Columbus Makes Art Presents: Jenny Patton on Connecting Public Art and Wellness Through Journaling
Jenny Patton is a writer, wellness coach, Ohio State University senior lecturer and lifelong journaler. From her home base in Dublin, she provides weekly journaling prompts and insight for well-being through her blog at journalingwithjenny.com. She is one of 20 artists participating in Dublin Arts Council’s upcoming Connect: Public Art & Wellness Challenge, which launches Sept. 26. Janet Cooper, director of engagement for Dublin Arts Council, recently held a virtual conversation with the artist.
Janet: How did you begin your journey of wellness through journaling?Jenny: At seven years old, I made my own pocket-sized journal out of legal pad paper and an old iron stapler. Writing helped me process the world around me and regain my footing, especially after disappointments.
Janet: What is your process for inspiration and creation of prompts?Jenny: My weekly journal prompts stem from my current challenges: What am I struggling with? What do I want to remind myself to do? How can I be a better version of myself?
Janet: What can you share that was unique about applying your art form to this project?
Jenny: As much as I love my cozy blue chair where I journal each morning, the Dublin Arts Council project invited me into the woods on a treasure hunt to discover Riverboxes, infusing art and nature into the prompts.
Janet: I was inspired by your recent blog post about flexibility and stability. Will you please share a portion of it with us?
Jenny: During uncertain times when we’re asked to constantly adapt and be flexible, it’s essential to find a sense of grounding. Inspired by a triangular-shaped work of public art that showcases stability and extension, I formed a triangle with my body to ground my foundation while reaching toward what’s possible. It was an opportunity to breathe deeply and center myself—to remind myself that stability, flexibility and possibility can coexist.
Janet: In your opinion, what’s the best thing about the metro-Columbus art scene right now?
Jenny: Adapting to the pandemic, Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC) continues to connect visual artists, writers, creators and fans through unique programming. As a fan of graphic memoirs, I’ve long appreciated the multiday CXC festival hosted by area universities, libraries, museums, arts organizations and more.
Janet: In closing, if a sculptor were to memorialize you, what pose would you select and why?
Jenny: A fitting sculpture would depict me writing with an expression of insight—a moment in which I’m learning something about myself or my world.
Jenny Patton is one of 20 artists participating in the Connect: Public Art & Wellness Challenge, the most recent component of Dublin Arts Council’s Art & Wellness initiative. The multi-year project was begun before the pandemic to connect the community to the environment, public art, personal and community well-being. The challenge, which launches Sept. 26, includes the addition of 16 new works of public art in nine Dublin parks. A challenge booklet and more can be found at Connect: Public Art & Wellness Challenge.
Columbus Makes Art Presents is a bi-weekly column brought to you by the Greater Columbus Arts Council – supporting and advancing the arts and cultural fabric of Columbus. The column is a project of the Art Makes Columbus campaign, telling the inspiring stories of the people and organizations who create Columbus art. Learn more about local artists, organizations and events at ColumbusMakesArt.com.