Thursday, October 6, 2011

I See Dead People

We had some incredibly fun mini missionaries come during the month of June for two weeks. (Not only were they fun, but they were cute, too!) Our daughter Kari came back to see us again, and she flew into Liberia with our nieces, Heather and Heidi. The girls were so helpful. Heather (an R.N.) helped with medical stuff in the mornings, and then she assisted at school in the afternoons. Kari and Heidi (educators) worked at the school all day. They tutored several students and taught the art class for two weeks.

For the art class, the medium was clay, and each student made a self-portrait. This was a project that took several sessions to complete, as the students had to form the clay person, then dress the person and add details (buttons, hair bows, belts, etc.). The last step was to paint their clay person after it had been hardened in the oven. Our kitchen became a kind of crematorium, with "dead clay people" laying all around, in various stages of being "cooked". It is a little disconcerting to open one's oven, thinking you are going to bake a casserole, and come face to face with six dead people.

This project was quite an accomplishment for many of the children. Most of the day students had never done anything like this before; they had never even played with play dough, so the experience of working with clay was brand new for them. It was fun to see the students enjoying the clay and forming details. Some girls made wild hairdos. Some boys carefully added belts and socks. Then they painted themselves. The finished articles were great! And the students were pleased with their work.

We had an art show, and placed the clay self-portraits on tables for viewing. We hung other art projects for display: chalk drawings, watercolor paintings, pen and ink designs. It was a nice art show and the budding artists were quite proud. Our Home Office personnel from Florida came for a visit while we had the art work on display and they were impressed with the quality of projects being made by our children. One does not usually consider Liberia to be cutting-edge in the art world, but we are going to change all that!