Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The last art class

Sadly Sunday was my last art class but it was by far the most fun. Jackie left a few days ago and I will be leaving next week.

Ronal and ten of the boys, who have been to almost every class, walked all the way to the ferry to meet me. The boys were stoked when I told them we were going to go to the beach and collect driftwood to paint. I soon realized they were far more excited about the prospect of swimming on this hot day than collecting driftwood.

Garnell, Ronale, and Paul (to whom we owe the success of the program) guided us down a windy path, by abandoned buildings and under tall coconut palms, to a tiny little beach. There was no stopping the boys from stripping down to their boxers and jumping in the water.

The boys looked like they were having the time of their life splashing around in the shallow water. Ronal told me that out of all the kids their age in the Peas and the Mud less than 20% of them know how to swim!

Jonathan was the first boy to get out of the water. He seemed sad so I sat and talked to him while he put on his shoes. He told me he was sad because his mom died. Jonathan is an orphan who lives with his 15-year-old brother. He told me “we have to beg for food you know?” Then, with a glimmer of hope in his eye, he asked if I would adopt him. Heartbroken, I explained that I am too young to adopt him and assured him he will be fine and will grow up smart and strong.

It took much coaxing to get the rest of the boys out of the water, but once they did they enthusiastically roamed the beach in search of driftwood. Each boy carried at least two pieces of wood, mostly twisty buttonwood or palm frons back to the community center.

We laid out the wood on the grass in the back yard of the community center. I filled egg cartons with all colors of acrylic paint. After a quick snack of peanut butter, crackers and some much appreciated water the students jumped right into painting.

All of the boys, including the ones whose attention span for art is extremely short, diligently painted their beach treasures. Dark rain clouds and a dramatic shift in the wind forced us to end the class a few minutes short but most of the wood, and some of the children, were covered in paint.

I have gotten permission from Jonathan’s uncle and Bensons father to take them to hope town on Friday to spend the night with us on our boat. They have never been to Hope Town and have probably never been on a boat before, let alone slept on one. I am so excited to take them to the beach and take them fishing with my boyfriend Corey. Stay posed for an update on their adventure!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Peas and the Mudd Mural Saturday February 25th

Saturday, we worked on another Mural within the Mudd community. Even though the Peas and the Mudd communities are located side by side, they do not mingle between the two abutting communities. We brought students from the Peas to work with us and a few Mudd students. At first there was some hesitation, however after we began painting they began to feel more comfortable and have fun. 

Jessica outlining mural.

Thursday 23rd at Hope Town School

Parent Volunteer Breakfast

Painting our paper mache sea creatures.

Fish Mobile, finished product.

Side view of the Fish mobile, hanging from the ceiling.
Thursday was our last day with our Hope Town students. We worked on finishing the fish mobile. The 5th and 6th grade students worked on painting their paper mache sea creatures. Then we hung the mobile in sections in one of the corridors in the school. Students were very interested in helping us hang the mobile, so we had plenty of help! During the morning classes, the students and facility put on a Parent/Volunteer breakfast honoring all the help they have received. It was a wonderful way to spend our last day with the students.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Block Island Times Article

Link to the Article in the Block Island Times about our program!


Sunday Art Class in the Peas and the Mudd

Sunday 19th

This week at the Island Waves Community Center, we had a break through with some of the students. We have been working with a core group of about 6 boys, who bring in others each week to join our class. This week, some of the boys came to the Island Waves Community center on their own time. They asked if they could help out doing various tasks. It was truly inspiring to see how far we have come in creating a creative, safe, and fun environment for students. This act shows how they are trusting us and feeling comfortable enough to come on their own whenever the center is open. We hope we can continue this, and grow to have more and more students come.

During our Sunday class, we worked on creating collaged bowls. Each student was able to stylize and create their own bowl to take home with them. We walked through the Peas and the Mudd to gather some students up and walk them over to the community center, since we have held class in the Peas the last few weeks, students were not aware of where we were holding class. It was a great experience to walk through the Peas and Mudd and have students come running up to us asking us about the art class. As we gathered about 12 students, and began walking back other kids in the area began wondering what we were doing and asked to join. We asked his or her parents for permission, and made sure that everyone was able to come.

We also began to see a change in some of the student’s attitudes where they we willing to help clean up the center after holding class. They were helpful with others and cleaning up the mess we had created during the art class. 
Jessica collaging bowls with student.

The girls sharing glue, while making bowls. 

Walking from the Peas and the Mudd with students.

Hope Town School

3D fish!


Making our skeleton for our paper mache sea creatures.

Paper Mache. 
Friday 17th- We worked with students making jelly fish for the fish ecosystem mobile. Students worked 3 dimensionally. Younger students worked on creating jellyfish, which will hang at various lengths from the mobile. The mobile will be an interactive piece, which students will be able to walk through.  The students were very excited to make jellyfish, and artwork that will be part of a larger whole school project.