Sunday, April 7, 2013

Week 7

By 1 pm today, The Art Experience was a buzz of excitement.

This week, being Spring Break for Pontiac Public Schools, 14 students appeared for Open Studio. Their mothers brought them so that they may have them experience art and challenge their creative mobility.

All of the students were very positive and excited about being there. A couple of them came to The Art Experience the Friday before and already knew what they wanted to create. They grabbed old records and started painting decorative designs. The others, fumbling about at first, soon started painting and experimenting. They rummaged through bins of items and were searching not only for inspiration but also for materials that you could not find at home.

From paint, to paper, to glitter, to ribbon, to beads, markers, and the list continues. Each one created a different projects and explored endless possibilities.  Many started out with paintings and soon developed complex abstract works of art.  They communicated amongst each other and found ways to challenge their creative thinking process.

As the day continued forth, they talked amongst themselves with exuberating demeanor, they started to share what they were creating and why. Over hearing a conversation, one of the girls stated, “I could come hear everyday.”

Soon, it was not just the children that were excited about making projects but the mothers as well. They started to join in the creating process and started looking for materials for themselves as well as their children. They encouraged and brought forth inquisitive thoughts on what could be produced.  

Soon, one of the mothers started asking about hosting a birthday party at The Art Experience while another started communicating how she would love to bring her daughters Girl Scout troop here.

This week I was able to notice a different atmosphere. Individuals were coming here to explore and try something they have not tried before. They had the opportunity to discover and be apart of a group dynamic and work together to discuss problems and ideas. They gathered their strengths and fashioned ways that geared them to think and express creatively. All and all, they were able to come to a secure environment that allows art activities for children and students to occur. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Week 6

It was a very quiet day for the Open Studio at the Art Experience. At first, the only artist who seemed to show up for the day was Renard. He quietly set up his spot and started to work diligently on his art.

But, later, at about 1, the atmosphere slowly started to change. Other individuals starting appearing the center and the studio because a slight hum as people started to work on their projects. Soon Beethoven was being heard in the background and slight chatter started to arouse as people began talking with one another and sharing their creations.

I also had the opportunity to experience sending out PR materials for future workshops. These workshops enable participants to gain an experience through art and creativity. They allow for beginners and experience alike to come and learn new techniques and meet new people.

The activities focus on creating an environment where opportunities of developing critical thinking and problem solving. It also creates a sense of craftsmanship while allowing the individual to think creatively. Lastly, these workshops allow for team-building skills and respecting and appreciating other individuals and their viewpoints.

Participating in art related activities is important because it produces a dynamic environment where people have the ability to imagine what might be and then expressing this through images.

Image making allows people to talk when they do have the ability to express what they want/cannot through words. It envelops ease in explaining their emotions through a creative process.

I find this important due to the fact that it motivates a positive energy that engages individuals in learning and stimulating memory that facilitates and understanding though communication that helps create new and future relationships. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Community Art Lab

Upon leaving the Art Experience at 8 today, one would not notice that 17 kids varing from the ages of 6 to 17 were there.

Today, the Art Experience teamed up with Yapo Center to provide youth with the opportunity to experience the making art. This adventure continues as 4 week Community Art Lab. The youth will have the opportunity each week to create something new. This first week enabled students to choose the medium they wanted and create their own art piece. The children had the ability to choose from watercolor paints, markers, pencils, oil pastels, and even had the ability to create ink splots.

The following weeks will allow them to create an oversized jigsaw puzzle, pinhole camera, and a more detailed painting.

The Yapo Center provides the community with an outreach to learn about today’s technology and gain an understanding of computers. This program reaches out to children, teens, adults, and senior citizens. It provides a learning center while at the same time allowing them to explore the many uses of technology.

Judy Wilson (Director of the Art Experience) worked with Lauretta Christie and Yohannes Bolds to provide an art experience for the youth. The goal was to create a community where the youth is able to learn from the studio. This experience allows them to learn about art materials while providing the opportunity to think about issues creatively. Additionally, the Art Lab provides a learning experience for those you are helping with the activity. The idea is for all the participates to learn from each other. Communicating does this and allows for expressing ones own ideas. The arts demonstrate a way of further developing the spark of passion and curiosity, which persists the freedom to pursue and challenge ideas. It creates a realization that the process of learning can be inspired by creative experiences. With this in thought, people have the opportunity to think creatively about ideas that tend to produce a reaction of trying endless results.

It is essential for people to understand that the arts are still needed in the school curriculum. Many people view the arts as craft based and something beautiful that is hung on a wall. But what people are missing out on is the fact that the arts allow for people to solve problems and think about solutions in a creative way. The arts provide a new way of thinking and verbalizing. It permits the thought to be seen by images.

Reflecting on this event, I can truly say that I gained an experience that I will remember. The youth that participated had an amazing time. Each one had the opportunity to create multiple pieces that reflected their identity. Freedom was encouraged.

The room was filled with laughter and people talking with one another. The energy was high and everyone was painting and drawing and allowing the ideas to come up right after another. People were not afraid and were willing to try anything.

They were encouraged to create new and innovative works. A side projected was created where they had the opportunity to come and make works based on ink drips. They were to create them abstractly and then look at the image see what it could be. Then they were asked to create the rest of the image through a different techniques and drawing.  They would constantly come up and share their images and were always proud of what they produced.

A couple of the girls that participated voiced their opinion on how they wished that their school still had art. They explained that their elementary school was no longer able to offer art. Each one loved going to school and knowing that they had the opportunity to create art projects because they could not do this at home. Going to art class permitted them to be an artist. It created n environment where creativity was allowed. During these times, they explained that they were allowed to play with materials and create projects that were full of color. They liked knowing they could be an artist and were happy once again to come to do this by coming to the Art Experience

This workshop’s purpose was to provide awareness to community arts studio. It is to offer meaning and connection while sharing a welcoming environment where others have the opportunity to experience programs that allow for participation and communication. In the end, it did just that. The children cam and provided me with the knowledge that the freedom to create is not given to everyone and those that do have that opportunity should cherish it because you never know how long that can last. And when it returns, one should create the art and share it with full intentions.  

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Week 5

Today at the Art Experience has become a better opportunity. As time continues to go by the people that come in each week talk more with me about their own artistic practices.

Today, I had the opportunity to talk with James. He is a local resident of the Pontiac area. He comes in weekly. He writes poetry as well as his own music. Today, he shared with us one of the songs that he wrote and played the piece on a guitar. His voice sounded through the entire building as he strummed along.

Katie and Renard also came today. Renard  continued to work on his paintings while Katie worked on multiple projects.  Additionally, a mother and her two children appeared in the studio today.  New to the environment, the mother brought her children to try something new and artistic.

Yet, even though I had the opportunity to talk with the artists today, I spent most of time working on a project for the organization. I was asked to research some possible grant ideas and opportunities.

The will provide after-school art classes to the area to ameliorate the effect of recent budget cuts which caused the district to cut their art programs. By providing this to students, they will be provided with a positive learning environment where they will have the opportunity to express themselves while exploring the arts.

Two organizations that have approached the Art Experience are the Children’s Village, Grace Centers of Hope, and one of the elementary schools.  The idea is to reach out and provide after school activities.

Art projects for the Children’s Village would be geared more towards teenagers. This organization helps to provide the “best possible services within existing resources to children and youth who come under the jurisdiction of the court and are deemed to be temporarily in need of out-of-home care, custody and treatment, delivered in a caring, safe and therapeutic setting, which also serves to protect the public.” (from website

For Grace Centers of Hope, the Art Experience would be working with their Children’s Program. Here, they offer a preschool program where they offer a safe and nurturing educational environment. 

The Art Experience would focus to create a learning environment through art related activities that would demonstrate the possibility of learning how to communicate while striving to provide creativity, personal growth, and self awareness by expressing ones’ own emotions.

One thing that I have come to notice is that the artist that come to participate in the open studio are very relaxed and feel welcomed to use the materials. The atmosphere is very relaxed. Everyone has the opportunity to work on his or her own. Yet, what has become important is to provide a positive learning environment where people can be provided with growth. 

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