Children's Arts and Craft
A group middle-schoolers gathered together at Laney Garden in Lake Merritt in Oakland, California, as a part of an IRC-sponsored summer camp for an art workshop in which they decorated their own new journals. The art workshop, organized by ARTogether, is a part of ARTogether’s mission to bring local art to refugee and immigrant communities.
ARTogether, in partnership with the Center of Empowering Refugees and Immigrants (CERI), hosted a creative flag-making workshop on Wednesday, July 19 for children from refugee families. CERI is a non-profit organization that provides mental health services and other resources for Bay Area refugees. ARTogether recently partnered with CERI to incorporate arts and visual expression as a form of healing, the arts acting as a means to convey experiences, sentiments, and reconciliations of personal, cultural identities. The workshop took place at the organization’s office, a massive green Victorian house located in Oakland, California.
Still out of breath from their sailing adventure across Lake Merritt, in Oakland, a group of twenty kids and teens aged 10-15 sat down for their final activity of the day, marking an end to their week long summer camp organized by the International Rescue Committee (IRC).
Their final activity was an art workshop where they created their own picture frames to preserve the memories they made that week. With buttons of every color in the rainbow and glitter glue abound, each picture frame expressed a unique perspective. While some planned out their projects and carefully colored within the lines, others chose a more abstract approach, mixing colors and mediums to create obscure, but fantastical frames.
Late afternoon light settled in the yard of the Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants, the shadows of the large green building stretching long and lazy across tables covered in art supplies. A car pulled up in the graveled driveway and three young girls emerged, surveying the scene before them. After grabbing a quick snack inside the Center, they were ready to create.
Any parent of a young child could tell you how isolating parenting can be in our modern world. Specifically, when your world is unfamiliar or new, raising a young child is an intimidating feat. That’s why ARTogether decided to build a community group for parents of young children, particularly refugee or immigrant parents, through a fun, interactive art workshop. The workshop, held at the Jewish Family and Community Services center of the East Bay, brought together a diverse set of mothers from the Bay Area for a relaxing, bonding experience with their little ones.
"My Neighborhood in Halloween"
ARTogether’s monthly children’s craft workshop took a festive turn with the theme “My Neighborhood in Halloween,” a collaborative group collage created at the Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants in Oakland. Leva Zand wanted this workshop to focus not only on creativity but on teamwork. She thus began the activity by letting the children vote on one of three themes, and the winning project was appropriately Halloween-y!
On January 25th, CERI (Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants) hosted ARTogether again for a children’s workshop taught by Sophia. The previous workshops highlighted and discussed a prominent female artist and created a piece inspired by her work. ARTogether was joined by a group of 4 middle school age girls and a friend in high school.