I have been creating 20″ x 30″ panels depicting a total 100 Herons since June 14, 2017.
For every $25 raised I have been drawing a heron and collaging them onto panels!
THE SPONSORED ART has allowed me to develop and provide FREE ART LESSONS for REFUGEE YOUTH from war-torn countries at a Lower Mainland program. Funds have been going to program development and facilitation fee, art supplies, art kits for participants, travel costs. As of August 17, 2017, I ran 4 sessions thanks to this project.
I am happy to announce that I will continuing to run art sessions for the youth group for at least 9 more sessions!
The panels have become interactive- added to by my students in many programs and community members (ages ranging from 5 to 105!)
PANEL 1 is currently available for purchase on my ETSY site:
The art is drawn in my signature style– collaged onto 20″ x 30″ foam board panels and embroidered with additions of discarded nest sticks, found feathers, string, beads, and sponsor names/special messages (if requested).
Sample drawing showing chinamarker on newsprint, embroidered, with additions of discarded heron nest stick, found heron and seagull feathers, recycled beads
At the start of Summer 2017, I was asked if I could provide art lessons to a group in Surrey, BC, that provides support services for youth ages 16-24 who have experienced extreme trauma and life disruption. The youth comprise of refugees from war-torn countries.
These particularly vulnerable youth face challenges and barriers that may include: lack of employment, experience of violence / trauma, lack of education /interrupted education, cultural shock, family size / issues, little or no English, social isolation, mental health/chronic health issues, lack of financial means, criminal justice issues, housing issues, alcohol/drug addiction, lack of support…
The group meets twice a week for a variety of programming such as life skills, field trips, resume building and and the youth have expressed a strong desire arts-based programming.
ART and creative expression breaks down the barriers, builds connection and resiliency, and strengthens the participants’ abilities in making healthy decisions about their futures. Participation in therapeutic art programming provides participants with the opportunity for developing healthy relationship skills, learn stress and anger management, and build the confidence to be the best possible versions of themselves. Art connects us beyond language. We connect with the heart, within a safe space. We express together and move towards healing.
The program staff are absolutely incredible and dedicated. They provide extraordinary services on an extremely tight budget.
I was asked about my services and fees. I am so honoured to be asked. Creating art and helping others express themselves creatively is what I am on this planet to do. This is EXACTLY the type of work that makes my heart sing! But there is no way I could/would/should charge a fee for my services and supplies to this group.
Unfortunately, I was between contracts at the time and not in a financial position to be able to volunteer my time to develop and facilitate the program and nor provide supplies. And the need was urgent. It was not the time to wait for months and months for grant opportunities.
What to do?
I took a walk into “my backyard” the following day– Stanley Park. I stood for a long time under the heronry wondering about my own life, my work, about my desire to provide free programming to youth, at a loss as to what to do next. I bathed myself in the sounds of the heron chicks. I continued on a long walk into the trees, around the lagoon, listening. Walking with the question.
I dreamt that night of 100 Herons, walking among them. A mixture of being up in the trees with them, under the trees, in the water. I had a peaceful heart, feeling this was a message about the healing power of art– about my need to make personal commitment to my true path:
TO CREATE, to focus on my gifts. To stop searching elsewhere.
THE ANSWER LIES IN MY ART. In my heART.
You are being called to take courage and follow your true path, which will be discovered through exploring your inner self. Find what draws you to action.
[Message of the HERON]
And so the 100 HERONS art project was born!
Funds raised have been going to:
• Art Supplies
• Creation of the panels
• Program development (will include drawing, painting, journal exercises, sock monkey therapy)
• Transit fees
• Free ART programming at the Refugee and Immigrant Specialized Experience Program (RISE) and Breathing Room, Surrey BC [Youth ages 16-24]
GOAL: TO DRAW A TOTAL OF 100 HERONS
Each panel also contains additions of discarded heron nest sticks, found feathers, string, beads…
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
SOLD Panel 2 [Sponsor: Kitty Mykka]
SOLD Panel 3 [Sponsors: Teri Taylor and Bayview School]
PRIVATE COLLECTION Panel 4 [Sponsor: Robin Folvik]
DONATED Panel 5 [Sponsors: Michele Lilyanna, Sarah Jackman,Laura Mack]
More panels are in progress!
Hummingbirds and Hearts collage panel in progress with youth group: