Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Art at the MPI Ecuador Centro

Luke brings you today an update on our thriving children's art program.
Our art program attendance has nearly tripled since Zoë, Sam, and I took over the class in late August.  This is largely due to our push to advertise our art program within the library space.  The biggest promotion has come in the form of our monthly library parties, where we host a craft hour within the library open to all children who are interested in participating. 
Our children’s art program serves as a creative outlet for the children that frequent our library, and has quickly become one of my favorite programs that we run here in Ecuador.  As a supplement to the Ecuadorian school system in the way of creative thinking, I believe this program is extremely important.  And let’s be honest, it’s fun to spark the artistic bug in children which often times results in them getting paint and glue all over themselves. 
As well as stimulating creative thinking, another goal of our art program is to increase cultural awareness through focusing on art projects from around the world.  Each art class is preceded by a brief charla on the cultural region, art, or ethnic group that we have chosen to focus on.  Thus far we have focused on Native American art, where we did numerous projects including the construction of tipis; Asian art where we made origami frogs – they could actually hop! – Middle Eastern art where we made pyramids out of caramel, which later melted in the sun (bummer); and our current focus of South American art, where we are emulating art projects from famous South American artists. 
Our children’s art program serves as a learning tool, a vehicle which inspires creativity, and a fun class that creates a light atmosphere for children from different neighborhoods to enjoy each others company.

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