Transforming Our World Through The Arts

Credentials

Education:

Honours Bachelor of Arts: Major in Psychology, Minor in Social Work, Wilfrid Laurier University

Bachelor of Education: Primary/Junior, University of Western Ontario

ISIS Canada: Expressive Arts Therapy

Experience:

I have a broad range of experience with a broad range of people!  I have been volunteering in schools and homes for the aged since 1990.  My school experience ranged from classroom settings to Life Skills classes.  I also volunteered in a number of homes for the aged. In my home-town of Shelburne, ON, I volunteered and worked part-time in the Day Program at Dufferin Oaks Home for Senior Citizens.

As a teacher I have worked in a range of classrooms/positions at Parkinson Centennial Public School for the past 14 years.  I have taught everything from grades 2-8, including resource withdrawal for intermediate students, and a junior LD teacher.  Many of the kids with Learning Differences also suffered from anxiety, ADHD, anger issues etc.  Whenever I felt the tension in the room getting too high, I would pull out the paints, and VOILA…the room grew quiet with contentment.  It was truly amazing! I have also taught many students with a range of experiences on the autism spectrum; from high functioning autism to PDD to Asbergers.

In January 2010, as a part of my practicum for ISIS, I organized and ran a Staff Art Group to reduce the amount of stress experienced by teachers on a day-t0-day basis.

November 2010 brought me the opportunity to work with the CYC at my school, Janice . Together we planned and implemented an arts-based group for girls in grades 5 and 6 (since there is already “Go Girls” for girls in grades 7 and 8).  Our group focussed on Self-Image, Self-Esteem and Friendship issues.

In January 2011 I was contacted along with other local artists to do a workshop at Centre Dufferin District High School as a way to promote The Arts in Dufferin County. The day was a great success, and I look forward to doing another workshop in the future.

In the Summer of 2011 I ran Summer Art Groups for children of different ages.  Expand Your Wings was a program geared towards kids ages 10-12, teaching them different art techniques.  The meaningful project we completed was making butterflies for “The Butterfly Project”: A Museum Installation based in Houston, Texas honouring children who died in the Holocaust.

Playing With Nature was geared towards children ages 7-9, focusing on hands-on, nature based crafts. The chalk mandala and rock sculptures were favourite activities.

Just this past December (2011) I provided Polymer Clay lessons to several classes in my school.  The kids created Christmas Ornaments, many of them gifts for family members and other loved ones.

This coming February I am teaming up with yoga instructor Erin Kipps to offer a 4 part series of workshops entitled “Awakening Your Chakras Through Yoga and Art”.  I am really looking forward to working with Erin, and witnessing others on their path to self-discovery.

Art Experience/Workshops

In 2009 my former principal and very talented artist Rosemarie Armstrong, of RA Art Gallery took me under her wing and began teaching me the principles of art through acrylic painting.  I continue to train with Rosemarie when our busy schedules coincide.

From 2009-2010 I was a client of Expressive Art Therapist Sharon Benson as part of the ISIS program.  Even from a client’s view-stance, I learned a lot about the field of Expressive Arts through my experiences with Sharon.

In 2010 I also signed up for a week-long “International Creative Arts Therapies Teleconference”: A series of 10 workshops covering different topics in Expressive Arts Therapies. In addition, I joined a group called 21 Secrets: An Art Journaling Playground.  21 different instructors covering a wide range of uses for Art Journaling as a means to healthy living.

This past summer I embarked in drawing lessons in pencil and pastel from local artist Nahid Araz-Hagighat.  I also did some on-line courses in drawing and art journaling offered by a multi-talented artist, Jane Davenport..all the way from the land down under! 

Currently I am a member of Orangeville Art Group, Dufferin Arts Council, and Artists Against The Mega Quarry.  ( I sold my first painting at Foodstock!) I’m happy to say that half of the proceeds went to the cause. I have also donated a painting to Dufferin Child and Family Services for a fund-raising auction last year.

My most exciting venture has been attending the Expressive Arts Summit in NYC this past November.  Working as a volunteer my first day there gave me an eye-opening perspective on what goes on behind the scenes at a summit.  Amazing!  I also had the opportunity to sit in on some of the workshops, as well as attend some workshops the following day.  The Summit was jam-packed with information, and I look forward to being a part of it this November. Only this time, my goal is to attend as a presenter!

This month I will also begin working with a young lady who struggles with low self-esteem/confidence issues. I peacefully await the opportunity to take a journey of healing through the arts with this child of God.

Volunteer Work

Summer 2011 I was a part of the Flash Mob for the Human Library, held at the Mill Street Library in Orangeville, ON.  If I can find the video, I’ll post it..it’s worth watching!  As a group of teachers, we are hoping to integrate this wonderful learning experience into the school system.

Fall 2011 my children and I happily volunteered for the Empty Bowls Fundraiser held at The Alton Mill.

Recently my children and I also volunteered at The Lighthouse Soup Kitchen in Orangeville, ON.  What a lovely experience! Unfortunately work schedules may hinder my opportunities to volunteer with that program, however I plan to continue my services with Gateway on some afternoons.

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