juliette founded The Atlanta Street Photography Group, which meets actively each month and posts on Flickr.com.

About the art of street photography, Juliette says, “It is people living everyday lives. It’s that candid moment that you can find something really unexpected, something humorous, something sad. It’s about finding emotion and about what people are doing on the streets.”

Juliette’s recent street shot entitled, “The End,” was highlighted in a two-page spread in The Atlantan Magazine. She participates in Atlanta emerging artist exhibitions, competitions and local art festivals.

Juliette has an undergraduate degree in Romance Languages and a graduate degree in Applied Linguistics and English as a Second Language. Casa Dresden offers freelance event photography and over 15 years of experience in bilingual online media planning, design and development. Read more at www.casadresden.com.

Find out more about Juliette and her street photography at www.juliettemansour.com.

Listen each Wednesday at 9am Eastern on Empower Radio to hear another artist’s story. Share your art and comments on the Art as Worship Facebook page. Namaste!

Kathleen Kurre: Adventure Happens in the Present Moment

Kathleen Kurre is an accomplished executive and entrepreneur, with a broad range of experience on the leading edge of technology adoption and organizational change where people, process and technology intersect for success.

“Life is like the wave. You take your surfboard — everything that you know how to do — then get up on the wave. The sweet spot of life is your adventure — and adventure always happens in the present moment.” ~Kathleen Kurre

Listen to Kathleen’s Art as Worship interview on Empower Radio.

Kathleen’s work in the world of business and technology reflects her artistry in the world and includes teaching, speaking, writing and more.  She says, “I wasn’t really encouraged as a young girl in terms of my art work so I just went looking for other things that I could create. I’m really curious about things and I always like the leading edge. I like doing things that haven’t been done before. That’s really the definition of an artist. Even when I was in college and working with mathematics and technology, I realized that business is a wonderful canvas for us to create our lives.”

Kathleen has served as CEO of two venture capital backed healthcare technology services companies and of a social entrepreneurship, technology services nonprofit. Currently, Kathleen is President of Fusion Advisors LLC, which focuses on organizational change and adoption of new technologies.

She is on the faculty group for the Graduate Leadership Program at Georgia Tech for BioMed Engineering PhD students. Kathleen has served on the board of several companies and contributed to the start-up of new organizations.

She says, “We often think that the creativity comes from one place, but it comes from the heart AND from the mind AND from our physical body. It’s that total integration which is beautiful because that’s who we are. We are these wonderful physical beings and everything we do is through our physical body. We’re also these nonphysical beings and we get to work and play in the ethers. That combination is where the divinity is. That’s what we bring through in our artwork.”

She has a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Purdue University and a Masters of Divinity in Spiritual Peacemaking from the Beloved Community in Ashland, Oregon.

Find out more about Kathleen at www.fusionadvisors.com or read her blog at www.kathleenkurre.com.

Listen each Wednesday at 9am Eastern on Empower Radio to hear another artist’s story. Share your art and your comments on the Art as Worship Facebook page. Namaste!

Matt Janke: I Became Grateful

Matt Janke is a glassblower. He loves the medium, the craft and building the equipment. Matt has been on one mission for nearly 20 years… to expose and promote the art of glassblowing throughout the Southeast.

 “For many years I didn’t fully appreciate my skill level. I didn’t think of my talent as a gift from God — I approached it like work and thought of it as a curse at times. I finally realized I needed to change my attitude and I became grateful for my talent and skill. I realized it came a lot easier for me than for a lot of other people.” ~Matt Janke

Listen to Matt’s Art as Worship interview on Empower Radio.

Upon arriving in Atlanta in 1986, Matt discovered there were no glassblowers and therefore no studios to work out of in the metro Atlanta area. He decided he was going to blow glass in Atlanta even if he had to build a shop himself. In 1990, Matt moved his family back to his native Ohio and his alma mater Kent State University to attend graduate school on a teaching assistantship where he received his Masters in Glassblowing.

Returning to Atlanta in 1992, Matt built a glass blowing studio in his basement. In July of 1996, Matt and his wife Kim opened Janke Studios – Atlanta’s first glassblowing studio.

Matt says, “Glassblowing is sort of like controlled chaos. I like to create chaos every once in a while. Everyone always tries to control everything.”

Matt and Kim run an open studio with the mission to expose and promote the art of glass making throughout the Southeast and to provide a means for other artists to practice their craft. Janke Studios is Atlanta’s premier glassblowing studio and virtually all of Atlanta’s glass artists have all been active in Janke Studios over the years.

One piece of advice he gives other artists is, “Be persistent if you have a dream or a vision. Don’t let obstacles get in the way — just go around them.”

Find out more about Matt, his work and classes offered through Janke Studios. Check out the video where Janke Studios was featured on CNN as a Small Business Success story.

Listen each Wednesday at 9am Eastern on Empower Radio to hear another artist’s story. Share your art and your comments on the Art as Worship Facebook page. Namaste!