The last few weeks I’ve been volunteering as a guest artist at COMMUNITY STEPPING STONES, an organization that provides arts-oriented after-school programs to encourage kids to stick with their education. The neighborhoods they serve have lots of challenges, but the kids are the best.
They say no one learns like the teacher – and I’ve sure found that to be true. The last three sessions we’ve been learning new art techniques while painting a variety of marine creatures. We’ve done starfish and jellyfish and yesterday we did these incredible Japanese fish prints (a very fragrant art project).
I’ve been using the art as a vehicle to talk about the Gulf Oil Spill. Several of these kids are only learning about this catastrophe through the exercise. Next week we make two giant 4ft. x 8ft. collages from the kids art: one for clean water and one for dirty water. Something tells me that the kids are looking forward to “splashing oil” (black paint) all over the dirty water version. But that’s OK – whatever it takes to get them involved in taking action.
When we get all done, we’re going to use it to make PDFs of the displays and send them with a letter to legislators, the President (as in Obama) and anyone else we can think of. We’re working under the banner of “Kids vs. Oil Spill.”