We Care Arts

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Meet Another One of Our New Artists

     Last week we highlighted the importance of celebrating Autism Awareness Month and being sure all individuals effected by Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are fully active and incorporated in our communities.  We hope that you will take this opportunity to help make a difference in the lives of your friends, family, clients, or colleagues who are effected by ASD.  This week we would like to introduce you to Mazen Abdeldayem, another one of our many artists who have recently become a special part of our program. 

     Mazen started coming to We Care Arts in 2016 and we quickly learned that he loves the ladies! Our art teacher Jessie is a particular favorite (of course, she is young and cute!), but he has many friends here. Mazen acts as through he is shy, but he really likes to hang out with our Wednesday afternoon group, which includes some of his special lady friends. He sometimes comes for lunch and they all share food and fellowship. Mazen is very funny and likes to tease the people here at We Care Arts. He is very happy when he comes here and says that he enjoys working with all our teachers.

 Mazen was born in Egypt and his family moved here in 2016. He attended school in Egypt, finishing high school where he enjoyed all his subjects. He is continually working on his English language skills, and everyone here is happy to help him learn new words.  He generally paints when he is here and he is always eager and willing to do his art. . He likes color, with silver being his favorite. 
     We all enjoy interacting with Mazen and he has brought a lovely energy into our studio. His ready smile and his friendliness toward all our artists has really put some spark into Wednesday afternoons!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Celebrating Autism Awareness Month

Let's celebrate Autism Awareness Month and get the word out as much as possible! April is a special month that gives us the opportunity to support those on those that are on the Autism Spectrum and have ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). Autism has become an extremely prevalent condition among the population worldwide. We Care Arts is proud to have the privilege to work with individuals with Autism and make sure they are fully active and incorporated in our community activities. Read the below biographies and see how much these artists, who have experienced ASD, have enjoyed their time at We Care Arts. 

Steven came to us in 2013 and at first liked to work by himself with little interaction with others. Then one day, he chose to sit with the afternoon sewing class which is mostly older ladies. Ever since then, he makes a beeline for his ‘peeps’ each week and seems to really enjoy his afternoons with them. They all eat lunch together, sharing food and camaraderie. The ladies love drawing Steven out, joking with him and his socialization skills have increased dramatically after their loving attention and friendship.  

Elysse is curious and chatty and livens up the back room when she is here. She very much likes to draw and has also done some very inspirational paintings. We have used her painting as images on some of our mugs and they are very beautiful! Elysse has been coming to our program since 2015 and tries to keep her work schedule adjusted so that she can attend for her weekly Friday art class here.

Jacob has been coming to us since 2013 and loves anything that has to do with cartoons or anime. He began by painting, but showed himself willing to try all kinds of new art media. He painted a table that he built with a Mario Brothers design, which sold at our 2016 Spring Auction. Jacob has since moved to paper mache projects and just completed a fabulous dragon head. 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Does Art Really Help Reduce Stress?

April is Stress Awareness Month and We Care Arts gladly takes part in spreading awareness and helping people find ways to manage their own stress.  We all know that managing our stress and enjoying life as much as possible can greatly contribute to living a healthy life.  We are truly blessed to have the opportunity to serve individuals of all abilities through art as we know that doing any type of art is such an amazing way to relieve stress. 

While art therapy is its own field, you can use the benefits of art to express your creative side and drawing skills to reduce stress and get in touch with your feelings. I think most of us knew this instinctively as kids: virtually all of us know the joys of sculpting something (with play-dough), painting something (with fingers), or drawing (with crayons and other materials).
However, other than making random doodles in the margins of a page while you’re on killing time, if you’re like most adults, you don’t express yourself with art like you did as a kidThere are many reasons that art is a great stress relief tool, even for those who don't consider themselves to be artistic.

One of the reasons that clinical art therapy is effective is that the act of drawing and creating art can help you relieve stress in several ways. Here are some ways that creating art can alleviate stress.

Distraction: Drawing and art can take your mind off of what’s stressing you, at least for a few minutes. And when you’re finished being engrossed in your sketches, you should have a clearer head with which to tackle your problems again.

Flow: There’s a certain quality of being called “flow” that experts say is very beneficial for us. This refers to a state of being completely engaged in something to the point of being in a near-meditative state. It carries many of the benefits of meditation, leaving you much less stressed when you’re done. You can experience ‘flow’ when you’re doing creative activities like writing and even gardening! You can also get it from drawing.

Self Care: Just the act of having a hobby can make you feel more balanced in your lifestyle. Sometimes, with all of life’s responsibilities, we forget that we need and deserve ‘down time’ and self-care. Taking even a few minutes on a regular basis to devote to a hobby can give you more of what you need in this area.

And, with drawing, you have the additional benefit of being left with something beautiful (or at least interesting) to show for it!

Read more about the other research-proven benefits of art and creative expression for stress relief.

One excellent way to use drawing for stress relief is to maintain a sketch diary. Keeping a sketchbook can be a form of journaling, and it can be cathartic, creative, and stress relieving. You can use a journal for personal art therapy and stress management in the following ways.

Draw Out Your Emotions: Sketch pictures that describe your feelings related to things in your life that are causing you stress currently. If it’s in the back of your mind anyway, this could be a way of processing your related emotions, reducing some of the stress they carry.

Process Old Stress: Sketch abstract pictures that express feelings related to past stressful experiences, as a way of processing your emotions and healing.

Keep a Sketch Diary: Keep a ‘Dream Sketch Diary’, and sketch scenes from dreams you’d like to remember or better understand.

Record the Beauty in Life: Keep a sketch diary of what you think is beautiful in life.

Draw the faces of those you love, places that bring you peace, or other pieces of beauty. The process of sketching can be a great stress reliever, and revisiting your creations can also bring you some peace in the future.

Enjoy Coloring Books: Start enjoying some of the adult coloring books that have become popular—they can be especially relaxing for those who don't feel artistic, but want to create easy, beautiful, and stress-free pictures.

To make a long story short, any and all types of art can make a huge difference in your health, even if you don't feel artistic at all.  We hope you will try any of these things or other artistic ideas and see what helps you feel better less stressed.  

Thursday, March 30, 2017

We Care Arts Weekly Programs

Image result for art class

Are you looking for a weekly art class or something fun to get involved with in the community?  We Care Arts wants to make sure all of you know about a couple of our many programs we provide during the week.  I was honored to interview two of our art teachers, Alicia and Marie. They are each privileged to be able to teach an art class once a week at churches in Fairborn and Tipp City.

Alicia teaches a class in Tipp City, her classes are on Thursdays from 4 to 5:30pm at the Lutheran Zion Church on 3rd Street.  Alicia’s students are children from the ages of 10-17. All of the students have various special needs. Alicia has been teaching the group since the fall of 2008. They do a variety of art projects but mostly focus on painting. They also do clay projects, jewelry making, decoupage, and much more. The class gives the students the opportunity to keep their art once they are finished or give them as generous gifts.  Alicia determines their next projects based off of what season we are in and off of the students interests. They try to mix up the media so they don’t do the same techniques every week.

Alicia can definitely see that the students have lots of fun and they get to socialize with their friends.  Their parents and transportation providers can stay throughout the class and get the opportunity to socialize with the other parents/transportation providers. When they stay for the class they get to participate in helping the students with their projects. 

The socialization aspect has changed some of the students. An inspiring example of this is one of the girls didn’t speak and had separation anxiety from her grandparents. Now she doesn’t stop chatting and her grandmother can often leave to run errands.  

 Marie teaches a class on Wednesdays from 1-4pm at 100 East Main, Fairborn at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. Marie’s students are all adults with various types of disabilities. Marie’s students do decorative painting on wooden signs that are then sold in our two store locations upon completion. The students get to keep a percentage of the profits from the projects that are sold.  Marie tries to keep the group projects simple since they need to finish the projects to be sold in the store. Marie picks new projects based on what she thinks our customers will be interested in buying. 

One positive thing we have noticed about this class is how the students feel happy to be out and a part of the group and they get a sense of accomplishment when they finish a project. Marie has three wonderful volunteers who help the students finish their projects. The volunteers all have wonderful relationships with the students. They randomly enjoy surprising the students by baking for them or bringing them delicious treats. 

For most of Marie’s students, this is the only time that they leave their house and socialize all week. The students were very shy in the beginning and didn’t know each other at all. Now they joke with each other and have become friends.  Since the students established their amazing supportive friendships, now they even truly enjoy calling each other throughout the week between classes.   

 If you are interested in becoming involved in one of these classes or know anyone who could greatly benefit from participating, please contact us at (937) 252-3937  or visit our website, www.wecarearts.org for further details and contact information.  

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Fun Spring Market

     We’d love to see you at the Spring Market at Town and Country Shopping Center on the 2nd Saturday for the months of April, May, and June! Since we have a store in the shopping center, we are happy to participate in this handmade crafts sale, held in the breezeway from 10am to 3pm.

     We are featuring a few of our wonderful artists at this event, where you can come and talk to them and see their creativity in action!  Each month, we have 2 of our artists join us at the Spring Market and work at their art while you can watch them and purchase the wonderful work that they do.

As we said in our blog last week, Todd makes our wonderful personalized coasters, and he will be one of our featured artists. His coasters can have maps of any area of your choice, or your favorite, very special photograph! At the sale, he’ll be working on special coasters for spring.

Ruth is our resident Sewing Queen, and she makes many of our aprons and microwave bowl holders, which are so popular!

Kathleen, Aylsie, and Aaron all work in ceramics, and do very different things! Kathleen’s unusual ceramic bowls are loved by our customers and we have a hard time keeping them in stock. Aaron does his very unusual ceramic sculptures and you’ll never see anything like them anywhere! Aylsie puts her own unique designs on mugs and creates real works of beauty.

Jo is our guru of animal art! She uses a variety of media in her portraits and rivals anyone in the ability to capture the beauty and essence of the animals she portrays.  She is happy to do a portrait of your favorite pet and you can see their image just pop off the page!

They’d all love to talk to you about their passions for art!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Our wonderful personalized coasters!

 We are excited to introduce you to another very talented artist who has been very active in our program here at We Care Arts, Todd Smith.  Todd had been riding the bus from downtown Dayton to We Care Arts since 2008, but he recently moved very close by!  Todd grew up in Springfield, Ohio and attended college in Florida.  For Todd, helpful teachers and happy clients add to the joy of learning painting techniques.  He insists WCA is a positive, stress-free place.  Todd, positive and patient, certainly adds to that atmosphere.  In 2010 he began participating in the Tuesday afternoon art production class.  This class is very focused on supplying our Gift Shops with beautiful handmade art.  Todd has found this class improves his art skills in many areas, such as fused glass, puff painting on fabric, and underglazing flower pots.  He appreciates the class since it has also taught him to work on a deadline.  

Look at one of Todd’s very amazing projects, his coasters.  Interested in how this process works? He is happy to explain how he did it
He uses a water slide process to make these wonderful coasters. 

Here’s how it works: We find an image we like, such as our beautiful butterflies or maps of our local area, which have been very popular with customers!  We then print the image on special decal paper and cut out each individual one. We then soak the image in water (hence the name water slide!). We also lightly wet the ceramic coaster that we are going to put the image on, which makes positioning the image easier.  Then we gently side some of the backing off the image on the decal paper and begin to position the image on the coaster. And we, ever so gently, remove the rest of the backing off the decal paper and position our image just where we want it! At this point, the image is floating on a thin layer of water, so we take a brayer roller and squeeze the water from under the image.  Then we dab the coaster with a paper towel, removing the remaining water. After letting the coaster dry thoroughly overnight, we apply numerous coats of a clear varnish to seal the coaster and protect the image.

These coasters make wonderful gifts! Todd made a special set with a map of Springfield Ohio for his sister, who lives there. And she loved them! We can take any image you like, perhaps the map of a special place or a treasured vacation photo. And poof! We can give you a set of four coasters that make a delightfully personalized gift!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Are you seeking ways to improve your health?

Join us in celebrating National Nutrition Month which is March of every year. We Care Arts is more than honored to help promote awareness in any aspect that contributes to improving the health and well being of every one in our community. We truly value good nutrition and encourage you to do so as well. As we know, monitoring your diet, staying active and socializing with others can really benefit our health.

During National Nutrition Month® the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages everyone to "Put Your Best Fork Forward" by making small, healthy shifts in food choices when cooking at home.
The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend making small changes to eating patterns to include healthier ingredients while cooking at home. Choosing a variety of healthful foods across and within all food groups helps reduce the risk of preventable, lifestyle-related chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity.
"Evidence shows that making dietary and lifestyle changes can prevent diseases before they occur," says registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson Angel Planells. "During National Nutrition Month and beyond, make small, healthier food choices – one forkful at a time."
Planells encourages everyone to eat more of these foods:
  • Vegetables, including dark green, red and orange, beans, peas and others
  • Fruits, especially whole fruits
  • Whole grains
  • Fat-free or low-fat dairy including milk, yogurt, cheese and fortified soy beverages
  • Protein foods including seafood, lean meats, poultry, nuts, soy products, beans and peas
  • Oils including canola, corn, olive, peanut, sunflower and soy
"It's important to create an eating style that includes a variety of your favorite, healthful foods," Planells says. "Consider cultural and personal preferences to make these shifts easier to maintain."
To find a personalized plan that works best, Planells suggests consulting a registered dietitian nutritionist. RDNs can provide sound, easy-to-follow nutrition advice to meet your lifestyle, preferences and health-related needs.
      As part of National Nutrition Month, the Academy's website includes articles, recipes, videos and educational resources to spread the message of good nutrition and an overall healthy lifestyle for people of all ages, genders and backgrounds. Consumers can also follow National Nutrition Month on Facebook and Twitter (#NationalNutritionMonth).

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Visiting Artist class makes 5K prizes!


Enjoy the second annual 5k Arts and Drafts: RUN, STROLL and ROLL!  All proceeds benefit the programs at We Care Arts. You can get your own medallion masterpiece by joining in our second annual 5k Arts and Drafts: RUN, STROLL and ROLL at Indian Riffle Park on Aug 5! 

Our last Visiting Artist class made the medallions that we will present to our 5k participants after the run. Everyone last year loved them and we’re hard at work making the ones for this year! Each participant will also receive a free beverage coupon for our ARTS and DRAFTS celebration that evening! Below you will find registration information. We will add a link to our application as soon as possible. 

Check-in at 6:30 am, Run, Stroll and Roll begins at 8:00 am! Registration and parking on the Kettering Recreation Complex side, 2900 Glengarry Drive, Kettering, Ohio. 

$30 includes t-shirt if registered by Tuesday May 30, 2017
$35 includes t-shirt if registered by Tuesday July 25, 2017
$40 registered July 26 until run day (shirt cannot be guaranteed)
BY MAIL: We Care Arts, 3035 Wilmington Pike, Kettering, OH 45429
Cost is nonrefundable. Course is completely accessible and the event is open to everyone at all levels of physical ability.

• Top male and female overall receive
a hand painted mug!

Come join us at our 5k Arts and Draft: RUN, STROLL, and ROLL! Help contribute to the lives of so many individuals in our community that are affected by disabilities.This will benefit our programs here at we care arts in so many different ways. For additional information, contact Chris Corba at ccorba@wecarearts.org or at 937.212.3777.