THE ART AND SCIENCE OF HAPPINESS,
BOOK SIGNING AND ART EXHIBITION
INSPIRED BY THE WORK OF
“HAPPINESS PROFESSOR” DR. JAY KUMAR
Artist Arica Hilton’s Work Is a Visual Manifestation of Dr. Jay’s Happiness Strategies,
as Outlined in His New Book
Science of a Happy Brain: Thriving in the Age of Anger, Anxiety and Addiction
CHICAGO — Hilton | Asmus Contemporary (716 N. Wells St.) is proud to announce its newest exhibition, The Art and Science of Happiness, opening Friday, Jan. 3 at 6 p.m. The show will feature paintings and sculptures created by artist and gallerist Arica Hilton in response to and inspired by her work with Dr. Jay Kumar, a pioneer in the field of brain science, behavioral health, and happiness and the co-founder of the Applied Brain Science Research Institute. Hilton’s paintings, Universe, Life Unlimited, is featured on the cover of Dr. Jay’s most recent book, Science of a Happy Brain: Thriving in the Age of Anger, Anxiety and Addiction.
The essence of the collaboration between Dr. Jay, the Happiness Professor, and Arica Hilton, the artist, manifests in one of Hilton’s neon sculptures declaring, “I have one wing, you have another. Together we can fly!”
“As we embark upon a new decade, I feel it’s a perfect time for people to explore the all elusive happiness that so many are striving for, a perfect time to look oneself in the eyes and see in 2020 the vision to make that leap into the next phase of our lives. I want to share a visual that is a harbinger of serenity, tranquility, inspiration, faith and ultimately happiness,” said Hilton. “If we are faced with negativity, anger, anxiety or addiction, we don't want to replicate that behavior. We want to help those people to replicate ours - to understand that we can be the mirror others will want to look into and reflect into themselves,” said Hilton. “My meeting with Dr. Jay was a timely one. It has reinforced my longstanding belief that we can create our lives the way we choose to. I believe in continuously striving to achieve what was previously unimaginable.”
An accomplished artist, gallerist, triathlete and world explorer, she is the mother of two (raising her boys as a single parent.) She is an active conservationist and humanitarian, lending her time and resources to environmental causes and supporting at-risk children’s and women’s initiatives. Her world tour, I FLOW LIKE WATER, raises awareness and searches for solutions to the billions of tons of plastic polluting our oceans, and has been exhibited in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Beirut, Brussels, Geneva, New York, Aspen and Chicago.
Gerould Kern, former editor of the Chicago Tribune, wrote in the introduction for her exhibition at the Union League Club, “Without water, there is no life. Without life, there is no consciousness. Without consciousness, there is no art. Without art, there is no revelation. And here, Arica Hilton is the instrument of our revelation.”
From life’s most painful experiences, great wisdom often emerges – and that perfectly describes the 25-year journey that has passionately consumed Professor Jay Kumar, providing him with lessons and insights that he has shared with college students for the past seven years in his popular “Happiness” course. Tapping into the knowledge gleaned from numerous scientific studies, as well as the timeless wisdom of ancient spiritual traditions, in Science of a
Happy Brain: Thriving in the Age of Anger, Anxiety, and Addiction, Dr. Jay offers a four-part framework for gaining a deeper understanding of happiness – looking at the subject from Biological, Psychological, Social, and Spiritual perspectives. This four-part approach reflects the author’s unique background, as he is not only an experienced researcher of brain science and human behavior, but also a scholar of Eastern religions and a yoga and meditation instructor. Beginning in 2020, Dr. Jay will become the Founding Director of Contemplative Practices and Well-being at Chapman University.
Dr. Deepak Chopra writes, “Dr. Jay Kumar gives some tantalizing thoughts, based on novel scientific results, and makes the case that our happy brains might be the answer to both personal and societal issues that seem too complex to tackle.”
Gopi Kallayil, Chief Evangelist, Digital Marketing at Google, wrote in the foreword of Science of a Happy Brain, “Dr. Jay, one of the foremost researchers on happiness, has taken what the ancients knew to be true, incorporated his work on the science of a Happy Brain and created a strategy for how each of us can find happiness in its deepest sense.”
In his efforts to understand why happiness seems so elusive to virtually everyone on the planet, Dr. Jay developed strategies for tapping into this empowering state of mind: “The Four Cs of Happiness” – Comfort, Contribution, Connection, and Compassion. Two components of Dr. Jay’s work particularly impacted Hilton’s work. These included:
Those in attendance at Hilton | Asmus Contemporary on Friday evening, January 3rd – for a conversation on The Art & Science of Happiness moderated by John St. Augustine– will have a chance to learn these tools, and put them to use in their own lives, to create a happy new year, and a happy new decade.
Working from scientific findings and coupled with years of experience from teaching in the subject, Dr. Jay eloquently makes the case of an undeniable truth--to socialize is to survive, to tribe is to thrive. Bringing in his own perspective and experience with life’s challenges, makes the book a warm, human testimony, beyond just a strong academic work. His thesis and practical steps all provide hope that a better future is indeed our birthright—in congruence with our happy brains—pointing to a bright future for society as well.
About Dr. Jay Kumar
Jay Kumar, Ph.D. (“Your Happiness Professor”) is a renowned public speaker and thought leader. His expertise spans brain science and behavioral health; economics, politics, culture, and religion. He also holds a master’s degree from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University in international political economy. In 2015, Dr. Jay co-founded the Applied Brain Science Research Institute (ABSRI) — an international organization that explores the dynamic intersection of science, spirituality, and society in order to advance solutions for critical issues facing our contemporary and complex world. As of 2020, Dr. Jay will become the Founding Director of Contemplative Practices and Well-being at Chapman University in Southern California.
He is also the author of “Brain, Body & Being,” and has frequently been featured in media stories focusing on happiness and served as the official “Happiness Contributor” on the nationally-syndicated radio show, “Doug Stephan’s Good Day.”
About Arica Hilton
With a 30-year career in the arts as an art dealer, Hilton | Asmus Contemporary was a natural progression in Arica Hilton’s career. After many successful years of promoting other artists’ work such as the photos of world-renowned photographers David Yarrow and David Gamble, Arica Hilton is curating an exhibit of her own, deeply personal work on display including paintings and three-dimensional works made of oil and acrylic paints and recycled plastics. The collection will be crafted around the idea and “science of a happy brain.”
Whether she is hiking the Himalayas with a Tibetan monk to experience the country’s culture; cage diving with great white sharks off Guadalupe Island; trawling for microplastics with National Geographic photographers in the Pacific Ocean; or raising funds for children's literacy or at risk women and children, Hilton is driven to pursue first-hand encounters with people and their living environments. Near and far, Hilton seeks the unique and uncommon. She is currently training to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in February 2020 as her first challenge of the new decade.
The seeds for Hilton’s dauntless pursuits were sown early. At six-years-old she moved to the United States, not knowing a word of English. Her sense of displacement had a lasting impact, prompting a search to uncover where she belonged in the world. Hilton determined early on that her most illuminating pathway would be the road less taken – a pursuit that continues today.
Hilton’s own artistic pursuits began with writing poetry and expanded to painting when she began to illustrate her poems. As she discovered mathematics, physics, quantum mechanics and string theory, her studies solidified her passion for environmentalism when she learned that stars are nothing more than another extension of humanity – that the elements in the bloodstream are the same elements that comprise a star. The interconnection was what Hilton had been searching for her whole life. As Hilton says “We are the same as a star. How beautiful is that?”
About John St. Augustine
John St,. Augustine a best-selling author of Living An Uncommon Life and Every Moment Matters and a U.S. national radio show host of the program Power Thoughts. He has been a speaker for TED, Windstar, Fortune 500 companies, and The History Channel. He has been called "the new voice of America" by veteran broadcaster Bill Kurtis and "the most influential voice on radio" by bestselling author Cheryl Richardson. His syndicated one-minute vignette, Powerthoughts!, airs daily on Oprah & Friends Radio and he is the senior producer behind Dr. Mehmet Oz's, Jean Chatzky's, and Bob Greene's shows, also on Oprah & Friends Radio. His radio shows have been broadcast on WGN, SiriusXM, Overnight America, Coast to Coast AM and Oprah Radio. John St. Augustine is an award winning radio host, sought after speaker and author who has inspired thousands with his platform performances, and has been honored as one of “200 Visionaries for the Planet.”