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Perspective Drawing with Clarkston Community Center

Amy Meyers led two groups of kids from Clarkston Community Center's summer camp in sessions of perspective drawing. The kids works in teams to trace each other's feet and traced their hands to create a fun and silly self-portrait. 

Paint Love appreciates working with diverse groups and we love seeing how kids work together and create together. Clarkston Community Center serves families from 150 different ethnic groups, from nearly 60 different countries of origin, that speak over 50 different languages and 43% of Clarkson’s residents are foreign-born and more than half are living in poverty. 

The Clarkston STEAM-Plus Summer Camp (STEAM standing for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) welcomes children between the ages of 6-14.

The fun and creative atmosphere of camp also builds stronger English language skills for those who are new to this country and bolsters self-confidence for participants, especially for girls and young women. The campers explore and create eco-art, assemblage art, painting, drama, dance, and gardening. They also tackle core subjects like science, mathematics, social studies and English. To expand technology skills, the camp also features 3D printing, computer programming, and architectural design.

Altered Portraits at Woodruff's Teen Lounge

We were so excited to host an event at the Woodruff Art Center’s Teen Lounge. We got to share this project with over 50 teens from all over Atlanta. We had a large team of artists to brainstorm the project. Amy Myers, Ross Boone, Margaret Crane, and Caitlin Chase all gave of their immense talent to make this project possible. The theme was social justice in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We did what all busy artists with jobs do, we started an email chain to collaborate. This might be my favorite stage of any project. I love hearing ideas and seeing things come together.

We started talking about the way we see ourselves and the way others see us. We're all so different, but we are also very alike, for reasons that have nothing to do with the color of our skin. We started thinking about what your actions have to say about the way you fit into the world? When you alter your portrait, when you act at all, you have the opportunity to show your true character. If we judged people by character alone, what would that look like?

This quote stood out to us from the I Have a Dream speech:

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
— Martin Luther King, Jr.

That was our prompt. We like to come up with really deep questions, but then wait to see what the group dynamic is like before diving in. We let the kids decide how deep they want to go when discussing a theme. It turned out that we had tons of great opportunities for discussion. We had four Paint Love artists and one stellar volunteer so there was a lot of room for hands on instruction and one on one conversation.

The first step in our project was to take photos against a plain wall and print on canvas paper. 

A little practice run on an old canvas! 

A little practice run on an old canvas! 

After that, students were able to add to and alter their portraits using embroidery, paint and other found objects. We were so enchanted with the results. I've posted a few here, but you can find the full galleries on our Facebook Page

Gallery I   Gallery II   Gallery III 


A big thank you to Woodruff’s Teen Lounge for hosting us and to our incredible artists and volunteers. Special thanks to Binders for donating canvas boards!

 

On Being Authentic: Masks with Kim Stuart and Artfully Made

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Happy New Year! Julie and I are excited to be back at it in 2016. What a beautiful year this is shaping up to be! If you haven’t heard, we made our year end fundraising goal! We have an official Thank You post in the works with all the details, so stay tuned! We are so, so, so thankful! We're so excited to see what incredible projects we have this year with the talented youth of Atlanta!

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I wanted to kick things off this year with a project about authenticity. Kim Stuart led this 2 part project last year with Amy Myers’ Artfully Made group at Powder Springs Elementary. We talked about what it means to be authentic and the masks we sometimes wear. One thing we talked about was the difference between wearing a mask and modeling a specific behavior. One girl gave the example that being studious and calm while working on school work isn’t the same as wearing a mask - wearing a mask is acting like someone you're not. I thought it was awesome that, even at a young age, these ladies recognize that there are so many different sides to ourselves. 

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To start the project, Kim talked about her mask that she made. We all shared examples of times when we weren’t being our most authentic selves. We talked about the reasons why we felt like we needed to wear masks. After our talk, the girls cut out and painted the base layer of their masks. We used cardboard so we could make them BIG!

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We painted and added eyes, ears, mouths, and noses. Then we glued everything together. It was such a fun project, both light hearted and thoughtful at the same time, our favorite kind. We spent two project days working on these. I like that we were able to spend extra time discussing and working on something the girls were really proud of! It has been wonderful to work with this group throughout the year. We are so thankful to know them and looking forward to more projects with them this year! 

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What we decided is that authenticity looks different to everyone because everyone is different.

The best thing we can do is to discover our authentic selves and then share it with the world in a kind and caring way. I hope this is what 2016 holds for us: let us recognize the awesomeness within and be brave enough to share it!

Wishing you an authentic and brave 2016!