Creative Consumption: a pARTy with a purpose

CHEERS from Chiang Mai!

It's a been a festive couple weeks here, with the beginning of the Yi Peng lantern festival and Halloween parties to attend. But before this busy weekend, A.R.I. and Cultural Canvas Thailand volunteers got ourselves in the party spirit by throwing our own fundraiser bash!

It was a night to have fun while supporting the arts and to celebrate Wad stepping up as our new General Director. The festivities were held at Zoe in Yellow Bar, and by the end of the night (well, the wee hours of the morning), the whole place was really packed!

           Lowell, Wad, and Poni
                            In the Garden at Zoe in Yellow Bar

To raise funds for ARI, our crew of volunteers sold prints and cards of some student artwork, collected donations, and sold shots that were generously donated to us by Warm Up Cafe. Zoe in Yellow Bar also gave a portion of the bar sales from the night to help our cause.

              Laurene and Dan spread info and sell artwork                                 Lowell sells shots with a smile

And to top it all off, we had some celebrity bartenders helping sell our tasty shots! Joni Anwar and Louis Scott from the 1990s boy-band rap group Raptor came out to lend a hand and have some fun with us! And they attracted some fans to join in our festivities, too!
Sara with Joni (left) and Louis!

We all had a blast!

     Pbut, former ARI Project Coordinator                           Laurene, Cee, Dan, and Pbut get down behind the donation table

And some of us were pretty pooped by the end of the night! 

All in all, we raised around 26,000 baht (that's just under $900 US dollars)! This money will help us continue to give some special people in Chiang Mai the opportunity for creative expression, learning, growing, and healing through art.
Click here if you'd like to donate too!



Recycled Notebooks with the Young Lions

 Hello, everyone!

I'm a new volunteer here with A.R.I. My name is Poni and I'm from the U.S.A. (Originally from Austin, TX, but more recently Seattle, WA.) I'm an artist and a generally creative individual, and I love to share my passion for the creative process with others. I also love world travel, community service, and working with children, so volunteering for A.R.I. seemed like the perfect fit for me. And I absolutely love it so far!

Here I am making butterflies at Hope Home with my new friend Boonrat!

I recently helped lead my first workshop with the Young Lions group. These youth come over to the A.R.I. house every week to learn new things, make art, and have a good time with us. They are so much fun!

Yu-Yu plays a color game with Cee while we wait for everyone to arrive

For this week's project, we put some scrap materials to re-use to make notebooks that the Young Lions could take home and use to create more artwork. After we sang some songs together, Cee spoke with the children about the importance of re-using things, and talked about our project materials. We had cut apart some used cardboard boxes from a store nearby for the notebook covers, and cut some scrap printer paper from our office into sheets to fill the notebooks. To decorate them, we used old magazines and some tissue paper for collaging.


We tied it all together with some string... 

...and some of the Young Lions continued the creative process by putting their new notebooks to use. One of them even drew a portrait of our volunteer Dan! 

The finished products were beautiful, and everyone got to take theirs home. 

I'm excited for our next project with this amazing group of kids!


 Hi! Dan here, volunteering for ARI again. I work as a teacher here in Thailand. Last year I had the opportunity to volunteer and I enjoyed it so much that I decided to come back. I was especially happy to go see all the wonderful people at Hope Home another time. On this day we took some old coffee filters and cut them open to make some butterflies. All that we needed to add was some pipe cleaners, paint and creativity. My buddy Phil had no problems grasping a brush with his feet and adding some color.
Phil was really into this project but he liked to play too by snatching a butterfly off of the board. He laughed every time we noticed that a butterfly was missing. But with everyone smiling, the art only got better.
The watercolor paints really worked well for making the butterflies colorful, and making art is such a great way to spend time together too.
When the butterflies dried we attached some string and decorated the outside area where the kids often eat their lunch. The butterflies turned out really beautiful and some of the children immediately noticed all colorful butterflies swinging in the breeze. 


All smiles at Hope Home

As we arrived at Hope Home this week, the sun was shinning almost as brightly as the children's smiles. We were greeted by the warmest smiles from the happiest, most joyful children which lifted my heart and moved me so much...

The joyful children of Hope Home created something really special this week, resulting in the most beautiful images. With the use of paint rollers and stencils, which were cut from photographs of the children, the most imazing self portraits were produced.......

The children loved them too and proudly showed them off!

Young Lions

This week our Young Lions continued with the photography theme that began last week but were introduced to the completely new technique of Photo Transfer.

Using black and white ink jet prints of the Young Lions workshops, nail polish remover, and a spoon the children learned to transfer photos onto another piece of paper to make some fun artwork! We all wore masks to avoid inhaling any fumes and then burnish or rubbed really hard on the back of the print using the back of a spoon. They then peeled off the image to reveal the transfer print underneath. Each time they peeled back the paper the children waited with baited breath to see the final outcome! Check out the results....

Meanwhile our 'Younger Lions' were busy making colourful masks.....