Today at OCA Meredith, a Rollins College Bonner Leader who volunteers for OCA, tells us about OCA’s newest addition to our programming, the OCA Art Club!! Meredith works at our main campus with our AVT (Adult Vocational Training), Early Intervention & After School participants. Check out what Meredith has to say….
Greetings, OCA families! As some of you may have noticed from the projects going home with your participants, OCA has recently introduced an Art Club on Thursdays. I am a Rollins College freshman majoring in the Art department and a Bonner Leader. A part of the Bonner Program is to choose local non-profit organizations to spend time volunteering at in order to enhance community engagement. Apart from being immersed in the art world, I have also been very active with special needs my entire life, working with organizations like Nathaniel’s Hope and Quest, inc. So, as we have just wrapped up our fourth week in the Art Club, I was asked to share a little bit of what we have been doing and how the participants have been reacting.
Since the first day that I started in the program the participants have been all about Halloween, so naturally I have been tailoring these projects to be about Halloween. I incorporated elements such as pumpkins, spiders, the trees as the seasons change, and then also offering an option for those who don’t wish to make these, just to make sure that everyone remains engaged. As we have been on this short journey being engaged in art, I have had the wonderful opportunity to watch as these participants grow with their abilities and grow with their confidence as they make amazing pieces. Participants such as Ian and Ben are just a couple of examples of how the arts have changed these individuals- Ian now proudly displays his finished works and Ben has transitioned from having an aversion to the projects to sitting down for an entire class to participate. Along with the participants that have improved, there are also participants that have consistently been superb- participants such as Lauren, Tina, Steven, and Phoebe, who always are enthusiastic about the work we are doing and aren’t afraid to create as they please.
This week we worked on creating images that go along with our favorite aspects of fall- many image including examples of pumpkins and bats.(For early intervention we painted with spaghetti!!) And although the subject matter didn’t change, I feel as if the participants are finally getting used to
how I design projects and are becoming proud of what they make. Some of the participants also started approaching their creations from a more independent perspective as they began to create things themselves instead of asking others to do it for them- like Marina, who thought she couldn’t draw a bat but realized “I could draw that without you.”
Overall, the Art Club has been going greatly and I intend for it to continue to grow and refine itself to provide the best experiences possible for these participants!
Rollins College Bonner Leader
OCA Art Club Lead