What happened during our Summer 2023 workshops?
Our enriching and free-of-charge summer programs for the children of New London!
 Through a harmonious blend of art and reading, our workshops provided a bilingual platform where young minds flourished. In our Art Workshop, children engaged in various creative activities, from clay modeling and painting to crafting unique masterpieces, fostering self-expression and imagination. In the Reading Workshop, captivating stories and literary adventures in both English and Spanish cultivated a love for literature while improving language skills. Our bilingual approach ensured that children developed valuable tools for personal growth and
education in a supportive and inclusive environment.
During the summer, our workshops were centered around nurturing a profound adoration for literature, stimulating intellectual curiosity, and reigniting our children's capacity for wonderment. Simultaneously, we aimed to cultivate critical thinking abilities and refine manual dexterity. In essence, our primary objective was to serve as an incubator for cultivating inquisitive and astute minds!
During the summer workshops of 2023 at Expressiones, a heartwarming routine unfolded each day as kids eagerly gathered from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM for the captivating reading of "The Chronicles of Narnia." This literary voyage not only kindled their imaginations but also became a catalyst for the development of various essential skills. As they embarked on a journey through the enchanting world of Narnia, the young minds were immersed in the art of active listening. Focused attention to the story enhanced their comprehension and honed their ability to absorb and retain information. The magical adventures of the Pevensie siblings and the captivating narrative instilled a love for reading, encouraging the participants to explore other books and genres independently.
Beyond improving their literacy, the daily reading sessions nurtured critical thinking skills. Engaging with the characters' dilemmas, ethical choices, and conflicts, the kids were prompted to reflect on the consequences of actions and the significance of moral values. They exercised their imaginations by visualizing the settings, creatures, and magical elements, which fostered creativity and expanded their capacity for abstract thinking. These exercises helped them develop problem-solving skills and provided a safe space to discuss their ideas and interpretations with peers, nurturing effective communication and teamwork.
The Chronicles of Narnia also served as a conduit for cultural awareness and empathy. The diverse characters and their backgrounds allowed the young readers to understand and appreciate different perspectives and cultures. This empathy-building experience laid the groundwork for enhanced emotional intelligence, compassion, and kindness. The children discovered the power of storytelling not just as a means of entertainment but as a medium to connect with the wider world, encouraging tolerance and a sense of global citizenship.
The reading sessions went beyond the confines of the fictional realm, as skilled instructors engaged the children in interactive discussions, encouraging them to relate the characters' challenges to real-life situations. Such discussions promoted critical analysis and decision-making abilities. Additionally, kids were inspired to express their interpretations and emotions through various artistic forms, such as drawing, writing, and acting, fostering creativity and self-expression.
Furthermore, the exploration of literature, including "The Chronicles of Narnia," opened windows to history, mythology, and other cultures. This expanded their general knowledge and intellectual curiosity, igniting a thirst for learning that would extend far beyond the workshop walls.
Overall, the summer workshops of 2023 at Expressiones were a nurturing ground for personal growth and skill development. From the simple act of gathering for the reading of "The Chronicles of Narnia," the children absorbed vital abilities such as active listening, critical thinking, problem-solving, emotional intelligence, and empathy. These skills collectively empowered them to face challenges, explore new horizons, and embrace a lifelong love for learning and literature. As the summer came to a close, the children left with cherished memories of Narnia, carrying the valuable gifts of knowledge and skills they had acquired throughout this magical journey.
This workshop was in charge of our AIR Iliana Scheggia, artist from Peru.
During the vibrant summer workshops of 2023, from 10:15 AM to 11:15 AM each day, young minds embarked on an artistic journey through the Printing workshop at our esteemed program. This workshop proved to be an enriching experience, as it not only introduced the kids to the fundamentals of printing but also provided a comprehensive understanding of the technique's history and its application on diverse materials, ranging from mayas to paper and culminating in the creation of personalized t-shirts with their unique designs.
The workshop commenced by familiarizing the participants with the formation and concept of printing. Through interactive sessions, they learned about the origin of this art form, dating back to ancient times when humans imprinted designs on cave walls and later developed techniques using stamps, blocks, and presses. This historical context ignited curiosity and appreciation for the timeless art of printing, inspiring the children to explore its possibilities in contemporary contexts.
Moving forward, the kids delved into the practical aspects of the printing process. They experimented with mayas, traditional materials used by indigenous communities, gaining a deeper understanding of the technique's cultural significance. Under the guidance of skilled instructors, the children learned the art of creating intricate designs on mayas, meticulously transferring images onto the fabric, and embracing the beauty of this traditional craft. By immersing themselves in this cultural aspect, the kids not only honed their motor skills but also developed a profound appreciation for heritage and craftsmanship.
Building upon their newfound knowledge, the participants were introduced to printing on paper. They grasped the intricacies of ink, colors, and pattern alignment to create visually stunning prints on various surfaces. This phase encouraged them to think critically about design composition, colors, and textures, fostering their creativity and artistic expression. Through trial and error, they learned the value of patience and precision, and their confidence soared as they witnessed their ideas come to life on paper.
As the workshop progressed, the kids were encouraged to combine their skills in printing on mayas and paper to embark on a special project—creating their personalized t-shirts. This project exemplified the culmination of their efforts, showcasing the growth in their talent and abilities over the course of the program. With their imaginations at the forefront, they sketched and designed unique patterns, reflecting their individual interests and passions.
Printing their designs on t-shirts provided the children with a sense of accomplishment and ownership over their creative expressions. This experience taught them not only technical skills but also instilled a strong work ethic, discipline, and pride in their achievements. Witnessing their final products elicited feelings of joy and accomplishment, inspiring them to embrace their artistic talents and pursue further explorations in the world of art.
Moreover, the Printing workshop emphasized the significance of teamwork and collaboration. Throughout the program, the children engaged in group activities, exchanging ideas and assisting one another in perfecting their craft. This collaborative environment nurtured interpersonal skills, teaching them the value of cooperation, empathy, and effective communication.
As the summer workshops of 2023 came to a close, the kids departed with hearts full of gratitude and unforgettable memories. They had discovered the magic of printing, from its historical roots to its contemporary applications, and had experienced the joy of transforming plain surfaces into masterpieces. The Printing workshop had not only nurtured their creative talents but had also imbued them with valuable life skills, leaving them with a newfound sense of confidence, camaraderie, and passion for art that would continue to blossom in the years to come.
Clay Modeling Workshop
During the exciting summer courses of 2023, our kids were treated to a daily Clay Modeling Workshop, held from 12:45 PM to 1:45 PM. This unique and imaginative course allowed them to explore the limitless possibilities of clay as an artistic medium. Guided by the talented AIR Iliana Scheggia, the children engaged in unconventional activities, including painting with clay on the wall, molding and shaping, and envisioning fantastical beings.
The workshop was a haven for their creativity, encouraging them to push the boundaries of their imagination. The kids delved into the realm of playfulness and freedom, where they could let their ideas run wild and express themselves without limitations. As they experimented with clay on the walls, they experienced a novel approach to painting, using their hands to craft textures and layers that brought their visions to life.
Modeling with clay was not only an enjoyable pastime but also a valuable learning experience. The children honed their tactile skills, becoming familiar with the unique properties of clay and how it responded to their touch. They developed a heightened awareness of three-dimensional shapes and space, allowing them to visualize and transform abstract ideas into tangible sculptures.
Throughout the workshop, the children were encouraged to engage in imaginative play, unleashing their creativity to its fullest potential. This uninhibited form of expression fostered their confidence and self-esteem, as they saw their visions materialize through their artistic creations. Embracing the joy of play, they discovered the power of spontaneity and the beauty of embracing imperfections as part of the creative process.
In the hands of AIR Iliana Scheggia, the Clay Modeling Workshop became a space of discovery and exploration. Her guidance and expertise nurtured the children's artistic abilities, encouraging them to push beyond their comfort zones and embrace new artistic perspectives. As they laughed, played, and expressed themselves freely, they cultivated a deep appreciation for art as a medium of self-discovery and personal growth.
In summary, the Clay Modeling Workshop during the 2023 summer courses became a cherished experience for the children. Through painting with clay on walls, modeling fantastical beings, and unleashing their creativity, they developed their tactile skills, honed their understanding of three-dimensional shapes and space, and discovered the joys of playful expression. Under the tutelage of AIR Iliana Scheggia, they not only crafted beautiful clay creations but also embarked on a transformative artistic journey that would leave a lasting impact on their lives.