Light and Shadow with Thai Freedom House

The students at Thai Freedom House have been making their way through our drawing unit fabulously! Last Friday, we completed our third workshop of the unit, Introducing Light and Shadow.

To start off the evening, students gathered together to explore shadows in a fun way by practicing hand puppets.

Here we are making pigs!

Students then were introduced to how shadows can be accomplished by using different values to make objects appear 3-Dimensional when drawn on a 2-Dimensional piece of paper.

They practiced creating value by making color gradients...

...learned to identify the different values of 3D objects which make up the shadow, highlight, and reflection points on 3D objects...

...and then put their new knowledge to work in practicing drawing 3D still life.

For me, this workshop was bittersweet as it was my last with Thai Freedom House. But I was proud to see how much the students have progressed and been able to build upon techniques week by week. ARI has welcomed a handful of new volunteers this week, and they are already excitedly preparing for the next workshop with Thai Freedom House, Introducing Color.


Young Lions Neighborhood Shared Painting

The Young Lions enjoyed a collaborative project inspired by their very own neighborhoods this week!  We started out by taking a walk around the block, taking care to observe everything around us from neighborhood animals and people, to buildings, trees, wats etc.  The kids had fun pointing out the things they saw to each other and to the volunteers.  It was nice to stand up and move around and reminded everyone that art can be interactive!

After our walk we sat down to draw outlines of the things that we saw in markers and colored pencils on a large shared piece of paper.
Once the drawings had all been outlined we switched mediums to water color paints, which many of the students had no experience with!  They had a great time playing with this new style of art and turning their neighborhoods into bright, colorful, and creative works of art!


Our final products were colorful adaptions of the neighborhoods in which the children live.  It was a fun activity from start to finish and allowed the children to get up and move, exercise their creativity and imagination, and explore a new medium!



Hope Home Celebrates Boonrot's Birthday!

This Wednesday at Hope Hope we threw a birthday party for Boonrot, who turns 10 on Friday! Since Boonrot loves music and songs, we spent the first half of the workshop playing our handmade instruments and singing "Happy Birthday" multiple times. One of the Hope Home staff members had a guitar to accompany our singing and we even played some fun birthday songs from You Tube, including Alvin and the Chipmunks! Phil and Nam Chok joined in on the fun by playing the tambourine and maracas, while Si Nam was just content with listening to the music being played around him. Boonrot was lit up during all of this and we could tell he loved the extra attention that being the birthday boy brings.

The next half of the workshop was spent painting with stamps, rollers, sponges, feet and hands to decorate birthday hats. Nam Chok loved exploring the paint so much that he tried to eat it, and got quite upset when we took it away and cleaned him up! Hopefully there is an edible finger paint we can bring him sometime soon.

Although Phil seemed to be in a bad mood today he still enjoyed the feeling of the paint on his feet and using the roller to make cool patterns on his hat.

By the time we got to this activity Boonrot was very tired and did not feel up to painting on his own, but enjoyed watching Nicky swirl the colors together on his hat.

Si Nam was also very tired by the end and ready for a nap.

At the end of the workshop we cleaned everyone up and sang one last "Happy Birthday" to Boonrot before saying goodbye. All in all, a successful birthday party! 



Mplus+ Community Reflective Writing Workshop

This week Art Relief International was excited to workshop with a partner organization we haven't seen in a while: Mplus+, an organization in Chiang Mai that works to promote sexual health for men within the LGBTQ community.

The purpose of the workshop was to focus on community; meaning anything from a participant's nuclear family to the entire country of Thailand!  We asked the participants to write down the things that they like about their communities and on the other side to write things that they dislike.

We got a variety of responses but most all of the participants agreed upon liking; friendly people, dancing, shopping, cute Thai boys, ahan Thai and drinking whiskey while most disliked; traffic, pollution, selfish people, and uncomfortable weather.


After sharing our likes and dislikes with the group we moved on to discussing different ways we could go about changing the things that we disklike in communities and ensuring that the things we like remain.

We then moved on to the artistic portion of the activity; making collages inspired by our communities out of magazine clippings!


Once everyone had finished their collages we reconvened and shared our work.  


Everyone had a great time discussing their community and making collages.  The participants had the opportunity to brainstorm ways to become active and empowered within their communities by creating change where they saw fit.  The men and women at Mplus+ are loads of fun and I hope ARI will get the opportunity to work with them again soon!


Plaster of Paris Hand & Foot Printing with Hope Home

At our latest workshop with the children at The Hope Home Foundation we found ourselves getting a little messy!  Inspired by the kids great reaction to texture workshops we've put on in the past, we decided to give them a little something different!  We used quick-drying Plaster of Paris to make hand and footprints that the kids will be able to keep for a long time to come.  The Plaster was a bit messier than we anticipated but everyone had a great time splashing around and feeling it's goopyness!


After we got everyone all cleaned up and set the plaster prints out to dry we tried out a new medium: play dough!  It was a big hit with the kids, they loved squishing it between there fingers and toes, dropping and watching is squish on the ground.  


All in all it was a great workshop!  There were lots of smiles and LOTS of messes but the kids got to experience two very unique textures.  Well worth it, I would say.