Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Still "Wired"

Art Club made some great progress on wire sculptures last night.

The octupus has emerged and will be completed next week.
There was also a beehive completed in one session.

We will have to revisit wire sculpture next year as everyone seems to be enjoying it!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Completely "Wired"

Sleep deprived? No. Consuming excessive amounts of caffeine? No.
Well, maybe, but that's not the point.
Art Club has been twisting, crimping, snipping, bending and pulling armature wire. We have been working on wire sculptures!

Greg Hatchett completed a boom box this week. It will go nicely with the break dancers Alexis Montgomery has been working on. We have a secret sculpture: an octopus I have been hearing about, but have not yet seen. There are some other great projects in progress, but we will have to wait to see what the club comes up with in the end.

Our relief projects have been on hold, but they should be finished in the next week, or two. We're flexible!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Progress is a good thing.

This week in art club we added some color to our relief projects, but we are not done yet. Once these beauties are painted they will be given a wash of black oil paint that will be wiped away enhancing the depths and textures that have been built up over the last few weeks. Vegas will never be the same.

We welcomed some new students that worked on Chicago Icons. Isreal completed his interpretation of the Chicago skyline. His piece will be matted, framed and on display at Cabrini Connections next week.

Next week we will begin a new project. Wire sculpture using contour lines only. Oh what fun!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Cabrini Connections Art Club - back in action

Cabrini Connections Art Club is back in action. We have been meeting throughout the summer, but last night was our first meeting during the fall tutoring session. We welcomed two new students to the club and enjoyed the company of returning members, Gregory Hatchett and Alexis Montgomery.

Gregory and Alexis made great progress on projects started over the summer. They have almost completed relief projects, based on maps of Las Vegas and Brazil. We enlarged sections of the maps on plywood panels and attached various objects to the panels to create texture and value. We have the boards primed and ready for painting next week. We will post photos once they are completed.

Our new members got their hands dirty working on a popular project, Chicago Icons. We worked with images of scupltures in Millennium Park: The Bean and Crown Fountain. We transferred the images using charcoal and pencil and outlined them with black markers giving a fabulous graphic quality. We began coloring the images with water soluble colored pencils and added a little water. Photos to come of the finished pieces.

The Art Club was also joined by volunteers from Chicago Cares, which help our teens create their work each week. We could not do so much without them. Including the two faux stained glass pieces completed this summer by Gregory Hatchett and De'Sean Hale. Gregory worked on his graffiti style and De'Sean explored the work of Piet Mondrian while creating these gorgeous pieces.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Art Therapy

This month the Cabrini Connections Art Club is proud to welcome John Wai Li.

John is an art therapist from the University of London, who is working with the students over four sessions in the month of May. John describes Art Therapy as a form of therapy that uses art media as its primary mode of communication. He is guiding the students through sessions that center around a different theme each week. "My overall aim is to enable the students to reflect on their feelings and grow on a personal level through the exploration of the art materials in a safe and facilitating environment" says John.

During sessions, John pays special attention to how the students interact with one another and with the art materials.

When the sessions are over, John will give a presentation about his and the students' experiences. The art work, which John considers to be a visual representation of thoughts and feelings, may be displayed at Goldsmiths College, London, with the consent of the students.

Before coming to work with us, John was originally trained as a fine artist. After art school he taught at a local college, where he found himself working closely with a student with autism. "I could see that the art process was having some kind of positive effect on him, but as a teacher my remit and boundaries only went so far. It was from this experience I researched the subject and found out about art therapy."

Since earning his MA, John works as a therapist in group and one-on-one sessions in England. His time at Cabrini Connections has been a cultural learning experience both for John and the students. He says, "I've been to the US a few times, I like it here, the American people are very friendly and less reserved than the British. I like the mentality of being talkative, perhaps that is why therapy is so successful here." But working in the US does present challenges. He explains that when patients react to differences, be they racial, cultural or other, they can feel a multitude of complex emotions. Bridging these differences is difficult, especially in this case because time is so limited, so he has adapted his approach from a psychodynamic model into a more theme based directive model. But he makes the point that the adolescents he works with in Cabrini are not so different from those at home, because they share universal adolescent issues, such as finding out about their own identity in the world and separation anxiety.

The students are curious about John's culture, but as he states, "the most important thing is that we build a good relationship so that the therapy group can be successful."

We do hope that it has been a success both for John and the students, and we look forward learning more about their experiences together.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cabrini Connections Art Club

Hello, my name is Mae and I'm going to be blogging about the Cabrini Connections Art Club. Check back at a later time for more blog posts!