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It’s difficult to sum up the contrast of feelings and experiences related to I Am Art. In my workshop, we studied mixed media self-portraits.  We started the first day making color wheels called “color wheel of emotions” and talking about primary and secondary colors  as an exercise to help them practice for creating their self portraits during the week.

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RED: Red represents many things, but its essence is intensity and passion. Fire, blood, warmth, love, the heart, danger … red can symbolize of deep anger or sincere love. Red came to mind first when describing my experience in the first two days. I didn’t intentionally start with red, but I believe it came to my mind first because of the dichotomy I experience in a place and an event like this. I’m inspired by the people who serve this very hard community. I’m also deeply inspired by the artists who voluntarily and sacrificially join us to serve this week. My heart is deeply stirred and filled with HOPE. But my heart is also stirred with anger and hard questions. Why is there so much obvious hurt and poverty in one place?

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BLUE: Its essence is peace, but ironically can also represent sadness and melancholy. Perhaps a better description could be a place of stillness. It’s hard to be still like this. On the second night of I Am Art Camp, we had a great team meeting focused on worship and prayer lead by David  Lee (our music workshop leader) in which we centered on God and being still. I’m so grateful for people on our team that challenge me to be still, to engage in the moment and to listen to God’s voice. This is probably the hardest thing for me since I’m responsible for so many details of the camp. My mind is worn out, but I really want my heart to engage and heart God’s voice.

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YELLOW: Yellow is a fun and energetic color! I think this color best describes camp. The kids laugh and smile, genuinely engaged and there is great hope in their eyes. The students in my workshops loved experimenting various techniques and encouraged to one another. The counselors at camp are the teenagers who daily work with the younger kids. They have been very helpful in managing the students and assisting in the classrooms. We learned some of their stories of overcoming great obstacles and it is so inspiring to see them take on leadership responsibilities at such young ages.

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On the second day of camp and we focused on “Your World.” The kids explored and expressed their world through their projects and we also talked about their eternal home. My class created a pastel color project based on warm and cool colors representing their world. I found this cool project and it reminded of the mountains and sun of Guatemala!  The kids used various pastel techniques in their project: blending, etching and coloring. We talked about the emotions colors and lines can represent. I LOVED how these turned out! Even though they all look similar, each child created the project very differently. It is a perfect example and expression of our uniqueness in identity as art of the Great I Am!

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