Earlier this year, I organized an art exchange as part of the Global Art Project for Peace. This project is a biennial international exchange between individuals and groups. The mission of the Global Art Project is "to joyously create a culture of peace through art ... celebrate diversity and multi-culturalism while expressing the idea: We Are All One." What a great reminder! Click here to read more about the Global Art Project for Peace.
In the Maria College group, students, faculty, and staff, including Careers Services Coordinator David Covey (check out his paintings; he's a wonderful artist!!) along with family and friends each created an individual piece of art. We had contributions from the UK, and our participants ranged from 5 to 70 years of age! Our project was generously sponsored by Prof. Anne Jung. The art was first displayed in Marian Hall and then shipped off to our assigned exchange group at the American University of Nigeria.
Our art has now reached its destination and will be displayed and appreciated by members of American University in Yola, Adamawa State, Nigeria. This exchange communicates an especially powerful message since our exchange group is in a region that lives with the ongoing challenges of militant groups and terror attacks. It is our hope that the Maria College values of respect, compassion, and community will be felt by everyone who views our artistic creations.
(Photo shows Eugene Uwiringiyimana from Rwanda--a graduate of the American University of Nigeria--holding Maria College art projects.)
Check back for an update when we receive our exchange pieces from Nigeria!
OT snippet: As a student in the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program, I'll sign off with a fun bonus OT fact: Occupational therapy has its origins in the use of arts and crafts. They were used to promote learning through doing, to provide motivation and a sense of accomplishment, and to alleviate some of the boredom associated with long-term hospitalization for mental illness and tuberculosis. In the Maria OTA program, we learn the therapeutic benefits of arts and crafts and the physical and cognitive skills needed to complete a project. We also learn techniques to adapt craft activities (and any activity!) to enable participation from all people, regardless of their condition, abilities, or challenges.