Watoto Wote Wazuri

The Art Exchange: A preview of art and greetings from Kenya to Maine

Posted in AIDS Orphans, Maine schools, Student Art exchange by Lynn Ouellette on 02/23/2010

The real art exchange will be completed when  I am able to give the art made by the children at Nyumbani Children’s Home and Nyumbani Village to the students at Jordan Acres and Brooksville Elemenatary Schools,  but I wanted to show some examples of the art done by the kids in Kenya to everyone on the blog.  Though I have said it before, I need to say again how appreciative all of the kids and everyone else I encountered  in Kenya were for the art and the supplies that were sent to them. I want to say thank you to Sharon MCormack and her students at Jordan Acres in Brunswick, Maine and to Bec Poole and her students in Brooksville, Maine.  I also want to thank Dick Blick Art Materials ( www.dickblick.com) for donating some of the art supplies that were used and left for the kids in Kenya along with the supplies donated by the 2 schools. It was great fun for the kids in Kenya to use materials that they never had used before to create art and I was thrilled to leave them with supplies that they will continue to use. For the students in Maine, your efforts really inspired a lot of good will.

At the children’s home, I worked with most of the children to create art (all except the very energetic St. Paul Miki Preschool kids whose faces I painted instead of doing an art project). With the first 2 groups which were of mixed ages, I told them that they were free to do whatever kind of art they wanted with all of the materials, but  if they wanted a suggestion,  I knew that the kids in Maine might be especially  interested in learning about them and their lives in Kenya.  Below are some of the examples that they created: 











The kids at the Children’s home that worked with me in the last group worked on books to send back to the Brooksville Elementary School that were just like the books that had been sent to them. It was perfect that the students in Brooksville had the wonderful idea of sending blank books just like the ones that they had made. I worked with a group of the same age kids at the Children’s Home who seemed excited to have this special project saved for them. They all did a terrific job on the work that they created and stayed beyond the time that we had set up so that they could finish them. They also spent a lot of time looking at the art  books about life in Brooksville and I could tell that they were very interested in them. They all got to keep a book from the Brooksville students.  Here are a few examples of their work:




I also worked on art projects with the orphans in Nyumbani Village where I hung art from Jordan Acres students in their homes on the Kenyan red stone walls and in the school classrooms where all the students will enjoy them. The group I worked with there were students in the equivalent of junior high school who were in a club that had been developed by a prior volunteer called the “Young Ambassadors.” I worked with Lloydie to tell them about the art from Maine and to ask them to make art for me to bring back that would reflect how what they would like to say about their country as “Young Ambassadors”. I was amazed at the art they did, not only because they were so enthusiastic and diligent,  but also because they chose to include a lot of knowledge about their country and had a lot of pride in sharing it. And as the last example shows, they were real embassadors by welcoming people to  “Please pay a visit to Kenya!”  Here are a couple of their posters:


I  look forward to sharing ALL  of the art work with the students at both schools and being able to share some more about my experience in Kenya. Thanks to all who participated in this project in Maine and also my fellow travelers, most especially Lloydie for helping me set up and work on the projects in Kenya….and of course to all the Kenyan artists!

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