[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]

Embracing conflict amplifies authenticity. We spent six months developing the I Am Art curriculum and empowering our artists to leverage it in their art forms. Our goal was to empower these children to see themselves as beautiful art of the I AM, filled with purpose in God’s greater story.

We knew that many of these children have experienced horrible conflict (family members abducted or killed, physical abuse, extreme poverty … the list goes on). We wanted to explore conflict in a safe way, without unnecessarily and dangerously unraveling personal conflict in the children’s lives. After much reflection, we decided the healthiest way to achieve this goal was to introduce conflict into the creative process.

[/vc_column_text][mk_image src=”https://athentikos.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/DSC09363.jpg” image_width=”800″ image_height=”350″ crop=”true” lightbox=”false” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″][mk_image src=”https://athentikos.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/DSC09368.jpg” image_width=”800″ image_height=”350″ crop=”true” lightbox=”false” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″][mk_image src=”https://athentikos.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/ATHENTIKOS_art14_h4g_028.jpg” image_width=”800″ image_height=”350″ crop=”true” lightbox=”false” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]

Each morning in large group, the children learned the theme of the day through stories and various group activities. During the first two days of camp, artists led children to create beautiful and personal works of art. Seeing the children glowing with pride and excitement was emotional in itself. But it was even more emotional to know what was coming on day three …

On the third day, we introduced conflict. Each workshop altered (and some even “destroyed”) the art that was so meticulously crafted on days one and two. Even though we knew it was coming, it was painful to watch the children’s expressions when they were told their artwork would be “broken”. In Amelia’s workshop, children were asked to cover their self portraits with black pastel. Some children tried to hide their art. Some cried a bit. For a moment, we thought we had made a terrible mistake by including this method in our curriculum. It was tough to rest in the tension of conflict. But that is where transformation began …

[/vc_column_text][mk_image src=”https://athentikos.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/DSC09527.jpg” image_width=”800″ image_height=”350″ crop=”true” lightbox=”false” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″][mk_image src=”https://athentikos.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/DSC09523.jpg” image_width=”800″ image_height=”350″ crop=”true” lightbox=”false” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]

Children made the connection between the symbolic conflict and the conflict of their personal lives, and they felt safe enough to share. Several children shared stories of abuse as their peers listened carefully. The creative conflict provided a cathartic way for the youth to explore and express the pain in their hearts. But we didn’t leave it there …

[/vc_column_text][mk_image src=”https://athentikos.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/IMG_2559.jpg” image_width=”800″ image_height=”350″ crop=”true” lightbox=”false” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]

The next day we explored God’s greater story of redemption to create beauty from ashes. … Beginning with Maria the Doll Lady featured in Reparando, who shared details about rescuing doll parts from the dump and making them new. Then the kids put the theme of the day into action. Each workshop repurposed their broken artwork into even more beautiful creations. Collages that were cut into pieces the day before were reworked into a beautiful profiles. Self portraits that were covered with black were scraped and colored again with even brighter colors. Masks that were covered with black clay were cleaned and made into creative sculptures. We could see the light in the eyes of the children. Again, they made the connection to their own personal lives … Beauty from ashes.

[/vc_column_text][mk_image src=”https://athentikos.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/ATHENTIKOS_art14_h4g_106.jpg” image_width=”800″ image_height=”350″ crop=”true” lightbox=”false” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]

The curriculum metaphorically walked the children through the story of creation, conflict, and Christ’s redemption. The artwork became an outward expression of a deep spiritual truth. It was profoundly humbling to experience creative ideas lived through the artists in ways that inspired and empowered these children to heal and dream. And the healing river flowed in both directions, also transforming artists with new visions of hope and creative purpose. We were woven into a greater story than we ever could have imagined … a story which began long before we arrived … and will continue for generations to come …. Art of the I Am.

[/vc_column_text][mk_image src=”https://athentikos.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/IMG_0015.jpg” image_width=”800″ image_height=”350″ crop=”true” lightbox=”false” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Recommended Posts

No comment yet, add your voice below!


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.