I am lucky enough to do some awesome volunteer projects. For those in New York, NY Cares is one of the best volunteer organizations! You can practically do anything you want--from walking dogs to knitting for homeless. I am currently actively involved with three projects:
1. Monthly music with elderly
2. Weekly art with blind
3. *coming soon* monthly recycled art/environmental education with kids! which I'll be team leading!
Friends, if you're interested in any of these projects let me know! Sorry for the shameless plug, but I love getting people involved!
**In any case, I really enjoy doing the art class with the blind. The class meets weekly and students get to work on projects. While they may not be able to "see" they still enjoy working on art. :)
Class favorites include:
Trivets - ceramic tiles placed inside gray goo that hardens into a nice square
Wooden Boxes -painted baskets which can be decorated with anything
Leather impression things - a really loud project in which the students take a hammer and stamp and smash the stamp to make impressions into the leather. did i mention this is a really LOUD project? bad if you have a headache!
Place mats - sewing, gluing, painting onto fabric to make a place setting. or a small hanging piece.
When the team leaders found out I did murals for NY Cares Day, they asked me if I could help design a tactile mural for Visions. So this spring semester the class will continue with the craft projects, but we'll also be working on this fine art piece.
Inspiration- Last semester I worked on a lovely place mat with one of the students and made it as tactile as possible. She wanted a scene with a tree and fruit. We went through and picked out fabric for the background of the scene, the birds, and the fruit. The whole class loved the piece and they were able to feel and imagine each different element of the piece. This was a bit of inspiration for the larger mural we'll do this semester.
New York Tactile Mural- We asked the students what they would like to have as a mural and they asked for elements of New York. Here is an unfinished painting of the mural design, but keep in mind it will be tactile. I'm also going to add in some animals and the students will have creative control of adding in any elements they wish to.
Sketch the mural out on canvas with puffy paint
Cut up sketched mural into squares (this will be a large mural, probably 3 x 5 feet)
Number the squares, so we know how to piece it together again
Give each student individual squares with guidelines on colors to paint
Students can fill in the colors with various tactile objects. (beads, ceramic pieces, fabric, sand, etc)
When the mural is completed, I will sew it together
Final mural will be sewn onto a bar so it can be easily hung
We start tomorrow, and I'm really excited! I've never done something like this, so I look forward to seeing the finished piece. I'm also happy with the design and think that the students will like the challenge. It's my typical "scene" with trees and a cityscape, but I've tried to "enhance" it. I tried incorporating things inside overall elements. I plan on finishing the sketch tonight and will add it. I'll also try to post pictures as we work on the mural and I'll also add the finished piece!