Free tai chi sessions offered at Turchin

Michael Bragg

Psychology adjunct instructor Glenna Read and social work graduate student Jessica McGuire practice Tai Chi Tuesday afternoon in Turchin Center for the Visual Arts. Every Tuesday this season TCVA will offer activities, such as Tai Chi classes and open studio sessions, free to students. Olivia Wilkes | The Appalachian Every Tuesday, the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts hosts free tai chi lessons and open studio for students to paint under the guidance of a professional artist.

“We wanted to do something for students where they would have a place to express themselves through art without having to meet strict expectations,” said Pegge Laine, Turchin Center educational outreach coordinator.

No experience is necessary to attend tai chi and all supplies are provided at open studio.

Freshmen secondary education major Natalie Abernethy attended her third open studio because she enjoys using the focal point of the day to tell a visual story through her interpretation.

“I get to create art without following the traditional rules or rubric of an art class,” she said. “This is complete freedom.”

The instructor this month is Boone artist Tunde Afolayan, who focuses in acrylics.

Aside from capturing the energy of studio art, Turchin allows students to experience what Laine refered to as “moving meditation” in the free tai chi course.

“Tai chi is both a kinesthetic and internal art that allows practitioners to learn more about themselves both physically and mentally as they nurture a healthier life style,” said Tim Winecoff, tai chi instructor for Tuesdays at Turchin who was 10 years experience of instructing.

After practicing martial arts for two years, freshmen psychology major Megan Crouse relieves stress through numerous tai chi formations but strives to achieve tranquility through free movement.

“The relaxing movement focuses on your core balance while slowing down your body and allowing you to relate with surrounds more naturally,” she said.

While tai chi keeps the body in constant motion and does not allow literal relaxation, Laine said she helped bring it to campus because “it allows you to be connected to the natural world.”

“While reducing stress, tai chi helps your body and mind become one as it forces you to be present in the moment,” Laine said.

The weekly 50 minute tai chi sessions begin every Tuesday in the Turchin Center’s Mayer Gallery at 5 p.m. Open studio is held in Turchin Center room 3200 from 7 to 9 p.m.

Story: BLAKE LITAKER, Intern A&E Reporter