In the cultural capital of the Gujarat, India Robert Markey and I were invited by the Municipality and Sachin Kaluskar to participate in a project that has never been done before. Here in #Vadodara we have spent the last week painting together with five incredible Pithora artists, who have carried on their spiritual indigenous painting style for centuries. Pithora art is said to be a “dying art” because this beautiful art form has not been promoted,
The Syrian Refugee Creative Therapy Project
Chapter 7, Part 2 Conclusion:
… Benjamin Swatez and Aaron Wagner each had a dream and were throwing in all their chips to live these dreams while both living in the Skagit Valley of northwestern Washington, only a 20 minute drive apart, without ever crossing paths. Benjamin, the art director/mentor of Chime In and director of Colors of Love: Healing Through Art, came across an international photographer in Goma, DR Congo,
Chapter 7 – Part 1: Conclusion of the Syrian Refugee Art Therapy Project in Jordan!
The only thing better than “I have a dream” is “We have a dream”! As a team, how big can we dream? Well… The results within a time-span of five weeks in Jordan are mind blowing! Hundreds of Syrian Refugee and Jordanian youth engaged in multiple forms of creative healing and expression, 7 original songs were written and sung, a couple thousand drawings and paintings were created,
Chapter 6: Internal Reflections From Za’atari Refugee Camp
As the Save the Children vehicle pulled up to the gate of Za’atari, the time had come to present our permission letter and step foot, brush, camera and microphone onto the grounds of the heavily restricted area where thousands of white tents serve as temporary housing structures. At one time the population reached above 130,000, with a current official count by UNHCR of 92,000 Syrian refugees, and unofficially, 115,000 people.
Syrian Refugee Creative Therapy Project
Chapter 5: The Lens of Life
Photography, music and art join forces to liberate the worn torn psyches from the labyrinth of trauma in a powerhouse week of raw and pure expression. Two Syrian Refugee Centers, supported by NGO Save the Children, invited the Voices of the Children’s creatively explosive team to share the passion of their specialized professions with the youth of the Syrian atrocities. This dream of a project,
Syrian Refugee Art Therapy Project – Chapter 4:
From the sunshine over the Red Sea, we drove towards a forecast of below freezing temperatures… But the warmth in our hearts followed the river currents of inspiration to Amman, the capital of Jordan. With variables shifting by the hour, we knew not what it would look like upon arrival; however, we transitioned to the north in full faith that something magnificent would transpire none the less… And that it did,
Chapter 3: Mirrored Reflections of the Deep Blue
“Look behind us! Look, look, look… ” Lea Anne repeated as the last view of Aqaba dissipates into the distance. Our car set sail for Amman, up through the desert road, passing Wadi Rum and Petra, with a colorful skin disease covering our hands and our pants looking more like a color pallet than denim. We leave behind 4 murals, hundreds of smiles and thousands of blue that ripple through the Red Sea.
The Colors of Love: Syrian Art Therapy Project Jordan
Chapter 2: The Compass of the Heart
Day by day we walked by this little wooden stand, held up by 3 posts and a palm tree in Aqaba, admiring the cave-like painted vases. One day we stopped and realized that we were not looking at pigment mixed with oil nor water applied with a brush onto clay, these paintings were made with sand inside glass bottles. What? The artist himself pulled off the shelf an empty,
Syrian Refugee Art Therapy Project – Chapter 1
We sit on the roof tops of Aqaba, Jordan just before sunrise. Harmonizing voices scattered across the city echo the song of this astonishing view of glowing mosques, silhouetted mountains and the Middle Eastern culture reflecting off the Red Sea. This areal perspective of a peaceful and welcoming country warms the chilled air and within a week since our arrival, countless authentic interactions with beautiful Jordanians have revealed that this land truly is an oasis,
Israel Art Therapy Project – Entry #5: Paint Your Life Into a Masterpiece
I sit on the edge of a wooden dock that climbed right out of the “Phantom Toll Booth”. While my heart dances in the ripples of this Northwestern winter paradise, I hear a dear friend’s voice echo in my ear, “Be the hero of your own movie.” I spin around 360 degrees with my eyes wide open. A bald eagle nest is resting in the tree behind me,