Fabric Collage at Wildflower Home

Last Monday, 23rd of February we visited the women at Wildflower Home for a workshop on fabric applique collage. Wildflower Home is a foundation offering single mothers a safe place to live, where they can also make products such as greetings cards to sell. I thought that applique would be a useful skill as it can be applied to many different projects including bags, wall art, clothing and accessories.
The theme of the collage was nature so before they began creating their collages I asked them to sketch out a design on paper. After this they could begin cutting out pieces of fabric and sewing them onto their canvas to create the design.

 The women picked up the technique quickly and really got into the project. 

For extra decoration we had a variety of buttons and beads that they could add to their collages.

Not everyone managed to finish so we let them take some extra bits of fabric to complete their collages on their own time. I hope the workshop inspired them and perhaps they can take this new skill and create their own projects.


Pinboards at Wat Pao Pao!

Hey there!

   So on February 20th 2015 we went to Wat Pao Pao school. The temple itself was set up as a community to promote the education of the Shan people and preserve their culture, and is now run by the Thai government; Art Relief International go there every week and teach art lessons to P4 children (about aged 10-11).
   I decided to make pinboards with the class, using many materials! I wanted to give students creative licence, whilst also allowing them to make something which would be useful for them. I gave suggestions of what they could use them for (I myself always have a pinboard in use back home!), for example homework reminders, important dates, and photos of people or things they like.


   We decided to work in one big group - a form we did at Wat Ku Kam earlier this week which was a really nice atmosphere - so we all sat in a circle and I handed out a piece of scrap paper for each of the students to plan what sections they might want to split their pinboard into.

   I then gave out either red or blue pinboard squares, cut from corrugated plastic, each with two drawing pins already on it and with two hole-punched holes to feed string through so it can be hung.  I then handed out strips of watercolour paper and paints to make a headboard for the pinboard, which the students would paint and decorate with their name. The idea was to really focus on personalisation through different art materials!


   We then gave out string, ribbon, magazines and… glitter! The glitter was tremendously well received. We also gave out squares of watercolour paper, which the students could cut and shape if they wanted to make headings such as ‘things to do’. They got seriously creative with how they decorated their boards; we had glitter line section barriers and titles from curving string into letters. 


   The awesome thing was that each pinboard was so individual, and a lot of the boys got really into looking for pictures in magazines that they liked.

We had a lot of fun!

Peace and love, 

Celebrating Chinese New Year at the Healing Family Foundation

Hello there!

This time at Healing Family we focused on the Chinese New Year that was celebrated during the week of the new moon. To introduce them to the traditions of the Chinese New Year we created dragons, that the Chinese people use for parades.

We started painting paper plates in the typical colors of the Chinese New Year decoration, red and yellow. After that they cut out and colored the dragon face that I prepared for everyone.

While the plates and faces dried, they glued paper chain strips together to connect the plates later.
After that, they folded paper in a fan form to make the second part of the dragon body.

In the end, we fixed everything together with tape and put wood sticks on the endings so they could hold the dragon and move it. Then we fixed ribbons to make the tail.

They all really enjoyed it and loved doing the different parts to create one thing in the end. We had beautiful dragons in the end!

All the best,


Surrealistic 3D Collage

On Monday we visited Juvenile Detention centre where we work with boys in between 10 and 16 years old which are waiting for their sentence. The boys are amazing and love art and due to this I love being there. This time we created surreal 3D collages. In the beginning I taught the boys about surrealism, gave them some popular examples and told them that surrealistic art often looks like dreams. The boys were so interested and creative.
I brought magazines, watercolor paper, templates, scissors, glue and poster paint. The idea to create some surrealistic art worked out very well. They guys, the volunteers and I enjoyed the nice atmosphere and the creative pictures. They got so into it and all pictures turned out really different and unique. We encouraged the boys to cut out the body template and turn them into a pop up. They all did it so well and some boys added more pop ups to their art.
 In the end we did not have enough time to share but the boys put their work in the center of the room when they were finished and looking at each others work really proudly, talking amongst themselves.

It was the last workshop for me and I am happy that it was such a good one. I will miss the work and all the people from the different organizations.

I hope you are doing good! 

Hi from California!

Hi! I’m Anna from San Francisco Bay Area. I’m a chronic dabbler in anything involving music, art, nature, food, and endorphins. I’ve always been a huge fan of the arts, especially children’s art.

I was first experienced the communicative and connective nature of art when I had the opportunity to work with a student in my art studio who had a developmental disability. Inspired by this experience, I pursued my major in Interdisciplinary Studies: Art and Human Development with minors in Disabilities Studies and Education at University of California, Berkeley. My studies focused on the positive effects of art on the development and education of children with trauma and disabilities. 

After college, I worked at ArtReach, a nonprofit art studio for adults with developmental disabilities. It was very rewarding to see the artists create such diverse works of art and develop their career through art shows. Before coming to volunteer, I worked at UC Berkeley in the Early Childhood Education Program. As a side project, my sister and I ran an Etsy Shop called kimchiCREATIONS, selling polymer clay figurine jewelry.

I’ve been looking forward to volunteering with ARI for several years now and am so grateful and excited for this opportunity. The goals and mission of ARI strongly resonates with my belief in the power of art. The versatility of art as a form of communication, connection, therapy, and advocacy benefits the artist, participants, and society as a whole. Even in the few weeks, I’ve had such a wonderful experience at Art Relief International. It’s been inspiring to interact with such passionate and intelligent individuals, experience art workshops with various partner organizations, and be surrounded by the beauty of Chiang Mai. To be completely candid, I'm not sure what the future holds after volunteering and traveling. All I can say is that I am ecstatic to learn, experience, and grow with ARI! 

Interactive Fun at Hope Home

As a volunteer with ARI, I feel very lucky spending time at Hope Home every week and this week was my chance to create a workshop for the children there. Hope Home offers residential care to local children with disabilities who may be orphaned, abandoned or simply have parents who need help in caring for them. The children's ages and abilities are varied so we usually create sensory based workshops for them.

My concept was to make an interactive box comprising different materials and textures. I painted a shoebox in bright colours then, making holes in the box, attached pieces of fabric, string, a plastic straw, bells, chimes, a plastic bag, a beaded string, a latex glove and a pipe cleaner. Some of the fabric and string went all the way through the box so could be pulled and moved during play.


Some of the children have limited movement so enjoyed the parts of the box that made sound more than anything else. Others loved the moving parts, playing and pulling on the fabric as I pulled on the other side. Overall, with its variety of different elements, I think every child got something from the box and enjoyed themselves.




Exquisite Corpse

This week, I introduced the students at Wat Pa Pao to the work of the surrealists. We began class with a game of Chilli Chilli, and then a short slideshow of surrealist paintings. For our activity, the students participated in a game of collaborative drawing invented by the surrealists. The game is called Exquisite Corpse or Exquisite Cadaver, and can be used as both a creative writing and illustration exercise. 

Each student was given a piece of paper folded into four equal sections, with each portion representing a different part of the body. 

Students were given 5 minutes to compose a head on the first section of their paper. I then collected everyone's paper, shuffled them thoroughly, and handed them back out so another student could draw the torso.

The mystery and surprise kept the students engaged in the activity, and they were patient enough to refrain from unfolding their papers until we reached the conclusion. At the end, I unfolded the papers one by one to reveal the silly creatures we had created. There was plenty of laughter, especially when I unfolded one to reveal that a student had cleverly drawn the base of a house instead of feet!

We used our completed drawings to overview how to say the body parts in English.

As the workshop took place on February 13th, the students were extremely excited about Valentines day. We spent the remaining time in class making valentines cards, and I was impressed by the students' enthusiasm and creativity! 

- Sylvie 

Olympic Torches at Wat Muen Neng Kong


On February 12, I ran a workshop at Wat Muen Neng Kong Temple School. We go there every week and run an after-school art class, so the children we teach voluntarily come and are so excited to have us there which is wonderful. We are doing a "Global Travellers" program and this week we went to Greece! My aim was to teach the kids about Greece’s function in hosting the first ancient Olympic games and the role of the Olympic torch.

We started the workshop by laying out the travellers’ map and seeing if the kids knew where Greece was; to be honest they weren’t far off! We then explained and taught some English vocabulary (Olympics, flame, torch etc.), which Pepo translated, then we split into groups of kids and volunteers.
We got the kids to cut out a template of a cone which I had drawn before. We then got them to decorate it with anything they fancied; a lot of them did their names.

Volunteers then helped them roll their paper up into a cone shape; it was pretty awesome to experience with them the change from 2d to 3d shape. I then handed out strips of red, yellow and orange tissue paper which they stuffed into the cone, and we then tore the tops of it with scissors to replicate flames.

It’s quite nice as an observer, knowing the symbolism of perseverance associated with the Olympic torch and the great honour it is to carry it, seeing the kids really happy running around with their torches and they had so much fun!

Rosie x

Music and sound at Hope Home

Hello there!

This week at Hope Home we focused on music and sounds because all the kids seem to enjoy it when we make music with them. Therefore I brought some musical instruments from the office, for example a ukulele, bells, and other
instruments that we have.

We played music from an ipod dock and tried out the different instruments with the kids. They all really enjoyed it and we had a lot of fun! 

Tata and Wichai enjoyed painting with poster paint and they both got quite dirty, while Sam was very sleepy and thoughtful this time.

It was a very peaceful and happy morning for everybody!

All the best,