Patterns: visible in art and audible in drums

On Saturday, June 21, 2014, Canada celebrated National Aboriginal Day. The McMichael Canadian Art Collection acknowledged Aboriginal heritage by incorporating a special activity in Drumming Circle, a seasonal ArtVenture Accessible Family Art Program. Led by members of the Peel Aboriginal Network, participants learned about Aboriginal culture, listened to ancestral storytelling and followed the beat with their own drums.

The drummers and participants engaged in a smudging ceremony, a method of burning sage leaves to cleanse the spirit and connect to the earth. The driving pulse of the drums and shakers orchestrated the performance, while ears and eyes were attentive to the cultural customs before them. The traditional songs played below tall pine trees echoed through the McMichael grounds and added a positive element to the day.

ArtVenture Accessible Family Art Programs are part of McMichael Accessible Programs. This program is designed for youth aged seven and up living with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other special needs. Held on a quarterly basis, caregivers, parents and siblings are invited to join in the fun process of tactile art-making activities, dramatic play and social interaction.

To learn more about accessible programs at the McMichael, visit:
http://www.mcmichael.com/programs/accessibleprograms.cfm

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The McMichael landscape is a source of inspiration for guest contributor

It’s not often that we have a guest contributor to share McMichael-themed art. Jordan Gagliardi is our first guest contributor to the McMichael Accessible Programs blog, providing tranquil images that reflect our surroundings.

Please acquaint yourself with Mr. Gagliardi’s fabulous work and revel in what the McMichael grounds have to offer for all of our visitors.

Thanks, Jordon!

Artist Statement:
“Hi, my name is Jordan Patrick Gagliardi and I live with my parents and older brother in Kleinburg. I am almost done my post secondary career at Humber College as a student in Media Design And Development. I’ve been developing my skills in drawing, sketching and taking photos whenever inspiration hits me.”

 

Embrace LIFE at the McMichael this spring

On Thursday, May 22, 2014, McMichael Canadian Art Collection will be launching the second edition of the popular LIFE Academy program in partnership with Kerry’s Place Autism Services. The McMichael has adapted elements from LIFE to offer a unique program that provides opportunities for youth to express and develop creative talent, while encouraging social engagement through art.

The consecutive weekday sessions for youth aged 18 and up is designed for individuals living with special needs or are living with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Scott and Daniel work on their final paintings during the winter session of the LIFE Academy program at the McMichael on December 9, 2013.

Scott and Daniel work on their final paintings during the winter session of the LIFE Academy program at the McMichael on December 9, 2013.

The program is led by instructors from the McMichael and LIFE Academy who are experienced in the needs and supports that are valued by people with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorders).

Students will experiment with art by using techniques and various mediums (paints, pencils, watercolour and charcoal) while gaining knowledge of Canadian Art history.Through this process, they will grow confident and fearless in the new endeavours that life brings. 

Thursdays: May 22, 29, June 5, 12, 19, 26, 2014 (six weeks)
10 am to 2 pm

At the McMichael Canadian Art Collection
10365 Islington Avenue, Kleinburg

Fee: $150 (includes all art materials)

To register please contact:

Kerry’s Place Autism Services
RoseAnn Punnett
Email: roseann.punnett@kerrysplace.org

Or

905.841.6611 extension 339

Questions?

905.841.6611 ext 339
905.893.1121 ext. 2529 (McMichael)

 

3 Reasons Why Canadians (and Everyone Else) Should Stop Using the 1 in 68 Autism Stat (For Now)

Here’s a thought provoking piece for you in light of World Autism Day.

Gingerheaddad

Well, well, well. Just in time for World Autism Awareness Day, there is a very highly publicized new stat about autism. This number will be used and referred to many times on April 2, 2014. It will be etched in stone and be forever called the “autism rate” or “rate of autism.”

The media coverage of the new prevalence numbers from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has been nothing short of disappointing and shallow.

Then again, none of us should be reading about science or medicine via press release and that is what most media coverage of science and medicine is.

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Beat the winter blues – hang out at the McMichael!

“What are you doing this March break?” is the age-old question we all hear before the mid Winter week of relaxation arrives. IMG_9376

If you’re not hanging out on a beach, get creative and cozy with art at the McMichael.

From March 12 to March 14, 2014, we will be offering March Break Special, our latest ArtVenture camp.

March Break Special is an accessible program designed to accommodate youth with various special needs. It’s a fun and engaging way to learn about art and nature in our inspiring environment and galleries.

The three day camp will be held from Wednesday, March 12 to Friday, March 14 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Parents/guardians, caregivers and support workers are able to attend with the participant free of charge.

Participants will experience a variety of different art forms by using unconventional tools and materials for the ultimate tactile art experience.

From line and colour to shape and texture, classic art elements will be applied in this self-directed creative process, as each participant completes activities at their own pace.

There will be opportunities to explore the great outdoor grounds (weather permitting) and gallery spaces, and time for snack breaks will be provided.

Please see the itinerary below for an example of what we will be creating:

Wednesday, March 12, 2014Printmaking:
We will begin our camp by exploring:

  • plasticine relief prints,
  • molding printing plates out of clay,
  • Styrofoam engraving with beautifully blended watercolours

Thursday, March 13, 2014Mixed Media:
By taking inspiration from the Group of Seven, we will use different materials to create:

  • textured paints,
  • nature rubbings with found objects and
  • watercolour and chalk pastel drawings.

Friday, March 14, 2014Make It 3D with Sculpture:
The influence of First Nations and Inuit art will help us explore  three dimensional shapes, forms and textures by using various materials to create:

  • abstract sculptures,
  • soap carvings and
  • Air-dry clay figurines.

Costs:
Three – day accessible mini camp:
General Public: $50
McMichael members: $40

Per – day basis:
General Public: $20/day
McMichael members: $16/day

Registration is required. Please contact:

(P) 905.892.1121 extension 2209 or (E) bookings@mcmichael.com

Link

Specialized Santa visits for children with autism

Our partner organization, Kerry’s Place Autism Services will be at five Oxford Property malls in the Greater Toronto Area to provide support this holiday season. Children with autism will have the chance to visit Santa Claus in a tranquil setting from 9 to 11 a.m. at the following locations:

  • Square One, Missisauga
  • Scarborough Town Centre
  • Hillcrest Mall, Richmond Hill
  • Upper Canada Mall, Newmarket
  • Yorkdale, Toronto

Check out the article published yesterday in the Toronto Star for details.
A truly joyful way to celebrate accessibility and incluson this season!   

The Everest Report: Santa and Eddie Izzard

One of our accessible program participants has great taste in comedy. James Everest catches Eddie Izzard at Massey Hall in his most recent post on the Autism Ontario blog.

Everybody is AOK

EVEREST REPORT 2013James Everest is a young man living with an autism spectrum disorder. Every week he generously blogs about his activities. He does a lot more than most of us!

Hey everyone. I had another busy week. Monday I had fun with the kids at Early Years. Later I had speech therapy and went to drums with dad. Tuesday I read to the toddlers at Sixteenth Avenue Public School. Then my dad picked me up and we met my aunt for sushi. Wednesday Mike came to visit me at SAPS. Later I went to hand drums with dad, Cody and Heidi. Thursday I read to the kids at Early Years. Later I went bowling with Michael and Jeffrey. Friday I visited dealerships with dad.

Saturday, we pick up mom from the airport. Then I have swimming and the Autism Ontario Christmas Party. Later I’m going to see Eddie Izzard at Massey…

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