We worked with the children of Kisa Primary School every Saturday afternoon and here we created a large painting entitled "How I Understand Art". About 20 children worked on this large canvas. In this workshop kids also managed to make personal paintings, drawings and beaded work. Some of the Kisa kids have continued to visit us in our Namungona workshop where they are always welcome, and have a chance to continue to work on projects.
Some of the children had attended our previous workshops, and they already had some good skills. So we used them as assistant teachers. They work one-on-one with newer kids, helping them to develop their skills. acquired some the skills and ideas from our previous workshops and now they have some knowledge in Jewelry making and color mix and use. Our teaching assistants at Kisa were Bogere Fahad, Namakula Catherine, and Kiggundu Joseph.
On the first day we stretched the canvases with the kids and we had a small discussion about the meaning and importance of art in everyday life. We assigned each child a topic for a painting and told them to come back with a drawing on paper of what they wanted to paint on canvas.
In the following days kids came with their drawings on papers we provided them of which they transferred to the bigger canvas which was available for that purpose.
At first some kids were asking some question e.g.
* What can I draw?
* What color should I use?
* How do we make the bang?
* How do we select the colors for Jewelry
* Can I take some beads with me at home?
* May I come with a friend next time?
The attendance of the kids was impressive. On the first day we had about 20 kids and end of the 6 sessions we had over 50 kids. Some unlucky ones only attended the last day of the workshop.
Some Kisa School teachers came and watched the classes and had some good comments on their pupilsï¿½ works and also what we were doing. They wanted to know when we would be coming back.
Several of the kids were naturally talented in art, and caught on very fast to techniques and materials. Others had to be coached and guided, but also produced beautiful art works.
Cost of materials for the six week project was $205.81. This was provided by Kisa Foundation USA from the sale of artwork by members of the Uganda Art Consortium. Teachers volunteered their time, but were reimbursed for transportation cost.
A Few Problems
We have struggled with a few problems in holding our workshops. 1. there is no time during the school day to hold art workshops, so we work mainly on weekends. But many schoolchildren have substantial homework, and this limits their time they can attend. 2. Its also a problem finding free space for our workshops. We depend on local schools to let us use their classrooms during non-school time, but not all schools are convinced to do this. We also have frequent shortages of materials...especially when the attendance grows day by day, and we end up with more children than we planned for. We never want to turn a child away. Weather can be a problem, because we like to hold many of our classes out doors. And our teachers are learning kids are not such people to handle easy so disturbance is always there due to their energy, competitive spirit and high energy.
We are hoping to develop enough resources that we can do follow-ups with some of the really interested kids. We also want to hold further workshops here and in other areas. In future workshops we also want to add sessions on music, poetry, dance, games.
But we want to continue this effort because we think our workshops give children the chance to express themselves, to appreciate the beauty in every day life, to communicate ideas and feelings, and to re their ideas and their vision with others.
So we are planning to continue and expand our childrens' art workshops.
We'd like to hold exhibitions of the children's work, so the community learns about our project and will come to support it. And we're looking for partners...other organizations concerned with disadvantaged children...and private companies who would support us in our work. We plan look at ways of encouraging different companies and individuals to join hands with us continue and expand our work.