The Official Fall 2014 I Am Art Team

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Introducing the Fall 2014 I Am Art Team

We’re blessed with an extremely diverse team this fall, including talent, age, and location. Our official team includes people from 6 states, with skills including theatre, dance, writing, collage, percussion, sculpture, painting, animation, quilting, scrapbooking, jewelry, spray paint, and art therapy.[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]The Fall 2014 I Am Art US Team

Darlene Armendariz
Jenni Halterman
Julia Halterman
Cori Kiepke
David Lee
LeeAnn Love
Paul Lowder
Bobby Marko
Amelia Moore
Scott Moore
Heath Shackleford
Tammy Starr[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][mk_image src=”https://athentikos.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/I-Am-Art-Team-Square-02.jpg” image_width=”500″ image_height=”350″ crop=”false” lightbox=”false” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][mk_padding_divider size=”20″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/1″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]Our 2014 curriculum theme “Discovering Your Story” will help at-risk youth value their personal stories, open their eyes to dream beyond their current circumstances, and empower them with problem solving skills to achieve in life. We’re thrilled to journey with Hope for Guatemala and CTM Guatemala and impact the lives of Guatemala’s future leaders![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][mk_padding_divider size=”20″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]

Help our team empower at-risk youth in Guatemala.

[/vc_column_text][mk_button dimension=”flat” size=”large” outline_skin=”dark” outline_active_color=”#fff” outline_hover_color=”#333333″ bg_color=”#dd3333″ text_color=”light” url=”http://Connect.Athentikos.com” target=”_self” align=”left” fullwidth=”false” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”15″]Click here to give a tax-deductible donation to a team member.[/mk_button][/vc_column][/vc_row]

I Am Art Guatemala – Fall 2014

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Athentikos is organizing an I AM ART camp this November in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

We are currently accepting applications for our team and we would love for you to consider joining us.

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Trip Information

November 7 – 16, 2014
Trip Fee: $1800 + Airfare*
(Athentikos will provide fundraising resources, including a crowdfunding platform, and is able to accept tax-deductible donations for your trip)[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]

The Athentikos’ I AM ART initiative enriches the lives of at-risk children by using creative arts to show them the power of their true potential. Athentikos partners with organizations that are intentionally investing into the daily lives of youth who attend the camp. This fall we will partner with Hope 4 Guatemala and Center For Transforming Missions in Guatemala to organize a week-long day camp for approximately 100 at-risk kids in Guatemala City. Our team will  lead daily creative workshops and host a community Art Show at the end of the week. We are looking for team members who are passionate about kids, creativity and healing through art! If this resonates with you, please fill out the application today.

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Applications must be received by July 31, 2014

Space is limited. Applications will be reviewed and applicants will be notified in early August.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]Click the button below to fill out the I Am Art Team Application[/vc_column_text][mk_button dimension=”outline” size=”medium” outline_skin=”dark” bg_color=”#00c8d7″ text_color=”light” url=”https://athentikos.com/iamart/i-am-art-application/” target=”_blank” align=”left” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”15″]Apply for I Am Art[/mk_button][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_video title=”Spring 2014 I Am Art Trip Video Story” link=”https://vimeo.com/96016283″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]Here is an overview of the Spring 2014 I AM Art Trip to Guatemala, when Athentikos partnered with Lemonade International and Vidas Plenas.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Am I a Product of My Decisions or Circumstances?

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I recently read a quote that said, “I’m not a product of my circumstances, I am a product of my decisions.”

That phrase has been like a splinter buried in my skin, constantly irritating and demanding attention. I’ve wrestled with it over and over and tried to figure out why it bothers me. Then, it dawned on me. At the core, this statement is about justice …  and was obviously written by someone with opportunity … someone like me.

I understand the context of taking responsibility for the decisions I make in my life, but I’ve had opportunity. I was born in the wealthiest nation in the history of the world, to a financially secure and emotionally stable family, with parents that loved each other and loved me. My parents encouraged me to study hard in school that was easily accessible and free because I lived in the US. I was given fertile soil in which to grow and blessed with freedom to make good decisions. But this is not everyone’s reality.

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A young girl at the Terminal Dump in Guatemala City. Photo by Scott Owen Moore.

For the last five years, I’ve been immersed in stories about the least, last, and lost – people whose circumstances include things like civil war, murdered family members, drug addicted parents, physical and sexual abuse, poverty, prostitution, theft, gang culture, street life … and survival. Are these people also products of their decisions? Yes … but where I had the freedom to make good decisions, they have been forced to decide between bad and worse, just to survive.

Circumstances filter the options from which to decide. But, creativity gives us the power to see beyond our current circumstances and limitations. 

Creativity doesn’t just open existing doors, it creates new structures and frameworks to walk into. Creativity multiplies opportunities for everyone regardless of circumstance because it enables us to dream. Creativity empowers a child born into a slum to escape the cycle of survival and move into a new hope of opportunity like micro-enterprise. Creativity also enables leaders to envision governmental structures built upon justice.

Children Playing at the Terminal Dump in Guatemala City. Photo by Scott Owen Moore.
Children Playing at the Terminal Dump in Guatemala City. Photo by Scott Owen Moore.

Our nation’s forefathers dreamed beyond rule of monarchy when they wrote, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Our forefathers collaborated in creativity born from and for justice because the God who created all men equal, also created the creativity which enabled these men to see beyond autocratic rule.

God is the creator of everything … including creativity. Creativity flows from God through us in a spiritual language that shares prophetic vision of who God wants us to be. It’s an opportunity to meditate on truths that we are unable to speak or comprehend on our own. Creativity invites each of us on a shared journey through opportunities that were once invisible. In the midst of fearful survival, creativity illuminates opportunity for justice.

As someone with opportunity, I choose to help others who live without it.

Through creativity, I choose to dream with others to share a story greater than myself. Our story is a beautifully diverse ensemble of broken and lost souls singing songs of grace, mercy, and undeserved forgiveness from a creator who loves us so much that He created a way to redeem us all through his own sacrifice: the ultimate expression of creativity AND justice.

If this resonates with you, we’d love for you to join the community in Athentikos: I Am Art .

Let’s explore creativity and justice together.

I’d love to know your thoughts. What do you think?

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][mk_button dimension=”two” corner_style=”rounded” size=”x-large” url=”http://Athentikos.com/iamart” target=”_blank” bg_color=”#dd3333″]Learn More about Athentikos I AM ART[/mk_button][/vc_column][/vc_row]

I Am Art 2014 Begins Team in Guatemala

i Am ART Team in Guatemala

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]The Athentikos is in Guatemala this week with their I AM ART program for the purpose of facilitating a weeklong art camp in La Limonada. The Athentikos’ I AM ART initiative enriches the lives of at-risk children by using creative arts to show them the power of their true potential. Our vibrant collective of professional artists teaches children how to find their voice and share their story. With I AM ART, our goal is to help each child find the art within so they can change the way they view the world around them. Through the I AM ART program, Athentikos raises funds, organizes projects, develops curriculum and provides spiritual oversight for several art programs: overnight art camps, art workshops, and theatrical performances, teaching training and mentorship. For three years Athentikos have organized the annual week long Art Camp for almost 100 children with the leaders in La Limonada. We’re excited to continue our relationships in La Limonada!

During the art workshops this week, the students will learn more about their rights as children. The Rights of The Child outline basic needs and rights every child should have. We will be focusing on ten basic rights: name, nationality, protection, love, education, recreation, food, housing, medical attention and family. We will also be exploring the truth that God “has wonderfully made” each of us for a unique purpose! It is exciting to see how art can be used as a spiritual and therapy tool. Art allows students to explore their world and discover new insights about God. And all the art produced during the week will be for others. The main project will be a 9×30 foot community mural project on the outskirts of La Limonada. The mural will be a public declaration of leadership and reconciliation as the youth work together in an area that is typically segregated by gang leaderships. At the end of the week, the group will host a Celebration Ceremony to dedicate the mural to the community. During the ceremony, the participants will share about their art workshop production and their leadership commitment to make positive choices.

Our personal journey in Guatemala began with the adoption of Scott and Amelia Moore’s two beautiful boys who are now 6 and 8years old. Through the process of adoption, Scott and Amelia were introduced to the beauty and destruction of Guatemala. The Moore’s were inspired to respond. Using their creative skills of film production and photography, God lead them to create Athentikos and partner with local creatives to produce two documentary films, Reparando & Becoming Fools. From those projects Athentikos have been connected to many organizations in which they have now organized artistic projects in various communities.

These art projects are made possible through generous individual donations, church support and grants. Would you consider making a financial investment? We would be honored if you click here and supported this project through a tax-deductible donation. The funds raised will go towards materials, travel expenses and scholarships for the kids from La Limonada to attend the I AM ART related programs.

Thank you and God bless![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Tie-Dye Banner At Art Camp

This year I wanted at Art Camp to create a memorable art masterpiece as a group that would be a reminder throughout the year of the fun we had, the friends we made and the lessons we learned.  Through much planning and experimenting, I came up with the idea to create a tie-dye banner to hang in the schools in La Limonada in Guatemala City.  Throughout the process, I knew what I wanted the finished product to look like, but having never done anything like this, I was unsure of exactly how it would turn out.  The final result was more than I could have EVER imagined and I am so happy the kids can look at their beautiful group art work everyday in the schools!

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

First step to making the banners was getting the material ready.  I bought 5 yards of plain white muslin.  Muslin is REALLY awesome because you can tear on the bias.  Tearing the fabric makes creating 100+ strips of fabric so much easier.  After I had tons of strips of muslin.  I cut each strip in thirds, giving me ~135 pieces of 3 inch x 30 inch strips.  I wasn’t exactly sure how we were going to mount the banner, but I knew the easiest way would be to hang the material on something.  Therefore, I sewed 1 inch pockets on top and on the bottom of each strip.  After several hours of sewing, I was off to JoAnn’s to buy fabric dye.  I purchased several different brands to get the colors I wanted (JoAnn’s was a little low on their stock of fabric dye).  And that was all the work I did before going to Guatemala.  Because of limited room in my luggage and our budget, I didn’t purchase containers to mix the dye or to use to apply to dye for the fabric.  I also waited until arriving in Guatemala to purchase rubber bands and salt.  We waited until we were at Art Camp to start collecting plastic water bottles for the dye.

A couple of hours before we were going to tie-dye, we starting mixing the dye.  We gathered about 50 plastic bottles (some water, some Coke, some juices, etc) and started filling each bottle with hot water from the bathroom sink!  We added 1/2 of the package of the dye and one bottle cap full of salt (to fix the dye to the material) to the bottle fill with water….and then shake, shake, shake and shake.  The dye we used called for boiling 140° water, but we just used really hot bathroom sink water and hoped that with shaking really hard we would get the same result.  After we had mixed all the dye, we separated each bottle into 2 bottles, half the mixture in one and half in the other, and then filled the bottle up again with hot water and shook some more.  We repeated this separation and refill step again with some of the really dark colors or colors we wanted more of.  Most of the dyes we were using say you can dilute the dye mix with 3-4 gallons of water, but we wanted really vibrant colors so we didn’t use that much water.  We then poked a tiny whole in the top with a push pin.

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

We gave each kid (and most of the adults) a white strip of materials and some rubber bands.  And this is where all the fun starts.  Tie-dye is created by using the material and dye to create patterns, and there are endless numbers of different ways to do it.  We explained to the kids that every one could come up with their own technique for folding the material.  You can roll, fold, wrinkle, twirl, swirl or squish the fabric as you wish and then bind with rubber bands to hold that pattern while you apply the dye.  We then went into the grass (for easy clean-up and limited mess on the floor from the dye).  Everyone chose 2 colors and sprayed their fabric as they wished.  We had everyone only choose 2 colors so that we could create a “rainbow” or gradient look with the strips of fabric at the end.  It is much easier to organizes strips in color order with 2 colors than with 3, 4, 5 or lots of colors.

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Then we waited.  We let the fabric sit rolled, folded or swirled on a table overnight.  And then let each kid open a strip the next day.  We didn’t bother with names or who’s was who’s.  We encouraged the kids to see this project as a group project and TOGETHER we were creating something beautiful.  It wasn’t important who had the most beautiful strip or who’s was the most creative because each piece was equally as important in creating the final product.  I used this time to explain to the kids that the project is much like their life.  They are all different but together than can be the beautiful future of their community and their country.  The kids at camp are from different rival areas in La Limonada, and while in La Limonada are not allowed to cross area boundaries because of gang violence.  However, at camp they are free and develop close relationships with one another.  It is these relationships that can change the future of their community, La Limonada.

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

After Art Camp, we assembled all the strips into banners for the schools.  We hung that at the Art Show and then hung them in the schools before we had to leave.  The banners are absolutely beautiful on the walls, and I hope they do remind the kids of Art Camp whenever they look at them!  ValorArte 2012 was an unforgettable experience.  I am so happy to have been a part of it again, and I hope and pray everyday that next year we are able to give the amazing experience of Art Camp to the kids of La Limonada again.  Fundraising has started, and we have a long way to go.  If you are interested in sponsoring a child to go to Art Camp or would like more information, please contact me at ericha@athentikos.com.

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Photography by: Sara Harper and Amelia Moore

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Tie-Dye Banner At Art Camp

This year I wanted at Art Camp to create a memorable art masterpiece as a group that would be a reminder throughout the year of the fun we had, the friends we made and the lessons we learned.  Through much planning and experimenting, I came up with the idea to create a tie-dye banner to hang in the schools in La Limonada in Guatemala City.  Throughout the process, I knew what I wanted the finished product to look like, but having never done anything like this, I was unsure of exactly how it would turn out.  The final result was more than I could have EVER imagined and I am so happy the kids can look at their beautiful group art work everyday in the schools!

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

First step to making the banners was getting the material ready.  I bought 5 yards of plain white muslin.  Muslin is REALLY awesome because you can tear on the bias.  Tearing the fabric makes creating 100+ strips of fabric so much easier.  After I had tons of strips of muslin.  I cut each strip in thirds, giving me ~135 pieces of 3 inch x 30 inch strips.  I wasn’t exactly sure how we were going to mount the banner, but I knew the easiest way would be to hang the material on something.  Therefore, I sewed 1 inch pockets on top and on the bottom of each strip.  After several hours of sewing, I was off to JoAnn’s to buy fabric dye.  I purchased several different brands to get the colors I wanted (JoAnn’s was a little low on their stock of fabric dye).  And that was all the work I did before going to Guatemala.  Because of limited room in my luggage and our budget, I didn’t purchase containers to mix the dye or to use to apply to dye for the fabric.  I also waited until arriving in Guatemala to purchase rubber bands and salt.  We waited until we were at Art Camp to start collecting plastic water bottles for the dye.

A couple of hours before we were going to tie-dye, we starting mixing the dye.  We gathered about 50 plastic bottles (some water, some Coke, some juices, etc) and started filling each bottle with hot water from the bathroom sink!  We added 1/2 of the package of the dye and one bottle cap full of salt (to fix the dye to the material) to the bottle fill with water….and then shake, shake, shake and shake.  The dye we used called for boiling 140° water, but we just used really hot bathroom sink water and hoped that with shaking really hard we would get the same result.  After we had mixed all the dye, we separated each bottle into 2 bottles, half the mixture in one and half in the other, and then filled the bottle up again with hot water and shook some more.  We repeated this separation and refill step again with some of the really dark colors or colors we wanted more of.  Most of the dyes we were using say you can dilute the dye mix with 3-4 gallons of water, but we wanted really vibrant colors so we didn’t use that much water.  We then poked a tiny whole in the top with a push pin.

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

We gave each kid (and most of the adults) a white strip of materials and some rubber bands.  And this is where all the fun starts.  Tie-dye is created by using the material and dye to create patterns, and there are endless numbers of different ways to do it.  We explained to the kids that every one could come up with their own technique for folding the material.  You can roll, fold, wrinkle, twirl, swirl or squish the fabric as you wish and then bind with rubber bands to hold that pattern while you apply the dye.  We then went into the grass (for easy clean-up and limited mess on the floor from the dye).  Everyone chose 2 colors and sprayed their fabric as they wished.  We had everyone only choose 2 colors so that we could create a “rainbow” or gradient look with the strips of fabric at the end.  It is much easier to organizes strips in color order with 2 colors than with 3, 4, 5 or lots of colors.

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Then we waited.  We let the fabric sit rolled, folded or swirled on a table overnight.  And then let each kid open a strip the next day.  We didn’t bother with names or who’s was who’s.  We encouraged the kids to see this project as a group project and TOGETHER we were creating something beautiful.  It wasn’t important who had the most beautiful strip or who’s was the most creative because each piece was equally as important in creating the final product.  I used this time to explain to the kids that the project is much like their life.  They are all different but together than can be the beautiful future of their community and their country.  The kids at camp are from different rival areas in La Limonada, and while in La Limonada are not allowed to cross area boundaries because of gang violence.  However, at camp they are free and develop close relationships with one another.  It is these relationships that can change the future of their community, La Limonada.

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

After Art Camp, we assembled all the strips into banners for the schools.  We hung that at the Art Show and then hung them in the schools before we had to leave.  The banners are absolutely beautiful on the walls, and I hope they do remind the kids of Art Camp whenever they look at them!  ValorArte 2012 was an unforgettable experience.  I am so happy to have been a part of it again, and I hope and pray everyday that next year we are able to give the amazing experience of Art Camp to the kids of La Limonada again.  Fundraising has started, and we have a long way to go.  If you are interested in sponsoring a child to go to Art Camp or would like more information, please contact me at ericha@athentikos.com.

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Photography by: Sara Harper and Amelia Moore

Music Class at Art Camp 2012

Music Class at Art Camp 2012
Hello All! My name is Tina.  I had the pleasure of teaching the Music class at Art Camp this year. The main focus of the ValorArte 2012 was discovering how we are treasures of God.  In our Music class, we created drums.  The drums made beautiful rhythms, while also teaching the kids important lessons on their personal value in this world and to God.
Our class was focused on rhythm. We took empty Pringles cans (ok, we ate the Pringles!) and turned them into drums to use to make music. The drums were a representation of ourself. The first day of class, we painted the drums black. This represented the darkness that surrounds us and also the darkness and sin we carry within us. The next day, we painted the drums all white. This was to represent God covering us and making us new, a blank canvas ready to be made into a masterpiece. Then the final day, we painted our drums in beautiful colors, glitter and jewels. This was to represent the unique beauty God has created in each of us.
Music Class at Art Camp 2012
Music Class at Art Camp 2012
Music Class at Art Camp 2012
Each day, we also had a theme to the class: How our identity is shaped by everything around us. We focused on family, friends, community, environment and self. Each day in our class, I placed a pile of cotton balls and a pile of beads in the middle of our circle. The cotton represented the negative that is given to us in our lives, or “put inside our drum”.  The beads represented the positive that is given to us. The beads make a good sound in the drums and the cotton blocks it. Each child chose 5 pieces every day, a combination of cotton and beads, while thinking about the subject of the day.  These 5 pieces would symbolize their family, friends, community, etc. and the positive or negative that each bring to their lives.  For example, when we talked about family, the children thought about their family and decided whether they got mostly positive or negative from them.  They then chose cotton, beads or a combination to represent what their family “puts into their drum”.  Each day we would take the cotton out of the drum together, leaving the beads. We threw the cotton out; throwing away the bad and keeping the good. This was to show the importance of keeping the good in our lives so our drums make a good sound, but throwing out the bad so the sound is not blocked.
Music Class at Art Camp 2012

We had a wonderful week together. Some days were very challenging, but by the end of the week I could see a change in the kids. These are kids that I worked with for the entire year, but at Art Camp there was something softer about them. To hear the things that they had to say, to see the ease with which they expressed themselves, both verbally and musically, was something new and hope-filled. Healing took place and will hopefully continue!

Written by: Tina Breshears
Photography by: Sara Harper

Recycled Materials Creation Class at Art Camp 2012

If we describe what “Creation” means, we usually would use the definition of creating something using our imagination, but if we take the definition from the Bible, like we at Art Camp ValorArte 2012, we will use the definition of “producing something from nowhere”, like God did it with us.  He was so inspired and He still is, that He took a deep breath and created magnificence creatures and every single place we stand in.  For us, each kid is an amazing creation, so putting them in contact with their own imaginations we saw amazing creations using…EVERYTHING.

In the creation class, the kids used materials that we use every day, every moment, without realizing in how many ways with our imagination, we can use that material to create an amazing art project.  We used water bottles, chip bags, used cardboard and plastic (plates, forks, etc.), Styrofoam cups, aluminum foil, string, rope, toilet paper, paper towel and much more!  We realized the only things the kids needed was imagination and encouragement. They needed people like us to believe in their abilities and with some helpful tips, we got the best-recycled materials art museum EVER.  Their creations were not only works of art, but also expression of their soul because each creation is a story telling us what and how they feel.  It was just fascinating!!

Recycled Materials Creation Class at Art Camp 2012

Every day, we focused in a bible verse.  We used the bible verses to connect their creativity with their spiritual and sensitive side, getting not just this amazing art works, but making them value what they did, getting them to value their selves. We talked with the kids about how their identity is shaped by my family and heritage.  We made a floor plan of their houses, reflecting what they liked and didn’t like about their home.  We then created their dream home out of different recycled materials.  I mean, after all in our heritage we were promised the Promised Land.  So if we are sons and daughters from a KING, that means we can have anything we want, it’s just a matter of believing, or better said… FAITH.

Recycled Materials Creation Class at Art Camp 2012

Also, we talked with the kids about how their identity is shaped by their community and friends.  We made a secret present for a friend.  Each present had their friend’s amazing characteristics and abilities written on it. We taught the kids to remember that every characteristic we have makes us unique.

Recycled Materials Creation Class at Art Camp 2012

Each day we had a different reflection, a different art project, a different experience and a different way of getting to know each kid.  We enjoyed their laughing, their talents, their creativity and their huge smiles.  Most importantly, each day, we had an opportunity to change someone’s life.  Art Camp was an opportunity to make a difference in their lives and make the kids realize how incredible they are.  When the kids created their dream houses, they didn’t ask for a huge house with plasma TV’s, all they wanted was an opportunity or for someone to believe in them and show them how far they can succeed.

Recycled Materials Creation Class at Art Camp 2012

At the end of the day if God carried a huge cross for our sins, and for us to live this amazing life, we can help someone carry their own cross; their heavy and painful cross.  Together our cross will never be heavy, because we have someone helping us.  We have the ability to change someone’s life, so what better way to change this world than by helping a kid with a huge cross? I guess all we need is to create, to believe and to act.

Recycled Materials Creation Class at Art Camp 2012

Written by Marcela Olivet

Photography by Sara Harper

 

Self-Portrait Collage Class at Art Camp

I (Amelia Moore) had the honor of teaching a collage class again at this year’s Art Camp. In addition to photography, I have a love for the creative art of collage. I love working with various materials to create an art piece! For me, its an exciting challenge to search through materials I have on hand like old tags, materials, photos, coins, paper or discarded bags; and of course it’s always fun to shop for new materials. Then it’s fun to use a variety of techniques combine all the materials to make one beautiful masterpiece! The kids also love creating a collage piece because they get to try several different techniques and learn how to use materials around them as supplies for their art piece (like painting with beets or making their piece 3D with recycled trash)!

This year my class focused on creating a self-portrait. I started the class by teaching them about facial portions and how to draw facial features. It’s always fun to learn about body portions! They continued their faces throughout the week by adding their own colors, materials and character. Around their faces they added paper mosaic. Finally, they finished their pieces by coloring their faces with black crayons and then scraping it off with a coin.

While these were all fun techniques, it was significant to use the process as a teaching tool. I shared with them how we are all created with the same features… everyone has two eyes in the center horizon of their faces, mouths that are the width of their eyes, a nose in the middle of their face, etc. Their interpretation of their characteristics illustrated how we are all made unique and for a purpose by God. The paper mosaic represented the influences all around us and that we need to be aware of the positive and negative influences. The black crayon we used to cover our faces represented the unhealthy choices, sin of others or ourselves, hurt, abuse or loneliness that we experience. Like the blackness of the crayons, these experiences block us from understanding and seeing God’s purpose in our lives. But we all have a choice to work towards healing and making healthy decisions and so we talked about that process as we worked (hard!) at scraping away the black crayon with the coins. Then we discussed how the “blackness” is still part of our lives but that too can shape us and that we can use those experiences to help others. Some kids had a really hard time liking the “black” of their art pieces (and I really did too since we spent all week creating some beautiful pieces); but it was a great opportunity to remind them that even with the “black” on their self-portraits, the pieces were beautiful! The black added depth and interest to the pieces. Yes, some of them did actually turn out darker than I would have liked, but that is the process of art AND LIFE – that you never know how things are going to turn out. But the significant thing about the process of creation is exploring, trying new things, being in the moment and celebrating the outcome.

And we got to celebrate their beautiful self-portrait creations at an Art Show at the end of the week! Upon returning to the city, we hosted an Art Show for the community. The kids were able to share what they learned and experienced at Art Camp with their friends and families. Our prayer is that through art, relationships and God’s truth, the kids would continue to understand their purpose and make healthy choices that will ultimately change their community… and country.

The majority of our camp funding comes through individual donations from people like you! Would you consider giving to make this opportunity happen again in 2013? All donations are tax deductible. You can make a donation now.

Photography by Amelia Moore & Sara Harper for Athentikos.

 

 

Hearts Touched by Art

Another successful year at Art Camp!  92 children from La Limonada attended this year’s Art Camp at the beach in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala.

La Limonada, home to these children, is one of the largest slums in Central America.  It is also home to gang violence, drugs, extreme poverty and lack of opportunity.  This weeklong Art Camp led the kids on a journey to realize their value in Christ and find healing for their hearts through art.  The camp’s stark contrast to life in La Limonada allows the children a unique opportunity to be free, think creative and heal.

Athentikos joined Lemonade International and Vidas Plenas for this year’s camp. In all, there almost 50 adults that served together as leaders, counselors, teachers, psychologists, game & music leaders and more!  ValorArte, the name of this year’s camp, is a play on words in Spanish. “Valor” means “To Value”… and “Arte” means “Art”… but the word “Valorarte” means “Value Yourself”.  The focus of this year’s Art Camp was to understand our individual value to ourselves, our community and to God.

Athentikos oversaw and staffed the Art Classes & Art Show. Several new teachers joined the Athentikos team this year.  Two friends from the Voz de Las Calles Event and Becoming Fools joined us for Valor Arte.  Alfonso Ralda and Tamagochy, both professional entertainers in Guatemala, shared their knowledge and love with the children.  Other new members Marcela, Tina and Sara added to the mix of creative energy of ValorArte with their talents.  Amelia, Ericha and Darlene were back to teach and continue relationships with our dear friends. Here’s a photo of our teacher team:

The addition of Guatemala teachers to Art Camp was a hit!! Both Tamagochy and Alfonso developed great relationships with the children, and were begged to do several impromptu performances/lessons throughout the day and an encore performance at night.  And as always the kids enjoyed the creative outlet given to them in each class and activity.

At ValorArte we swam, danced, yelled, eat, sang, played, painted, drew, created, acted and ran for 6 days and 5 nights at El Faro, a beautiful missionary resort in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala.  Each student participated in 2 art classes throughout the week; building upon skills they learned from day-to-day.  Classes at ValorArte were music, mime, drawing/painting, collage, recycled materials creation and drama. In addition, the kids participated in open LEGO building and games each afternoon and evening group activities.

This year, the Art Camp team concentrated on the involvement of psychologists into the schedule of the camp.  Throughout the day, each child wrote in a journal to reflect and respond on their feeling and thoughts while at camp and while healing and processing their experiences.  Throughout the week, the psychologists, teachers and others who work year-round with the kids in La Limonada continually expressed their joy in watching the kids play and learn in a healthy environment surrounded by people who loved them.  They were overjoyed watching the kids as they began to understand their value in God.

After a week of learning and creating, we returned to Guatemala City.  The Art Camp team set up an Art Show in the city for the kids to present their masterpieces of art and theater to their family and friends.

Thank you to all of the teachers, psychologists, counselors, volunteers, sponsors, supporters and kids for a GREAT Art Camp 2012! And a HUGE THANK YOU to LEGO for providing a grant and the individual partners that made this opportunity possible so the children could attend the camp for FREE! We pray that funds will be raised to allow us to give kids from La Limonada this amazing opportunity again next year.

PS. I (Amelia) just finished inserting photos into Ericha’s awesome write-up and I feel the need to add a note… It’s super tough to share just a handful of photos to convey all that happened during this amazing week. Please know that these words and images are only a small highlight of the overall experience and impact!! (Plus I only have half the photos from the week) So, we hope to share more in the next several weeks!