Surrealistic 3D Collage

On Monday we visited Juvenile Detention centre where we work with boys in between 10 and 16 years old which are waiting for their sentence. The boys are amazing and love art and due to this I love being there. This time we created surreal 3D collages. In the beginning I taught the boys about surrealism, gave them some popular examples and told them that surrealistic art often looks like dreams. The boys were so interested and creative.
I brought magazines, watercolor paper, templates, scissors, glue and poster paint. The idea to create some surrealistic art worked out very well. They guys, the volunteers and I enjoyed the nice atmosphere and the creative pictures. They got so into it and all pictures turned out really different and unique. We encouraged the boys to cut out the body template and turn them into a pop up. They all did it so well and some boys added more pop ups to their art.
 In the end we did not have enough time to share but the boys put their work in the center of the room when they were finished and looking at each others work really proudly, talking amongst themselves.

It was the last workshop for me and I am happy that it was such a good one. I will miss the work and all the people from the different organizations.

I hope you are doing good! 

Hi from California!

Hi! I’m Anna from San Francisco Bay Area. I’m a chronic dabbler in anything involving music, art, nature, food, and endorphins. I’ve always been a huge fan of the arts, especially children’s art.

I was first experienced the communicative and connective nature of art when I had the opportunity to work with a student in my art studio who had a developmental disability. Inspired by this experience, I pursued my major in Interdisciplinary Studies: Art and Human Development with minors in Disabilities Studies and Education at University of California, Berkeley. My studies focused on the positive effects of art on the development and education of children with trauma and disabilities. 

After college, I worked at ArtReach, a nonprofit art studio for adults with developmental disabilities. It was very rewarding to see the artists create such diverse works of art and develop their career through art shows. Before coming to volunteer, I worked at UC Berkeley in the Early Childhood Education Program. As a side project, my sister and I ran an Etsy Shop called kimchiCREATIONS, selling polymer clay figurine jewelry.

I’ve been looking forward to volunteering with ARI for several years now and am so grateful and excited for this opportunity. The goals and mission of ARI strongly resonates with my belief in the power of art. The versatility of art as a form of communication, connection, therapy, and advocacy benefits the artist, participants, and society as a whole. Even in the few weeks, I’ve had such a wonderful experience at Art Relief International. It’s been inspiring to interact with such passionate and intelligent individuals, experience art workshops with various partner organizations, and be surrounded by the beauty of Chiang Mai. To be completely candid, I'm not sure what the future holds after volunteering and traveling. All I can say is that I am ecstatic to learn, experience, and grow with ARI! 

Interactive Fun at Hope Home

As a volunteer with ARI, I feel very lucky spending time at Hope Home every week and this week was my chance to create a workshop for the children there. Hope Home offers residential care to local children with disabilities who may be orphaned, abandoned or simply have parents who need help in caring for them. The children's ages and abilities are varied so we usually create sensory based workshops for them.

My concept was to make an interactive box comprising different materials and textures. I painted a shoebox in bright colours then, making holes in the box, attached pieces of fabric, string, a plastic straw, bells, chimes, a plastic bag, a beaded string, a latex glove and a pipe cleaner. Some of the fabric and string went all the way through the box so could be pulled and moved during play.


Some of the children have limited movement so enjoyed the parts of the box that made sound more than anything else. Others loved the moving parts, playing and pulling on the fabric as I pulled on the other side. Overall, with its variety of different elements, I think every child got something from the box and enjoyed themselves.




Exquisite Corpse

This week, I introduced the students at Wat Pa Pao to the work of the surrealists. We began class with a game of Chilli Chilli, and then a short slideshow of surrealist paintings. For our activity, the students participated in a game of collaborative drawing invented by the surrealists. The game is called Exquisite Corpse or Exquisite Cadaver, and can be used as both a creative writing and illustration exercise. 

Each student was given a piece of paper folded into four equal sections, with each portion representing a different part of the body. 

Students were given 5 minutes to compose a head on the first section of their paper. I then collected everyone's paper, shuffled them thoroughly, and handed them back out so another student could draw the torso.

The mystery and surprise kept the students engaged in the activity, and they were patient enough to refrain from unfolding their papers until we reached the conclusion. At the end, I unfolded the papers one by one to reveal the silly creatures we had created. There was plenty of laughter, especially when I unfolded one to reveal that a student had cleverly drawn the base of a house instead of feet!

We used our completed drawings to overview how to say the body parts in English.

As the workshop took place on February 13th, the students were extremely excited about Valentines day. We spent the remaining time in class making valentines cards, and I was impressed by the students' enthusiasm and creativity! 

- Sylvie 

Olympic Torches at Wat Muen Neng Kong


On February 12, I ran a workshop at Wat Muen Neng Kong Temple School. We go there every week and run an after-school art class, so the children we teach voluntarily come and are so excited to have us there which is wonderful. We are doing a "Global Travellers" program and this week we went to Greece! My aim was to teach the kids about Greece’s function in hosting the first ancient Olympic games and the role of the Olympic torch.

We started the workshop by laying out the travellers’ map and seeing if the kids knew where Greece was; to be honest they weren’t far off! We then explained and taught some English vocabulary (Olympics, flame, torch etc.), which Pepo translated, then we split into groups of kids and volunteers.
We got the kids to cut out a template of a cone which I had drawn before. We then got them to decorate it with anything they fancied; a lot of them did their names.

Volunteers then helped them roll their paper up into a cone shape; it was pretty awesome to experience with them the change from 2d to 3d shape. I then handed out strips of red, yellow and orange tissue paper which they stuffed into the cone, and we then tore the tops of it with scissors to replicate flames.

It’s quite nice as an observer, knowing the symbolism of perseverance associated with the Olympic torch and the great honour it is to carry it, seeing the kids really happy running around with their torches and they had so much fun!

Rosie x

Music and sound at Hope Home

Hello there!

This week at Hope Home we focused on music and sounds because all the kids seem to enjoy it when we make music with them. Therefore I brought some musical instruments from the office, for example a ukulele, bells, and other
instruments that we have.

We played music from an ipod dock and tried out the different instruments with the kids. They all really enjoyed it and we had a lot of fun! 

Tata and Wichai enjoyed painting with poster paint and they both got quite dirty, while Sam was very sleepy and thoughtful this time.

It was a very peaceful and happy morning for everybody!

All the best,

Giraffes visit School for Life

This Wednesday we went to School for Life, which is a school in a natural environment outside of Chiang Mai. The kids learn a lot about agriculture, because that is the most important thing for them to learn, according to their living situation. Additionally they learn all normal school subjects and we make art with them once a month.

School for life is in a beautiful location in the hills and has nice open classrooms. Due to this the atmosphere is calm and peaceful and the kids are so nice. In this workshop we worked with the kids from class p1-p3, which are 7 to 10 years old.

Because kids of this age love animals we made little 3D giraffes out of coloured paper. The kids enjoyed it a lot and learned about how to turn a flat paper into a 3D shape. For the head and the body I prepared a template for every student, which they painted, cut out and glued together. Since some were really little they needed a lot of help, but the older kids did quite good! Additionally they made legs and a neck in the accordion technique so that the giraffes where a bit moveable. 
The kids were very concentrated on the project and were really creative. I love being at School for Life! The giraffes turned out so pretty and the kids were proud of their creations.

I am happy about such an successful workshop.
All the best 

Getting musical with Young Lions

With the Young Lions this week we made our own guitars using paper plates, cardboard, rubber bands with paint and stickers for decoration. First everyone had to paint their guitar pieces. They all had very different ideas about how they wanted their guitars to look which was great.

Once painted and dry they could add details like drawing the strings on the neck of the guitar and stickers for extra decoration.

The final step was to add the rubber bands and stick all the parts together.

I love Jade's multicoloured guitar covered in stars.
Maybe we can make more instruments with them in the coming weeks and form a Young Lions band!


Mandala Sun Catchers at the Hill Tribe School

On February 10th we made a trip out of the city to a Hill Tribe School in the mountains. The children are always so happy to see us and we all have a great time there. The workshop this time was creating beautiful sun-catchers inspired by Mandalas. We showed them pictures of Mandalas in nature and there were lots of 'oohs' and 'aahs' so I felt confident they were going to enjoy it.

The students started by folding and cutting their pieces of paper to create their designs.

Once this was done they could start glueing coloured tissue paper onto their sun-catchers. They were so focussed on their work and were being careful to create a symmetrical pattern with their colours.

Some of the children managed to finish their sun-catchers before the end of the class so they started on a second one. After the workshop, during the lunch break, they asked for the materials so they could continue and finish their second ones. I was so happy that they wanted to carry on, as they obviously really enjoyed the project.


The final pieces looked so beautiful hung up with the light shining through them.
Looking forward to next time!