VSA Mentor Artist Marty Meade writes about her experience this year at Grant Grover Elementary School and Braun High School. Grant Grover Elementary School and Braun High School are part of the Sunny Hills Services whose mission is to engage vulnerable children and youth, enrich their connection with family and community and empower them to lead healthy, rewarding lives.
Youth in Arts has provided me the opportunity to create a venue in which these children can play, express deep feelings and take a risk. I have been privileged to work with this population for over 20 years, and I still love it.
The School is broken down into three programs, allowing me to work with small groups of 12 students one day per week. Inappropriate social behavior is the constant issue, so ‘please and thank you’ is foremost in my presence. Plowing through outbursts of anger, the sneering attitudes, and their self-hatred is my mission.
In spite of these issues, we have worked with glass to make fused necklaces and small plates. I have given them “real” tools and clear boundaries. Besides glass art, we also had fun making Panoramic Easter eggs (sugar art), block printing, marbling on card stock, watercolor and acrylic painting, and sculptures using balsa wood and hot glue guns.
Thank goodness I’m extremely organized and start packing my crates months beforehand!
The photos here are from a day in which we had a pile of balsa wood scraps and the beautiful panoramic eggs made from prepared sugar shells. The child working on a mosaic picture is one who went inward and could not engage with the others. (I have ready materials for times like this)
Another great year, thanks to the support from Youth in Arts.