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I (Amelia Moore) had the honor of teaching a collage class again at this year’s Art Camp. In addition to photography, I have a love for the creative art of collage. I love working with various materials to create an art piece! For me, its an exciting challenge to search through materials I have on hand like old tags, materials, photos, coins, paper or discarded bags; and of course it’s always fun to shop for new materials. Then it’s fun to use a variety of techniques combine all the materials to make one beautiful masterpiece! The kids also love creating a collage piece because they get to try several different techniques and learn how to use materials around them as supplies for their art piece (like painting with beets or making their piece 3D with recycled trash)!

This year my class focused on creating a self-portrait. I started the class by teaching them about facial portions and how to draw facial features. It’s always fun to learn about body portions! They continued their faces throughout the week by adding their own colors, materials and character. Around their faces they added paper mosaic. Finally, they finished their pieces by coloring their faces with black crayons and then scraping it off with a coin.
While these were all fun techniques, it was significant to use the process as a teaching tool. I shared with them how we are all created with the same features… everyone has two eyes in the center horizon of their faces, mouths that are the width of their eyes, a nose in the middle of their face, etc. Their interpretation of their characteristics illustrated how we are all made unique and for a purpose by God. The paper mosaic represented the influences all around us and that we need to be aware of the positive and negative influences. The black crayon we used to cover our faces represented the unhealthy choices, sin of others or ourselves, hurt, abuse or loneliness that we experience. Like the blackness of the crayons, these experiences block us from understanding and seeing God’s purpose in our lives. But we all have a choice to work towards healing and making healthy decisions and so we talked about that process as we worked (hard!) at scraping away the black crayon with the coins. Then we discussed how the “blackness” is still part of our lives but that too can shape us and that we can use those experiences to help others. Some kids had a really hard time liking the “black” of their art pieces (and I really did too since we spent all week creating some beautiful pieces); but it was a great opportunity to remind them that even with the “black” on their self-portraits, the pieces were beautiful! The black added depth and interest to the pieces. Yes, some of them did actually turn out darker than I would have liked, but that is the process of art AND LIFE – that you never know how things are going to turn out. But the significant thing about the process of creation is exploring, trying new things, being in the moment and celebrating the outcome.

And we got to celebrate their beautiful self-portrait creations at an Art Show at the end of the week! Upon returning to the city, we hosted an Art Show for the community. The kids were able to share what they learned and experienced at Art Camp with their friends and families. Our prayer is that through art, relationships and God’s truth, the kids would continue to understand their purpose and make healthy choices that will ultimately change their community… and country.

The majority of our camp funding comes through individual donations from people like you! Would you consider giving to make this opportunity happen again in 2013? All donations are tax deductible. You can make a donation now.
Photography by Amelia Moore & Sara Harper for Athentikos.

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