As part of my work with the Steps With Theera organisation I am putting together an art curriculum and studio for their students. We have a space on the 3rd floor of the building that we are turning into a studio thanks to generous donations from friends like Michael and Fiona Sheridan, (Michael is a teacher at NIST and Fiona is a Principal at a preschool in Bangkok). I have already had fun shopping on their dime at Ikea with one of the students, Jenny, who tried her very best to keep me from spending too much and going overboard- she was only partially successful.
Next will be getting the art supplies we need to get started and then we will be ready to create. I've been working on the curriculum and since this is a first for me in terms of working with special needs young adults outside of a traditional school setting I'm a bit nervous about what I have planned. Will it be challenging enough? Will it be inspiring and connect with their interests? Will it be useful to them? I suppose the best way to move forward is to know that nothing I've written in chiseled in stone and that things need to be flexible as I get to know my students and what their needs and interests are.
With what I have so far my aim is to familiarise them with the elements and principles of art while at the same time allowing them the room to be creative, look within themselves and also to work with a wide variety of materials and techniques. The overview is very brief as it's just a working brainstorm at the moment. Would appreciate any suggestions by people who have experience working in this type of environment. Thanks!
We're getting there! The painting group from NIST has decided to turn the art show into a silent auction to raise money for the Steps With Theera program, see their website if you're not yet familiar with them http://www.stepswiththeera.com/
The students have been hard at work creating paintings inspired by their mission and we have invited students from other schools and local artists to participate as well. The more the merrier and MORE MONEY raised too!
I'm also excited to announce that part of if not all of the money raised will go towards creating an art studio at the Steps With Theera facility. The studio will be used as a classroom space for art and design studies as well as an art therapy room. I have happily agreed to assist with the design of the space as well as design of the curriculum to get them started.
Here are some shots of the students working today at NIST and the first flyer for the event.