by Candice Jacobs, FYCC Creative Arts Program Leader
Creating Magical Moments & Joy for All Ages…
When I teach art with the children I like to ask them what is magical about them, in order to get them to focus on their voice and personal creative energy. I asked Maria, a 3rd grader, today “What is magical about you?” She replied, “I am magical because I believe in myself.” [Wow!] That is exactly why I teach art to kids, I thought silently, to give them confidence and to see differently.
Sometimes, while working on an art project a child will tell me “I made a mistake” or “I messed up”, and I always reply, “In art we say there are no accidents of mistakes in art, only creative moments [where you can make a new addition where a “mistake” once was].
“Oh, ok…” was Maria’s reaction a few weeks ago in contour drawing class when I told he my artists’ mantra. She returned to her drawing and worked through the “mistake” with confidence. It is magical for me when the light goes on for a child who is in a creative, teachable moment.
Sometimes, art class is so stimulating for the kids, they don’t even want to stop and go home! Often, I have youth who ask to stay after class and help with clean up or who simply want to continue working on a project.
Pictured below are 5th graders Katja and Emily who finished their oversized contour drawing paintings and then insisted on staying to create their likenesses in marker on the whiteboard and then commenced to begin a third image of President Obama, copying the poster which inspired the contour drawing project lesson for the 3rd to 5th grade class.
I let them work on their art until it was time for me to go home at 6:30 PM and then I walked them both home since the tenderloin is not always a safe place for our youth, especially after dark.
I just did not have the heart to stop their creative voice and enthusiasm on that day.
Any artist will tell you, once the creative juices start flowing you must go with it where ever it ends.
The kindergarten, 1st & 2nd grade students got to take part in a special activity just before the holidays began: we staged a photo shoot to create thank you cards for our generous funding donors. We always try our best to involve the kids in this process, to heighten their awareness of giving and receiving and what it means to GLIDE and the Family Youth and Childcare Center programs.
The kids donned ribbons to become “packages and gifts”, dressed as Santa and Mrs. Claus, making paper beards and hats and we used a donated red wagon as our sleigh. Mira, the K-2 Lead Teacher, assisted and photographed as I gave art direction for the event. The result was a series of amusing photos featuring many children who enjoyed the unusual fun and silliness
I first came to Glide in 2004 and left to attend Graduate School in 2006. I returned to my position as Creative Arts Leader in 2009 and continue to enjoy working with youth and teaching them how to see differently in a nurturing, safe environment here.
That is the kind of place GLIDE is, it is magical for and because of all the people we serve with creativity, resourcefulness and compassion. GLIDE is a place you can come back to grow, nurture, give and receive. I am happy to say I receive wonderful hugs and smiles everyday from the children I teach and mentor.
Now that is what I call magical.