The young artists had the opportunity to put some of the teachings about animals into their own puppet creations. Through a collage activity and their sketchbooks they were challenged to pick one puppet character to focus on and then we assembled at the art cart to work on their puppet creature. They were challenged to think of what habitat their creature lives, what it needs to survive, they were reminded that they are the creators and they are the ones that give voice and life to their puppets.
We had our classes migrate over to Garden City Park and the natural areas that are on the West side of the small lake in the Park. Each team was divided into groups where they were given a plant or tree to identify and investigate. They interviewed the plant or Tree and shared with the group their observations. Melissa Zoomed in virtually from the Art Cart and shared deeper knowledge, some teachings she was given be relatives and some indigenous plant use for medicinal or practical purposes.
Because of the BC Government Health Authority restrictions many of our workshops had to be facilitated virtually. However being far away from class didn’t prevent us from focusing on the tiniest of creatures, including Pollinators. Here Tiffany, JP and Rayden a youth Red Fox Healthy Living Society gather virtually to share our artistic ode to the Mason Bee, a native pollinator.
As we think about the garden, our mind is on all the other animals we share the earth with.
After the recent news of the discovery of young children buried at the Kamloops residential school, our artist team was called to act in creative response. Many of our friends and artists are indigenous and work closely within the indigenous community and so this is an artist act of solidarity and an opportunity for young hands to be involved in this. Working with Pat Calihou Metis Artist we cut out orange hearts for the young students to paint orange as a hands on opportunity to learn this dark part of Canadian history. With the assistance of the teachers the young hands painted and installed these orange hearts on a fence on the north side of the school. We hope people in the community, whether they are walking or driving, see the orange hearts on the school fence on the south side of the street and come to understand and reflect with what has happened. The many kids inside the school walls know about the children at Kamloops residential school, they are learning and remembering.
According to the City of Richmond Community Wellness strategy that was adopted by City Council in 2018 a My Health My Community survey said Richmond ranks lower compared to other BC municipalities for three specific lifestyle practices that are strongly linked to health and wellness, these include physical activity, healthy eating and social connectedness.
Nature and Creativity
By combining creative expression and exploration of nature we help develop resiliency a common sense concept from the book Last Child in the Woods. It is the first book to bring together a new and growing body of research indicating that direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development and for the physical and emotional health of children and adults. Individual exploration that engage in nature spaces will be encouraged.
Puppet Red Harry has a curiosity about how all the creatures and life on the planet sustain themselves. In Red’s storytelling adventures he seeks out people who know about human food, plants and animals