By Artist Mentor Katie French Perez
Every Wednesday evening for 8 weeks I headed over to the Children’s Residential Treatment Center (CRTC) to spend an hour with a group of amazing young people. Our goal was to create holiday cards using paint, collage, pen/ink, markers, pretty much anything that could make a winter-themed card sing with magic. We even played with glitter and developed a love/hate relationship for it by the end of our last session.
The students explored their own personal preferences by being given the freedom to choose whichever material they felt drawn to each week. Some worked meticulously creating a handful of card designs, while others dabbled in loose sketching and flipped through inspiring artist books. By the end of the 8 weeks each student chose their favorite card which was later scanned and printed giving them 20 copies to send out to friends and family.
The most meaningful part of this program was seeing the amount of creativity that poured out of these young hearts. I was so impressed by the variety of designs created and the overall positivity of the group. When one student was having trouble coming up with a creative solution, another student would jump in and encourage, explaining that there is no wrong way to make art. It was such a wonderful thing to be a part of.
This program allowed the students an opportunity to explore art in a unique environment that otherwise wouldn’t have been available to them. During the past 8 weeks I Iearned the importance of being present and embracing the non structured side to art-making with an amazing group. It was truly a joy to work alongside Inverted Arts at CRTC.