The weather didn’t rain on this parade – Colour My World was a fall family art program success!

 What better way to celebrate fall with your family than at an art program surrounded by tall trees with vibrant leaves. On Saturday, October 20, 2012, members of Autism Ontario and first-time visitors to the McMichael experienced Colour My World. The weather may have been wet and rainy, but attendees did not sulk in the damp!

Families bundled up to brace the rain

Instructor Anna Pallotta designed an inclusive program with accessible materials and modified tools for her artistic participants. Beginning with an outdoor nature walk on a clear path behind the gallery, overlooking the Humber River Trail, families were in awe of the beautiful, vast landscape of their surroundings. 

Inspiring landscape of the Humber River Trail

A fall colour palette of orange, yellow and red were used to make mirror paintings

  Each family, including participants and siblings, aged 5 to 21 proceeded to Pine Cottage for their art class. There, they produced “mirror paintings” with a thematic colour palette of red, yellow and orange. In this activity, an artist paints one side of the page, folding it in half to create an identical image. Anna encouraged her class to paint trees, leaves and other outdoor elements of fall.

First step of the scratch art process: using oil pastel crayons, creating an autmun scene with rich, earthy and warm colours.

Artist James Everest admiring his work

Owen Misener is a child living with an autism spectrum disorder. He has a fond fascination for classic Halloween movie icons. His scratch art features an image of “Frankie”, a personal interpretation of young Frankenstein.

Owen’s final piece, entitled “Frankie”

Owen Misener works on his Frankenstein scratch art piece with his mother, Sandy.

After completing their work, families had the opportunity to explore the gallery. Owen’s mother, Sandy, was thrilled to visit the gallery, as she had not been back since she was a teenager.

“It was nice to have the grounds as a break area,” Misener said.

Many parents stated that Colour My World was an “autism-friendly” program that catered to various abilities and skills. Siblings were a strong support as they assisted and contributed to the creative process. Through this, Autism Ontario members were able to experience our fall program as a family endeavour, impressed by their children and producing art they considered

“unimaginable at home.”

Our last program, Garden of Arts and Delights, hosted seven participants.
For Colour My World, attendance grew by 56 percent with a talented list of 16 registrants!

Justin Chong poses with his abstract autumn art

One parent, who does not wish to be identified, stated: “Autism-friendly activities taught on a professional level, with real art in this environment, evokes a special mood.”

This young artist created an intricate piece. He claims there is a hidden message in the fall scene. Do you see it?

A closer look at the young artist’s scene

The beauty of Colour My World is its affirmation of the phrase: “Everyone can engage in art!” This is a driving force within the McMichael EnAbling Change Project.With this, we will continue to unearth the abilities within every individual that steps onto McMichael grounds and walks through gallery doors.

Stay posted for our next family art program!
Visit http://mcmichael.com/apps/index.cfm?page=whatsOn.home
for more information and an up-to-date schedule.

 All photos ©  Ola Mazzuca (2012)

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2 thoughts on “The weather didn’t rain on this parade – Colour My World was a fall family art program success!

  1. This sounds and looks like such an inspiring event that just took place at the McMichael. The EnAbling Change project paints a perfect picture in a perfect environment. Great work to all that helped..brush stroke by brush stroke. F

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