Blog Post 6 – May 27, 2016 by Kat Clarida
As our group has scattered, some home to small communities, some to full-time summer jobs we decided to meet virtually and complete the video we shot of the art for social change collaboration.
Alas as limited internet access impacts some participants and time commitments plague others, we have struggled to virtually collect all the hours of video and sound files and share the editing of the final video. But we are nothing if not determined to document the social art collaboration and hold a virtual exhibition on the Art for Social Change Facebook Page and a Youtube channel.
The group is very proud of what they have accomplished, both personally and within their community. In previous posts I documented a little of the personal journeys of participants as they discovered themselves using art in an expressive way. Many of these discoveries included finding their own strength, voice and power as we created together using music, dance, poetry and visual art to name a few. A common theme that emerged for many was the immersion in art making gave them a respite from a sometimes extremely stressful life. They all realized their art provided a calming and peaceful effect which; when we dug further, was equated to having the same effect as being immersed in nature.
These factors determined their final collaboration to provide an art and nature immersion experience to the Algonquin College community. The response was illuminating for most as they experienced the impact of art-making and a meditation in a forest setting. Some did not realize how stressed they had been before the experience as their “before” and “after” art illustrated their current state. There was no guessing the force of the impact and many asked if they could have a copy of the mediation the group created to continue using in their daily lives. In addition many were able to discover how art-making provided an outlet not only for their creative sides, but also their emotional lives. Many stated they were going to begin incorporating art-making into their lives.
Certainly this was something our group had already come to realize through their own art-making in the expressive workshops. The youth expressed they will continue to use art in their lives, for some as a means of personal exploration or as a coping tool, for several others as a beginning to explore other artistic practices.
As an Expressive Art Practitioner the use of art as a healing tool is paramount in my practice and I witnessed a lot of healing and growth throughout this project. It has been an honour to work with these young people and the project could not have happened without the support of Art Place. Thank you!
For more than 30 years I have been most fortunate to work as an Artist, Consultant, Trainer and Producer for many cutting edge grass-roots communication for social change projects with diverse cultures from across Canada, primarily in the four Inuit land claim territories. Through the exploration of issues using all art modalities, I provide a safe place for people to explore their inner worlds and then proudly voice their world through art.