Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Volunteering for Bike Part Art

Here's a special message from Ann, our Bike Art Coordinator --

Bike Part Art is the drop-in studio offering of the Community Bicycle Center, held on Wednesdays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. The mission is to provide children an opportunity for self expression while confirming the value of recycling through the use of spare bicycle parts. Children also have the opportunity to create bicycle-themed artwork through a painting or drawing; helping them to document and reflect on their other experiences at the CBC such as bike trips, working with mentors or participating in the Trek Across Maine.

Projects so far have included jewelry, mosaics, sculpture and mobiles. Children can select a project based on samples created for the program by the art coordinator or explore their individual interests with the materials on hand. New techniques or projects are introduced monthly. The goal of the class is to promote self-expression and reinforce problem solving and fine motor skills while supporting the values of the CBC in terms of respect, collaboration and appropriate interactions with staff and peers.

Bike Part Art projects are often carried over from week to week so that a child can thoroughly explore them without the pressure to move on to the next project as is usually the case in most school art classes. The room is set up in work stations so that each child can choose the activity that most interests them and have the materials and tools they need at hand . Visual aids in terms of photographs of sculpture & folk art, sample projects, and art books are posted or available in the room and these can often provoke conversations and ideas to stimulate imaginations.

Volunteers may actively assist by holding parts, participating in problem solving or giving feedback. Volunteers to the program enrich the student's experience by arriving with their own unique skills and interests that can inspire more creativity for our young artists. It is not necessary for volunteers to have an art background—just enthusiasm, curiosity and a love of working with kids!

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