Saturday, June 25, 2011

Week 1 - C.R.E.A.T.E. Community

"Creativity, which is the expression of our originality, helps us stay mindful that what we bring to the world is completely original and cannot be compared." This quote is from a book I've been reading lately, and I appreciate the author's recognition of how good art is for our souls. Not only is art good for the soul, but community is as well! Combine those two and what have you got? A blessed, soulful experience that can bring joy and healing. You've also got the Village Art Project! This past week we kicked off the summer by introducing this year's theme. Drum roll please...C.R.E.A.T.E. Community. If you followed us last year you'll notice this is a recycled theme. There are various reasons for that, but one reason is to really help the kids grasp the concepts we talked about last year. The acronym goes like this: C - celebrate, R - respect, E - empathy, A - action, T - time, E - including "e"veryone. These are important aspects of creating community and the kids remembered them all!
One of the best and most simple ways to create community is by sharing good food and conversation around a table. If you wondered why there's a picture of a table and chairs on the blog, that's why - it's a strong symbol of community. The older kids (7-15) took their turn painting the furniture first, while the younger kids (6 and under) painted self-portraits. We gathered under large canopy tents to stay dry from the soggy weather, divided the kids into smaller groups and assigned them a chair. One group, my group, got to paint the table. As we started I was instantly reminded of how good it is to create something beautiful together. All of the furniture turned out different. All of it a collaboration of ideas and an expression of individuals at the same time. Swirls, mixed colors, straight lines, crooked lines, circles, rainbows, brush strokes this way and that - beautiful! The younger kids took their turn next and painted the final two chairs - again, beautiful! Each week we will paint one letter of the acronym on one chair. When we are finished, the table and chairs will remain as a beautiful reminder of what community can be when we work together for good.
The second project that the older kids did was a non-figurative, watercolor self-portrait on paper attached to a wire frame. They created it all (with just a little help on the frames) by themselves. Some of the pictures are posted for you to see. They were asked to use colors, lines, and shapes to create a painting representing who they are. Without hesitation, they jumped right in! Dallas's self-portrait included small orange dots to represent his love of basketball - if you know Dallas, you know he loves basketball! Skye went with a splatter paint type of portrait that was as amazing as she is. Many of the kids used vibrant colors to represent their "hyper" selves. I'm sure they are hyper at times, but during this week's event they were focused, excited, and creative! When the portraits are dry, we will hook them all together at the corner of the frames in order to demonstrate the idea that community is made up of many different individuals.
It was a chilly, soggy evening and the rain didn't seem to mind that we had art to do, but plenty of kids of all ages showed up to participate. It was so good to be together again. This is the third year of the VAP and it has been a privilege to watch the kids grow up a little bit and to be a part of their stories as much as they have become a part of ours. It was especially fun to have those who "graduated" from the 6 and unders join the older kids. We are looking forward to what God has in store for us and them as individuals and as a community this summer! Now off you go - create something beautiful today!
In the name of the Risen King,

No comments:

Post a Comment