Gifted Creative Expression Art Shop 2013 – 2014

The Cause

The purpose is to create a collaborative visual presentation based on Aboriginal Elders Traditional Knowledge and artistic gifts of creative visual expression by Aboriginal youth. The theme of the Project is to incorporate natural impressions of the land with cultural insight of Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge and the independent, individual artist expressions of community Aboriginal youth who attend the Art Shop. Working with Elders will provide the youth with knowledge, advice, guidance, mentoring and support to learn and complete individual visual presentations. Youth will exchange ideas with the Elders and share Spiritual and cultural values, traditions and customs from the regions to support greater intercultural understanding and community engagement between community Elders and youth.

The intent is to invite and inspire Aboriginal youth from the communities who are young emerging artists and who do not have access to attend workshops because of remoteness, isolation, lack of finances or have a disability to develop, comprise and complete visual artistic presentations at the community or broader level. The Art Shop will teach youth a sense of identity to recognize and to look at the shapes and natural beauty of the land for use in completing individual visual presentations. Interaction will teach youth to work in an organized setting with companion artists, participate in a healthy project to contribute to enhancement of self-esteem and to work in a teamwork setting; with support from family, friends and community.

The focus is to provide Aboriginal youth the opportunity to plan an idea based on the individual youth’s artistic abilities, design a process for implementing an individual project within the scope of a larger project and become confident participants to enhance individual artistic skills and abilities. The project will benefit the community by engaging Aboriginal Elders and youth with an educational and cultural focus.

Who Will it Benefit?

There will be one Project Coordinator and two guest Elders who work with youth and communities.

The two guest Elders will be persons who work daily with youth and communities. The guest Elders will provide a holistic world view of Aboriginal Traditional history and Aboriginal Spirituality and will have a knowledge of the art world to provide information techniques and tools for the youth to think about. The Elders will act as chaperones for younger community participants. There will be a total of fifteen Art Shop participants. One Aboriginal Elder and two Aboriginal youth from communities designated by the regions will be chosen by the regional communities to attend the Art Shop. The Aboriginal youth will be between ages fifteen and twenty years. The distribution between male and female will be the decision of the community.

Expected Outcomes

The expected outcomes of the proposed Project are:

Expected results of the project is to increase the level of Traditional Knowledge between Aboriginal Elders and Aboriginal youth;
Youth will become knowledgeable ambassadors of their culture, identity and heritage in their community;
Youth will have the opportunity to gain an understanding of Aboriginal culture, traditions, customs and values;
Activities will offer positive peer interactions, mentors, role models, and alternatives to gang and other negative behavior;
Activities will enhance self-esteem, confidence, and support the development of a healthy and active lifestyle;
Activities will promote the intergenerational transmission of cultural knowledge;
Youth will learn to exchange ideas and to realize how ideas positively actioned affects participants positively;
Youth will provide communities with Final Reports as an example of what can be achieved as well as provide communities with information to conduct individual community Art Shops.

If the community wishes to send more than the initial two youth participants, the community will pay for the costs and expenses but the youth will not be denied participation at the Art Shop. If the Project Coordinator accesses more funds than is required there will be a Call For Young Artist’s to fill vacancies. Local community artists will be asked to donate time to mentor the young emerging artists.