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Meow Wolf-Inspired Class at Eagle Rock: Unleashing Creative Immersion and Transformation through F.O.R.E.S.T.

Meow Wolf-Inspired Class at Eagle Rock: Unleashing Creative Immersion and Transformation through F.O.R.E.S.T.

At Eagle Rock, we are committed to fostering deep learning and embracing diverse lived experiences. Recently, the groundbreaking "F.O.R.E.S.T." class, taught by HaeJohn Medley, has taken root. The acronym, which students in the course came up with, stands for "Futuristic Overgrown Rather Exotic Space Trail," and it encapsulates the energy and essence of this transformative 10-week project. 

An Idea to Expand and Free

Instructors at Eagle Rock are free to build their courses as they wish. The inspiration behind "F.O.R.E.S.T." was born out of HaeJohn’s interest in Meow Wolf’s immersive art installations and his desire to create experiences within art, akin to the feelings architects have when they interact with their creations. 

Throughout the 10-week class, students delved into various mediums, with a particular focus on paper mache sculptures. They were given the unique opportunity to use an underutilized room in the library and were provided with free rein to transform it into an otherworldly sensory experience. The result was a mesmerizing display that embodied the students' imagination and ingenuity.

Students marveled at the idea of breaking free from the confines of structural stiffness and embarked on a journey to repurpose and recycle materials creatively. The challenge was to think outside the box and push the boundaries of conventional art forms.

Lived Experiences at the Forefront

"F.O.R.E.S.T." became a celebration of interdisciplinary art, where students could bring their diverse skills and lived experiences to the forefront. Each student compiled a skills and inventory list to showcase how their unique backgrounds could enrich the project. Even students without a background or interest in art found that they had much to contribute. The class emphasized that art is not limited to the traditionally artistic; even those not artistically inclined could contribute through science, problem-solving, and creative thinking.

Breaking preconceived notions of reality and normalcy, the immersive exhibit encouraged students to view art as accessible and achievable. They learned to break down complex tasks into realistic steps and invested their time and effort, reaping the rewards of seeing their vision come to life.

The transformation of the room from a mundane supply room to an otherworldly space trail was a testament to the students' dedication, problem-solving abilities, and patience. Throughout the process, the class expanded their creative minds, gaining a deeper appreciation for art and its power to transcend barriers and evoke emotions.

Eagle Rock’s Curious Approach

Eagle Rock's approach to education is fueled by curiosity and collaboration, granting instructors the freedom to design classes that align with students' interests and incorporate their lived experiences. "F.O.R.E.S.T." was no exception, creating an environment where students could fully immerse themselves and interact with the project in ways that resonated with their lives.

With both students and staff living on campus and interacting beyond the classroom setting, Eagle Rock fosters an environment of trust and autonomy. Students measure their progress against themselves rather than others, fostering a growth mindset and the belief that they can continuously improve. Intentional learning becomes accessible, breaking down barriers and encouraging a genuine desire to engage with the world around them.

As the "F.O.R.E.S.T." exhibit continues to inspire and captivate visitors, Eagle Rock stands proud of the transformational experiences it provides. By nurturing creativity, inclusivity, and a sense of ownership in learning, Eagle Rock prepares its students to become compassionate, innovative, and confident individuals ready to make their mark on the world.