Sometimes all you need to be creative are some basic tools, a framework, and a nurturing guide within which to make something. During the 1st annual NJ Makers Day on Saturday, March 21st, I will be offering visitors to the West Orange Public Library an opportunity to creatively contribute their mark without intimidation or expectations.
I hear all the time from adults "I can't even draw a stick figure" and "I'm not creative". Banish those thoughts and let me help you contribute to a community "Handala". Influenced by the structure of mandalas, the "Handala", a concept I discovered from artist, Ron Hornung, is a mandala made of hands. (While rooted in Buddhism and Hinduism, mandalas in their simplest constructs are visual structures, which represent wholeness, because of their arrangement of integrated elements around a unifying center.) Visitors both young and young at heart, will be asked to trace their own hand and embellish it or the space around it with colored pencils.
During the making of the "Handala" hopefully I'll dispel some myths about art making, giving you a chance to express yourself without fear, as well as a chance to learn more about a very old artistic / spiritual symbol. The completed "Handalas" will remain at the library for display after the event. Children and adults are welcome. I guided students and parents in making "Handalas" at Gregory School's Happy Healthy Kids Night in the Fall and saw many self-conscious adults in particular, sit down, get past their fear and make something with their kids.
I will be at the library from 1:30 - 4pm on the 21st. Many other STEM activities will be offered throughout the day including creating recycled jewelry and family activities involving technology demos and art. Check out the article in The Alternative Press for more information about workshops, demos, makers, and hours. I hope you'll save the time to participate in a day that promotes the culture of making!
Jennie Traill Schaeffer
Deemed the Kitchen God's Artist by NJ Savvy Living for my sainted appliances, I'm now known more for my vibrant, meditational paintings of chairs set surprisingly in landscapes. Since relocating to NC from NJ, mothering my two sons, and caring for our rescue pup, Cider, took the lead. Now, that my Durham home studio is renovated it's open again for virtual art coaching and the resumption of my personal art and commissions. The work I make is inspired by my joy of teaching, exploring nature, and traveling. On The Teaching Artist Blog, I share my approach to teaching and educate my readers about my creative process.
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