We Care Arts

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Are you seeking any volunteer or internships opportunities?

 At We Care Arts we are truly blessed to have strong relationships with local universities/colleges in the greater Dayton area. Several of those colleges are Sinclair Community College, University of Dayton, Wright State University, University of Findlay and Kettering College. Some of the volunteers come anywhere from 10 hours to 25 hours each semester or come in for a one day observation. After the one day observations students attending typically
complete a project with their university/college to reflect on their experience. In addition to volunteers we typically get work study students from the University of Dayton. The volunteers and work study students work one on one with our clients. The volunteers have a wide variety of majors ranging from psychology to business and medical majors. Two students from UD will be participating in a semester of service this summer. On average we have about 1-5 interns every semester. This coming fall we will have students from UD’s sociology department and two students from Sinclair’s mental health department joining us.

Our clients benefit greatly from the volunteers. Some of the volunteers and clients are the same age. This allows the volunteers to understand the clients’ lifestyle and gives the clients a peer to socialize with. Having the students come gives us an extra set of eyes and ears which, is also beneficial to our clients in many ways. The students may notice something that the staff does not.The volunteers do a variety of tasks aside from working with the clients.We are also truly thankful to have volunteers to do tasks that the staff doesn’t always have time to do.

One student that volunteered in the past was studying to become an art teacher. She wrote an article on how she originally thought she would teach our clients about life but also found that the clients taught her about life. A lot of the volunteers have never been exposed to individuals with disabilities before.
We also had another previous volunteer who spent a summer with us. She was originally in medical school but after her time at We Care Arts decided changed her major to medical research. She didn’t want to work with clients and have to give them bad news. We are more than proud to hear that she opened a lab and helped invent a drug with her professor at Berkeley University. The drug is an alternative medicine for chemotherapy. We love having volunteers because we believe it is important for the local schools to be involved in their community.

If you or anyone you know are looking for volunteer opportunities or work study experience We Care Arts is an excellent place to do so. Click here to learn more about our programs http://www.wecarearts.org/ and if you have any question or want more information please call us at (937)252-3937.

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.