Heart For Art 2021
Art Centre Vrygrond
Children living in low-income, under-resourced areas (townships), have limited exposure to the essential resources required for normal, creative childhood development. Through the introduction of art classes and by offering children paper, brushes, cloth, crayons, pencils, rhythm and movement, we enable them to achieve relative stability and maturity, appropriate for their age group. Teaching children various art skills helps them start to develop the aptitudes needed to cope with and integrate into society, as well as being able to deal with their daily challenges.
"Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all." - Aristotle
The aim of this class is to learn how to knit anything from toys to garments and products. The children learn how to bring their self-made wooden knitting needles into action. Once they have figured the basics of knitting out, the girls and boys are unstoppable. Knitting trains the brain for literacy and numeracy and stabilizes the children by the very rhythmical activity. When one enters a knitting classroom it is striking to witness the focus, peace and determination among the children.
Our clay and sculpture class assist the children with developing artistic skills in the wide field of pottery and sculpture. They learn where clay comes from, how to mould it, why firing is important to preserve it, to paint it with glaze in traditional and unique new patterns and what the difference is between glaze and underglaze. Pottery is an ancient craft and we are proud to be equipped with tools and machinery to introduce children to the play of the elements whilst turning mother earth into solid containers.
Grade 1 and 2 children form energetic groups keen to explore their creativity through different art practices and play. They learn about the world outside, how to appropriately interact socially and how to use all basic art mediums in a fun way. Despite the social challenges they face in their communities and the resulting lack of school readiness, at school these children are expected to learn academically. BAP offers them a space to let go and catch up with childhood playfulness in the afternoons.
In the past years we witnessed many of our children pursuing art as a subject in high school. In this class for grade 6 and 7 children we boost their confidence in their artistic abilities and focus on curriculum-based skills and knowledge to prepare them for future demands.
Our handcraft group focuses on creating usable and pragmatic solutions helping to improve the lives of the children or simply to add beauty to their lives at home. Children use everyday objects that can easily be found in their communities and up-cycle them to make art pieces they can be proud of. Inventing the new by using the old grows entrepreneurial skills and sustainability in the children.
This class for 10-12 year olds explores the different methods of printmaking. Together they learn the tricks and techniques to make their own prints from simple materials, such as plastic, Styrofoam, wood and linoleum. Printing allows them to multiply an image or text many times. An old technique to communicate and send messages. The children learn to plan the manufacturing of a printed artwork, experience the mirroring of an image, practice composition with limited colours and enjoy the fun of printing by hand.
We offer our 10- 13-year-old children a weekly opportunity to develop wood carving skills which strengthens their fine motor skills and coordination, teaches them about 3D design, makes them understand shapes in space and most of all trains perseverance as carving in wood is a slow and difficult process. Working and committing to one art piece over 8 weeks builds the children´s resilience.
This is a group of 40 children who have been denied the opportunity to go to school. We offer a space for these children from the Vrygrond community to have some exposure to art activities and learning, using art therapeutic and emergency pedagogy elements in these lessons. Through these art activities (which also includes free play, art making and story time), we teach the children various skills to assist them in developing aptitudes to better deal with the daily challenges they face.
Youth Group: This group of high school learners (aged 13 – 18) have an affinity for art but their schools do not provide art as a school subject. These classes provide studio space and art materials to help them explore their creativity, learn to express through a visual medium and increase their artistic abilities to form their unique characters and identities. In 2021 this group will focus on mural design and practicing group projects.
Open Studio: This is a free space for self- motivated and organised youth aged 11-18 years to explore and grow their artistic talents. An experienced art facilitator provides a variety of art materials and a safe studio space to find and follow their very own theme, technique and form of expression. The facilitator addresses them individually and encourages uniqueness.
A group of youth who are facing challenges at school of such magnitude that they face suspension or expulsion. Most youth in this situation drop out of society and never complete their schooling, commonly becoming gangsters and drug users. Using the mediums of art, we have been requested by local government to contribute towards their reintegration back into society. Techniques like water colour increase their empathy to their world; which helps them to relate to peers and teachers. We know that art has the potential to ignite their interest in learning and can motivate them to complete their schooling.
Our sewing groups enable grade 5-7 children to acquire skills in hand stitching, basic hand sewing and sewing on a domestic machine. These skills for life are needed when for instance their school clothes need repair. By practicing in class, children improve their technique, fine motor skills, patience, problem solving, cognitive thinking and creativity. Silworms focus on the children creating items they can admire and make use off.
In this class of children heading into their 9-year crises, the focus is on improving the bonds between children and growing their social interaction skills. Through healing storytelling, we help them to unconsciously grasp how to face challenges, build a strong value system and learn what is socially acceptable. The creative interaction projects challenge them to work together and be an individual at the same time.