On Saturday, November 3, 2012, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection began its four week pilot program in partnership with the City of Vaughan. The CONNECT program is a great way for individuals 10 and older to network and make new friends over group activities such as baking, swimming, bocce and games on Saturdays at Maple Community Centre in Maple, Ontario.
In partnership with the EnAbling Change Project, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection is bringing a creative new approach to CONNECT by integrating four two-hour art classes into the program. A group of 20 young individuals with various disabilities, and often a dual diagnosis,will improve their social skills by focusing on engaging, inclusive art activities.
Instructor Anna Pallotta designed the program, which follows a Group of Seven theme. With the recent arrival of Painting Canada: Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven at the McMichael, it is only fitting to honor the style of the prolific art collective.
With the assistance of a “leisure buddy”, participants completed their first activity on paper canvas, colouring cutouts of mountainous shapes with a modified pastel crayon and taupe watercolour paint. The colours created a realistic, earthy tone while the waxy crayon created texture.
Pallotta then taught the group how to create a tree landscape on board canvases using multimedia materials like cardboard paper strips and chopsticks. She also taught the application of Gesso, a surface primer. When the materials are dried, their signature texture will create a tactile image. It is a multi-sequence activity divided into two sections that will be completed this week with vibrant acrylic paints.
CONNECT hosts individuals living with accessibility issues, developmental and cognitive disabilities. Through art, they are able to spend time with friends and create expressive work in an inclusive, safe environment.
The City of Vaughan CONNECT pilot program with the McMichael EnAbling Change Project runs from November 3 to November 24 at Maple Community Centre.