Turning up the heat in art class

2017-02-28 06:00

The Butterfly Art Project needs help to enlarge its kiln room so that the project can give pottery and ceramics classes to community members.

Working in Vrygrond, the project’s organisers would like to offer classes for children, young adults and unemployed residents of this disadvantaged community.

“We need to renovate the kiln room and install a new kiln to fire all ceramics made by our vulnerable young artists. We would love to offer pottery classes for the children in the community on a weekly basis, but at the moment we can’t afford it as the kiln can only take a few products,” says Zaid Philander, centre manager of the project.

To be able to revamp their kiln room they want about R20 500.

The process of working with clay provides opportunities for channelling participants’ creativity and healing. The classes would include wheel work and handwork, making functional and ornamental products, painting and glazing.

“The project encourages creativity and healing through art to vulnerable children in the community. We offer safe spaces and platforms for self-expression and provide a healthy creative outlet for all.

“It’s really amazing how we see the children develop. When they start, some of them can’t even paint or make anything out of clay. Watching them grow and improve their skills forms them inside out,” says ­Philander.

They are also looking at giving the children some of the money when their products are sold.

“This will give them more zeal and [they will] work even harder. The work that they do is amazing. Our kiln room is small and we want a bigger oven so that we can heat a lot of products,” says Philander.

The NGO consists of four departments, namely art classes, art therapy, “heart for art” and art for preschoolers. In each department, the project’s facilitators seek to create strong individuals who rise to their artistic and developmental potential.

“We believe that art and wholesome art education can support the human being to preserve and nourish his own resources and develop better social skills, creative thinking and general health.

“Our community is full of challenges: gangsterism, violence, HIV, single parents, unemployment, lack of service delivery, school drop-outs, racism and more. Our project seeks to combat these issues with positive relationships, artistic development and therapeutic support. We seek to grow the future generation by developing artists for Vrygrond and all of South Africa,” says ­Philander.

V For more information call Zaid Philander on 074 545 9938 or search for Revamp the Kiln Room in Vrygrond on backabuddy.

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