Sunday, August 7, 2011

East Africa Day 78 (Sat July 30): Art Club

This morning I took the bus over to Angela's neighborhood, where I met up with Angela and Laney. The three of us took a matatu (my first in Kenya) into Kawangare to the school where Angela holds her Saturday morning Art Club for the former street boys.

Angela started off the lesson with a review of US geography, using the home states of some of the Art Club volunteers that the kids know.

Angela also had each boy stand up at his place behind the desk, to introduce himself. Each student stated their name, and their favorite art activity. It was really cute to hear their self-introductions.

This week Laney taught the students perspective and how to draw faces. First the students were broken up into pairs. Since there were an odd number of students, I was given a partner - a quiet younger boy.

Each team was then given a box of colored pencils to share, each student got a piece of paper, a ruler, and a pencil. We all shared one eraser. Laney taught us how to box off an outline of a face, using the ruler. Then we learned where to put the eyes, nose, ears, mouth, eyebrows. Each student then practiced, drawing their partner's face.

The students really focused on it and worked quietly. You can tell by the quality of the finished products. One of the best parts was hearing one of the boys tell Laney that now he knows how to draw faces, and he is going to practice. I love it!

My partner did a great job drawing me, and so did one of the older students. A teacher wanted the drawings so that she can hang them up in a classroom. But I told the older boy who drew me, who really wanted me to take it home, that I would get it back from the teacher before I leave for the USA. I told him my mom, who is a retired art teacher, would be very impressed with his drawing!

After the students finished their portraits I had them hold their drawings up, so that I could photograph them. The boys had a lot of fun with the photography. In some cases I think the drawings are being held up by friends - not necessarily the artist who did the drawing. They all wanted to see their photo on the little screen on the back of my camera, after I'd taken each photo. (I've learned to always offer to show the subject their photo on the back of the camera, as soon as I've taken the photo.)

Two of Angela's friends stopped by today, to see what we were up to. One of her friends is one of the lead volunteers, who teaches Art Club, too. He came back to Angela's place in a matatu with Laney, Angela, and I. Angela made a delicious lunch for the other Art Club Leaders, Laney and I, who came over for a meeting about the future of Art Club. It was fun to get to at least be a part of the planning for a volunteer program like this in Nairobi, even though I can't make a long-term commitment to being a part of Art Club.

Another fun Saturday!

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