Young Lions Global Art Project

 The Art Relief International team would like to send out a heartfelt "Thank You" to all the wonderful individuals who contributed to our IndieGogo Young Lions Global Art Project crowd funding campaign. We successfully raised a total of $1,147! Your generous contribution will allow us to continue filling the ARI center with the laughter and smiling faces of the local Burmese refugee children. We will continue to provide fantastic workshops that teach useful skills, provide a means of self expression, and offer the rare chance to just be kids.

Once again, thank you from the bottom of our heart!

Starry Night Texture Workshop continued

Hello everyone! My name is Florence and I am a new volunteer here at Art Relief International. I just arrived in Thailand all the way from Montréal, Canada a few days ago, and so far, I absolutely love it! I have bachelor degree in psychology from Concordia University, I currently study in art at UQAM, and I plan on getting a masters degree in art therapy. I have only recently been introduced to art therapy, and I must say it really instantly spoke to me. I come from a very artistic background, so it was a good approach for me that combine my experience in psychology and my passion for arts in the goal to help others. I strongly believe art can go a very long way in helping many people in various situations!!

Yesterday was my first day volunteering, and I really enjoyed it! Audrey and I went to the new life center to do a workshop with the girls! We continued the Van Gogh “Starry Night” texture activity and the project is nearly completed!

    First, the girls painted the black paint onto the pastel they had done the previous week.


 Next they applied a coat of blue paint where the mountains and the houses will be so that there won’t be any blank spaces underneath.

This was followed by making the mountains by means of painting onto pieces of corrugated paper that the girls then glued onto the paper

Finally the girls applied a coat of paint onto matchsticks and started gluing them onto the paper to make the shapes of houses.
All throughout the activity the girls really enjoyed themselves and worked really hard. They surprised me by how applied and meticulous they were in completing every single tasks required in the activity. Furthermore they were very happy with what they had completed that day.

The plan for next week is to do the carvings on the black paint to reveal the pastel underneath and to finish gluing the houses!

I cannot wait to see them next week and to see their final project!!!

Until next time!

Florence :)

Double workshop at Wad Pa Pao with the International students

Hi everyone, it's Audrey reporting from the CCT Office.
Yesterday was a very busy day! Ten students from the USA, who have been travelling in Burma for the past few weeks, joined ARI for the day and lead two workshop with the kids of Wad Pa Pao.
During the first workshop, the children were introduced to new techniques of drawing: they had to make a self portrait without looking at what they were doing and then do a second one without taking the pencil off of the paper.

the second workshop was called "the tree of life". they had to draw a important event from their past, that made them who they are today on a root of the tree and their hopes for the future on a leaf.
they all got really into it and it was very interesting to see them thinking about themselves and trying to look ahead.
we noticed that a lot of girls wanted to become nurses and the boys wanted to become helicopter drivers.  :)
the final product was very beautiful and it was great to see all those unique drawings put together to create one big piece of art.

a future nurse

another one :)

the kid's hope for the future

the tree of life

their past

they were really happy with the result

the kids had a great time and I hope i'll get the chance to work with them again before I leave!

Thanks to all the students who joined us. They did a good job and were really good with the kids.

bisous, Audrey


The CCT/ARI Office Transforms. Take a Look!

With the hustle and bustle of the daily grind, it is easy to lose sight of the simple beauty by which one is surrounded. At the Cultural Canvas Thailand and Art Relief International office, we know that we are lucky to have a big, beautiful yard, but it is only with the dedication and insight of French volunteer (Jean)-Pierre Godelle that we are reminded of pleasures that a real garden can bring. Over the last few weeks, we have watched our jungle transform into a colorful, lush space, perfect for fostering the creativity that we hope to evoke from our program participants. It is all very exciting!

Our garden continues to get brighter and more beautiful each day, flaunting vibrant pieces of fabric strewn threw the trees, cheerful assortments of potted flowers, new homes for birds, and multi-colored creatures for kids to enjoy. With a new tree swing in place, it is not only a way for kids to have fun, but a means for CCT/ARI staff to escape for a spot of clarity during the busy work day. The transformation is vast and so is our gratitude for such a full-energy endeavor. Thank you, Jean-Pierre!

With new inspiration and growth before us and more to come, I can only hope that this is representative of what we will see for our organization. It is inspiring for me, our staff and students alike. 


Learning more about body language with Keith Haring

Hi everyone,
it's Audrey , reporting from the CCT office. Yesterday we had a workshop with the Young Lions and they were introduced to Keith Haring's work. And I must admit that they responded very well to the artist's style.

Keith Haring's iconic characters

I've always loved Keith Haring's work because it is simple but universal. He did a lot of composition with those characters, they are all very colorful with a thick black outline, and they're usually moving and showing emotions, although they never have faces.
So we thought of doing a workshop about body language with the kids, and show that, like Keith Haring, they are able to express themselves only using their body.

all the kids got really into it and did an amazing job
They created their own characters (or copied one of Haring's) on a cardboard piece of puzzle, trying to recreate the artist's style, and at the end we put all the pieces together to make a nice and dynamic composition.

 they were very proud of what they accomplished :)

putting the pieces together very carefully

Young Lion's recreation of a Keith Haring painting

Then we did a little "charade" game. kids picked a piece of paper with the name of a emotion written on it and tried to make the others guess what it was. they had a lot of fun and so did we.
Everything went very well: the kids were extremely creative and focused at the same time and the result is fun and colorful.

i can't wait to see the; again next week.

bisous, audrey.


Celtic flags from Hope Home!

Hi everyone,

Aisling here again. I'm very sad to say that this will be my last blog before I leave CCT.  :-(
But I must say that I am leaving on a high note having had one more time to visit Hope Home before I leave.


Audrey with Joy, who is perfectly color coordinated for the occasion!

This morning we visited the wonderful kids at Hope Home and had a great time making Celtic inspired flags with them. We used stencils and rollers to spread the paint, to create some colorful flags which the kids later had great fun waving along to some songs. This was a great activity as the kids had the chance to exercise their arm and hand movements and coordination.  Of course Phil had another approach to this, he is a master of using his feet instead of his hands!

Phil showing us his skills!

I'm sure these kids will make many more wonderful art pieces in the future so everyone should definitely watch this space and keep up to date with whats happening in the CCT offices!

Before I go I want to thank all the staff at CCT for giving me so many great memories and experiences and to all the volunteers I've met along the way-you were all were great company at work, at the volunteer house and on days off!

Bye for now,
I will miss you all,
Ash xx


Second workshop with New Life Center on Starry Night.

Hi everyone, this is Audrey speaking. This morning we had a workshop with the girls of New Life Center and we kept on working on last week's theme: the use of textures in Van Gogh's Painting. 
Last week they made two samples of textures: one for the sky and another one for the hills and village. They colored the sky with wax crayons and covered it with a thick coat of black paint. They had to wait until the next workshop before they could do anything on this sample because the paint was not dry yet  at the end of the class.
Therefore this week they were able scrape off the black paint to unveil the sky. The girls did great and the contrast between the light colors of the sky and the darkness of the top coat was striking!

all the first samples

They they finished the second sample buy sticking the matchsticks according to where the small houses are on the painting. It took them a lot of time because most of them are really careful and precise. They also applied some paint between the matchsticks and the corrugated card to make it look more harmonious. The final result was bright and funny.
one of the girls' second sample

it was good to see that they all appropriated the technique and used it in their own way. they expressed their creativity through the composition, colors and textures and are now ready to create their unique entire recreation of Van Gogh's Starry Night. I can't wait to see this!

Bisous, Audrey.

Hi everyone, Aisling here again reporting on last weeks Young Lions get together.

Irish culture was the theme of the day.  Having a background in Irish dancing I thought it would be fun to introduce the Young Lions to the phenomena that is Irish dance!

"I love Irish dancing"

The children had a brief introduction to the Irish culture- the language, the food, Celtic symbols and designs and, of course, Irish dance.  Along with learning about the Irish culture the children got to try out a new art technique and were introduced to stenciling.  The stencils were created from Celtic designs and were stenciled onto fabric sashes- (sashes are a vital part of any Irish dancing costume). Worn at the back of the costume, they are heavily adorned by ornate Celtic symbols and designs in bold, bright colors.

Stenciling Celtic designs
Irish Celtic  Designs

After the stenciling was complete the volunteers attempted to teach the children some basic Irish dancing steps....although it didn't go exactly to plan!  Maybe there were two many boys present and Irish dancing isn't the most macho thing to do!  But ssh...don't tell Michael Flatly (the king of Riverdance) that!

All in all it was a successful workshop, which produced many carefully stenciled sashes and exposed many perfectionists!

One of the finished products!

He was very proud of his work! Well done!


Hey.. Hi.. Helloo.. everyone!

Beep Beep.. anyone here?

 I'm Doi, I'm the new member here at ARI. I'm the in Project Coordinator. First of all I wish I would get your very warm welcome and I will do my best. I hope to enjoy to work together with everyone.

I think I will be happy to do the art that i love.. Nice to meet you everybody :)


 Doi :)


New recruit

Hi everyone, I'm Audrey, from France, and I joined the ARI program just a few days ago and this is officially my first day at work. I study art and design at university in Paris. ARI program suited my will to help people , and art is an great way to communicate with them despite the language barrier.
This morning we did a workshop with the girls of New Life Center and their kindness really help me to be at ease. I was surprised of how involved and focused they all were.
This Van Gogh project is very interesting and the girls are learning so many things about the use of textures in artistic creation.

This was a great first day!
I can't wait to see them again and meet all the other organisations ARI works with.



Starry starry night!!!

Hello all,

This is Aoife reporting again from the ARI volunteer base! This morning proved to me that if you wish and wish upon a star, all your dreams can come true! This was certainly the case, as I got to implement a lesson plan that I had meticulously prepared before volunteering, with the girls of the New Life Centre.  In this lesson, I utilised one of my favourite paintings ('Starry Night'), by my favourite artist, Vincent Van Gogh!  Van Gogh's 'Starry Night' has always entranced me.  I particularly like the gestural quality of the brushstrokes, which encourage the use of different textures.

Van Gogh's Starry Night

Thus, before I became a volunteer here, I worked on my own textural version of Van Gogh's Starry night, using two central techniques: the first was a wax crayon and black tempura paint relief and the second focused on the contrast between the rounded rolling quality of the hills (evoked using corrugated cardboard painted in various blue and green hues) and the rigid structure of the houses in the foreground (using painted matchsticks). 

My full recreation of Van Gogh's Starry Night

Crayon and black tempura paint technique
Corrugated card technique

Matchstick technique

In the workshop, I initially revised the colour wheel with the girls, focusing on the differences between warm, cool, complimentary and harmonious colours.  I also recapped on some history of Van Gogh's life before introducing the first textural technique.  The girls got busy laying down thick layers of yellow, light blue, dark blue and green crayons.  As I said during the workshop; 'You know you are doing well when the crayon breaks!' The girls then had fun slathering the crayon in shiny black tempura paint, completely covering the colourful hues hidden underneath.  While these samples were drying, I moved onto the second textural technique.  I demonstrated to the girls how to trace the lines of the hills and houses, following the form set out in the painting.  I then got them to paint the pieces of corrugated card in light/dark blue and green hues, using a copy of the painting as a reference point.  After letting the pieces dry for a few minutes, the girls began to stick them down, following the flow of the hills.  Next week, the girls will have fun with the first technique, unearthing the colours hidden underneath by scratching the surface of the paint with matchsticks.  As for the second technique, the girls will begin sticking down the matchsticks to replicate the houses.

Sadly, this is my last week volunteering here with ARI (this will probably be my last blog post!) and I will not see my project come to full fruition.  I  felt so proud to see my idea beginning to be realised! I have left the project in good hands and +will be keeping a watch on this blogspot as the girls continue their samples, and wait with baited breath for the large recreation of the painting (using the techniques I have taught them) in a few weeks time.  Then, all my 'I wish, I wish upon a star' dreams will have fully come true!

Bye for now,