Awakening Spirituality: Art & Craft as Extraordinarily Sacred Landscape for the Ordinary Soul (In-Person)

Featured Programs

Friday 10/06/2023 - Saturday 10/07/2023
Friday, Oct. 6 | 6:00 - 8:30 pm ET and Saturday, Oct. 7 | 8:30 am - 4:00 pm ET

Engaging all of our senses, ART of all forms can awaken the soul, invite healing, and inspire joy.

Come retreat in sacred community to explore how arts nurture contemplative spirituality. Discover beauty and wonder through playful listening and creating. Whether you are seasoned or new in the arts, you will experience the weave of arts and spirituality through intentional hospitality, interactive presentations and explorations, supported contemplative arts-based play and prayer, and slowed rhythms for spiritual reflection and sacred sharing.

During this in person program at Dominican Center Marywood at Aquinas College. Snacks and Saturday lunch are included. Art materials provided and are yours to take home; the registration fee includes a $50 supplies cost.


We invite you to consider the spiritual potency of poetry and word play, fiber and mixed media, watercolor, and Zentangle.

Poetry & Word Play
Discover how one or a few words invite us into the contemplative depth and breadth of a sacred thought. We will practice slowing down and becoming open to Divine presence as we experiment with the shape, sound, or sense of words and delight in the gift of written or spoken word.

Fiber & Mixed Media: Using prompts and guides, practice listening prayer and free play with ordinary “fibers” from nature and life. Explore how branches, stones, shells or “cast-off” materials such as yarn, fabrics, paper, jewelry or buttons can be “upcycled” into wonder through a sacred, contemplative space with God.


Watercolor: Playing with watercolor is deeply enriching and absorbing. Our emphasis will be on “play” and discovery through mark making, mixing and combining these two elements of water and color. Each are powerful metaphors. We will approach these metaphors through our play. Water surrounds us, and is essential to all life, nourishing and sustaining. Color resonates, thrills us, and holds deep memory. Let’s enjoy this experience together and discover.

Zentangle: The Zentangle Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structure patterns (called tangles). As you create from a place of gratitude and appreciation, delightful surprises will emerge.



Dominican Center Marywood is located on the campus of Aquinas College.
1700 Fulton Street East, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49506

Map for Dominican Center Marywood at Aquinas College | Grand Rapids, MI


Debra Paxton-Buursma

Debra beholds God’s cosmos through word, song, silence and life’s dusty stuff. A Spiritual Director, certified through the Dominican Center, Debra companions with individuals and groups, designs retreats, and consults through her spirituality practice, Pax Luminaria. You may find Debra with her head in books or clouds, hands and feet heading to woods, water and harvest, and her soul leaning toward other souls on her path. Rooted in the reformed tradition, Debra’s wide embrace trusts that everyone belongs with inherent dignity, desires love and has capacity within sacred community for transformative peace and possibility.

Yoli Vega

Following an extensive career in higher education, Yoli has been on a journey to get to know the little girl inside her who always loved to color. She enjoys doing her part to support local coffee shops, reflecting with friends at said coffee shops and walking outside with a camera in hand. New journals, pens and piles of books are things that spark joy for her. She lives in Holland, Michigan and is a certified Zentangle Teacher.

Jo-Ann Van Reeuwyk

Jo-Ann Van Reeuwyk is a retired professor of Art Education. She now enjoys her studio full time. Having specialized in fiber and paper forms, she is currently challenging herself with a series of watercolor abstracts. According to Jo-Ann, water is such a powerful metaphor. Her question in this interplay of water and color is “How can this imagery fold into and enhance our spirituality?”


Discounts & Scholarships

Please use code at registration.

Students — 30% discount. Use code  STUDENT30

Associates of Dominican Congregations — 15% discount.  Use code  ASSOCIATE SPIRIT

Scholarships are available.
Call 616-514-3325 or email


Location, Meals & Lodging

Retreat Location
Dominican Center Marywood at Aquinas College is a spirituality center situated in a hillside on a creek surrounded by nature and trails.

Meals & Snacks
Snacks and Saturday lunch are included. Dietary restrictions can be accommodated upon request.

Lodging is not included in the retreat arrangements or fee. Lodging arrangements are the sole responsibility of retreat registrants. Nearby lodging suggestions:

Prince Conference Center Hotel
1800 East Beltline SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Hotel reservations: (616) 526-7200

Country Inn & Suites by Radisson,
3251 Deposit Dr NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Hotel Reservations: (616) 320-5946

Registration & Refund Information

View Dominican Center’s refund policy.

Registration fees support the ongoing mission of Dominican Center Marywood.

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