Artful Birds from the Conversation Cafe!

I have just returned from St. John’s where I was visiting my dear sister. We have been talking for some time about working together, though geography has so far made that impossible. But while I was there we seized the opportunity to do a little project together. Clare works for the Refugee and Immigrant Advisory Council (RIAC) and every other Saturday morning she facilitates a “Conversation Cafe” for people to come together (often over some morning treats!) and chat.  Practicing english conversation is, I’m sure, what many people come for, but it is also a fun and relaxing social time. Since she was to be running this the Saturday I was there we decided I should come up with a group art project everybody could contribute to, that could then decorate the wall of the centre.

When I am designing and activity for a group I take a number of things into consideration. The availability and cost of materials are of course a primary concern. For this project I was able to make use of recycled cardboard boxes that they had at the centre. There was a small budget for materials and I was able to use that to purchase tempera paint and pastels, both of which they will be easily able to use again if they every chose to do another art activity so I feel that was an efficient use of the money. And finally, I knew I wanted to lead a group project that everybody could add to since it would be less intimidating.

So working with those parameters I came up with a bird wall mobile project. Everybody cut out bird shapes from corrugated cardboard (being careful to keep the corrugations lines running from top to bottom) and decorated them using pastels and then tempera paint. The birds were then threaded onto jewelry wire, interspersed with beads. Some people prefered to work with a template while others drew and cut their own birds and even some fish! I was pleased with how it went. Everybody seemed to enjoy themselves and the resulting mobile was beautiful and jolly!

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