159: Fertile Fear with Luan Joy Sherman, artist and educator

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It's Mara Thomas in conversation with artist and educator Luan Joy Sherman!

Mara connected with Luan through the School of the Alternative (SotA) an immersive, non-hierarchical learning environment that seeks to “create conditions necessary for a present-day community of pioneering artists and critical thinkers.”

During this year’s SotA session, Luan facilitated a class titled, “Fertile Fear" which Mara and Luan discuss in this episode. The description of Fertile Fear: "A class focused on making friends with fear/avoidance and using these instructive feelings as a door into our true desires. Compassion, vulnerability, emotional safety, and community support are the ideal ingredients for accessing bravery. We'll discuss dimensions of fear, the power of vulnerability, and create guidelines for how we can cultivate bravery together."

One of the tools Luan shares in this episode is what he calls his “Daily Practice” – identifying things that he needs to connect with on a daily basis to help him feel emotionally, physically, and creatively healthy. Luan discusses how his Daily Practice came to be, how it was received in creative community, and the tendency that can creep in around using tools like this as a form of self-judgment.

BIO:

Luan Joy Sherman (he/him) is a white, queer, trans masculine, neurodivergent artist, writer, performer, teacher, and energy worker. He works with School of the Alternative; an experimental art school / world-building project located in Black Mountain, NC as a community facilitator and Board Member. He's taught four classes at SotA: Fertile Fear, Physical Education- The Joy of Having a Body, How to Not Know, and Queering Masculinity.

Luan earned an MFA in Sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in May 2020 and is certified in Compassion Cultivation, Mental Health First Aid, and as a Trauma Support Specialist.

Transcript

Quote Mentioned in Episode:

“Being content is perhaps no less easy than playing the violin well; and requires no less practice.” – Alain de Botton

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