First Day of Art Class

Well, the first day of art class is today and I have little butterflies in my stomach. I’m more excited than nervous though…this is an amazing group of teenagers and I feel very privileged to be able to work with them!

Today we will begin with some creative warm-ups and then move into partnered portrait drawing. I will post another blog later today about how the class goes!

And as every class has certain guidelines or rules (I like the term “guidelines” better), here are mine….

Arrival!



The kids and the rest of the staff from overseas have arrived and they are a wonderful mixture of excitement, exhaustion, and curiosity. I can already tell what a unique and great group of teenagers this is and I feel so fortunate to be able to work with them for the next three weeks.

Speaking of working with them, I will have the use of 2 gorgeous art studios while here at Boston College. I have included a picture (sorry – just a cell phone picture) of the drawing room and the painting studio. Each studio is large and has beautiful natural light that floats in through the skylights.

The time will fly by ( I can already tell) and I only have them for a short amount of time when we add up all the hours. However I’m sure we will make the most of each moment as we explore the two-dimensional world of art materials, markmaking, lines, color, form, light, shadows, and artistic process. Tomorrow we will be going to New Hampshire for a team building day on a ropes course. So Wednesday will be my first day of teaching art…more to come!

Training Begins

Today is the first day of staff training at Artsbridge and I’m very excited to begin this adventure! The training will be intense and I’m sure an amazing learning experience for all of us. One of the main features of the training will be in a specific form of dialogue, which Artsbridge utilizes every day with the teenagers.
They will be trained in this method of dialogue, and act as leaders and facilitators when back home.

Tomorrow will be a long day of training, but a good one I am sure…’til then!

Separation – Individuation ~ acrylic on wood

Leaving for Boston today!

The time has really flown and I am hopping on a bus to head to Boston for Artsbridge today! I plan to update this blog on my experiences while there as much as possible…Below is a painting of mine titled “Moving Horizon.” I thought it was an appropriate image to share as I move into this adventure.

Anticipation

The time seems to be flying by lately, and it brings me closer to the beginning of the Artsbridge program. I have many feelings – a combination of excitement, anticipation, curiousity, and yes…some anxiety. The program will be hosted by Boston College this year, and it is a beautiful sprawling campus. In fact, I lived practically down the road from the campus when I lived in Boston after graduating from college. In many ways it’s a familiar area, but in many ways it is not.
I have adjusted to the hectic and always intriguing pace of New York City. When I lived in Boston I was in tune with that city’s unique rhythms and energies. Now it is time to readjust to it, but also to expand – as I enter into a new experience.
I am already anticipating how much I will miss my husband Adam during the month that I am gone. However, we are both very interested in how this adventure will unfold, and if anything it will just add one more rich layer to our relationship.
I expect that there will be the unexpected at Artsbridge. I look forward to intensity, challenges, sharing, growth, and creating. I look forward to being an arts instructor and also a student of the experience itself. I’m sure that I will be creating a lot of artwork myself in my free time, journaling often, and of course blogging here about my experiences. Stay tuned!

Artsbridge

This summer I will be an art instructor in a three week intensive program in Boston called Artsbridge. I am incredibly excited and honored to be a part of this program and will be updating my blog regularly over the summer as the experiences there unfold…so keep checking back! Below is a description of the program, courtesy of their site at:

http://artsbridgeinstitute.org/
(image to left: from last summer’s program)

The mission of Artsbridge, Inc. is to provide a safe environment, which cultivates creativity, voice, respectful listening and dialogue in order to empower today’s youth to become leaders in the quest for peace in and between their own communities.

For generations, children on both sides of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict have witnesses and suffered trauma. Though most have never met their Israeli or Palestinian counterpart, they have come to see “each other” as “the enemy.” There is no trust, and no sense of understanding for the lived experiences of the other. For many Palestinian and Israeli youth, there is difficulty imagining a future that includes peace and coexistence with their neighbors. As hard as it is to imagine peace and coexistence, it is even harder for them to recognize they have potential to bring about positive change in their environment and their future.Israeli and Palestinian youth who participate in Artsbridge will discover a process that facilitates the safe expression of their desires and fears. Through Artsbridge these youth will be introduced to the tools that can help then envision the prospect of a future which includes peaceful coexistence. They will learn to see themselves as creative, empowered individuals with the ability to work towards affecting positive changes in their environment, while developing leadership skills that will help them empower others.

The Artsbridge Approach

In order to make a lasting impact on its participants, Artsbridge uses a holistic approach unique among Israeli-Palestinian educational programs. Artsbridge integrates expressive arts therapy, dialogue and art making. The therapeutic component enables participants to articulate and process their own trauma. Through a reflective dialogue model they learn to hear, understand and honor the experiences of those who live on the other side of the conflict. Through art making they find common ground, work cooperatively and create something new and positive together.The Artsbridge staff are art therapists, artists and psychologists who have experience working with youth from many walks of life. They also represent various sides of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
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