The Least Understood Path to Creativity — Especially for People Who Don’t Know They’re Creative to Begin With

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Through an exploration of neuroscience and art, a Philadelphia based artist discovers the connection between memory and creativity and how everyone can benefit from tapping into this little-known resource of personal transformation. Contact: PMV Productions.

When it comes to creativity many believe that they either have it or they don’t. Some people—artists, designers, poets, writers, singers, techno geniuses—are born with great creative gifts. The rest? Well, they have moments of inspiration here and there and call themselves lucky when it hits.

But Patricia Moss-Vreeland, a Philadelphia-based artist, speaker and author, passionately argues that each person is born with a deep, but often unexplored, potential to create and be creative. In fact, no place is this more evident than in the process of making memory.

Moss-Vreeland first realized this simple, yet profound, idea that memory is not just a storehouse of personal history, information and images, but a great tool of personal discovery and creative transformation, when she worked with a neuropsychologist for her commissioned exhibition in 1999-2000, Memory-Connections Matter, as the Millennial Art in Science Series held at the University City Science Center. Through this collaboration and her growing understanding of how the brain and memory works, Moss-Vreeland realized how memory employs creative techniques to mold each person’s unique perceptions of events to his or her psyches.

As her Millennial Art exhibit revealed, and her new book, A Place for Memory, Where Art and Science Meet explores, all people are constantly creating and recreating their personal narratives. But Moss-Vreeland’s ideas go beyond just helping individuals engage with their own creative energies. Schools and organizations can greatly benefit. "We are made up of multiple senses, and perception remains about 80% of how we take in information from our external word," Moss Vreeland says. "In that case, we need to re-consider how content is being delivered in classrooms and the workplace, because it is being proven that people remember more, if given visual aids and cues and to learn how to translate this visually through drawing."

Children are presented with an array of formulas when entering school after spending their earlier formative years as true discoverers. Moss-Vreeland will discuss how to reignite the individual spirit and bring many stimulating ideas to your organization and audience when she speaks about memory as a creative act. Below are some elements and advice that stem from understanding the process inherent in creativity that she will expand upon and share:

  •     Memory is not finite. It is not written in stone. It’s written in the ever-changing landscape of the mind.
  •     Every day people grow and develop, and their brains do as well. And as they do, their memories are affected. They are affected by everything from point of view, to context, to personality, to mood. But if an individual can alter her memories, and that ability is innate to all, then what does that reveal about the nature of self?
  •     Memory is one of the best tools to problem solve and discover new ideas.
  •     Memory is multi-sensory; employing images can be a gateway to express creativity.
  •     Learning how to visualize and draw engages a different part of the brain. While drawing decisions are made that don’t involve the use of verbal language. This leads to see through problems in a very different way and arrive at more creative solutions.

Patricia Moss-Vreeland is available for speaking engagements, workshops and interviews. To inquire about her schedule or to request a copy of her book, A Place For Memory: Where Art and Science Meet, Contact PMV Productions at patricia(at)patriciamossvreeland(dot)com or visit

About the Author and Speaker: Patricia Moss-Vreeland

Patricia Moss-Vreeland’s paintings, drawings and multimedia works have been exhibited nationally since 1974, at institutions including the Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia. Her works reside in many of the nation’s most prestigious permanent collections, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago. Public and private commissions include design, mural and fabrication, portraiture and multimedia works.

About the Book:

A Place for Memory, Where Art and Science Meet presents a compelling mix of indelible images, accessible analytics, and poetry, to reveal how creativity and imagination are involved in our attempt to record people, places, and events. Anyone interested in discovering multiple avenues for exploring memory and creativity will find both beauty and relevance in this book. Turning the pages you find yourself reflecting on the lyrical combination of words and texts and memory is triggered – and then transformed to another level. New connections are made, and with them new memories are created. Turn the pages and the process repeats, a metaphor for the process in making memory. With each section of the book, Moss-Vreeland pulls readers toward contemplation and reflection.

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