Painting among the War Toys

CF students gather to express their thoughts among the work of children from war torn Middle East

Psychology club President Reagan Martin and student Shavonte Calloway express their feelings among recreations of children’s art.

Psychology club President Reagan Martin and student Shavonte Calloway express their feelings among recreations of children’s art.

On February 17, 2016, CF’s Psychology Club invited students to paint their emotions among the “War Toys.”

“Students wanted to focus on positive psychology this semester,” said Karla Wilson, advisor of the CF’s Psychology Club. The War Toy’s art therapy exhibit showed students a positive way to express their emotions. The decision to work alongside the War Toys art installation was largely student led, Wilson explained.

At the Psychology club event students were invited to express their feeling and problems through watercolor painting, on tables set throughout the Webber Center’s gallery where “War Toys” was displayed.

“War Toys” was an art installation created by artist Brian Mcarthy and children from the war torn areas of the Middle East, including Gaza, Israel, and Lebanon/Syria. Children were encouraged to express their feelings by drawing in “art therapy.”

Artist Brian Mcarthy then recreated the images children drew by arranging local toys and photographing the resulting displays.

“We had been approached to do things with the Webber Center before,” said Reagan Martin, Psychology Club president. So when the War Toys display came to CF, the Psychology Club thought it was a great idea to partner with the Webber Center.

“This event not only gave us the perfect opportunity to learn about art therapy, but also drew attention to the exhibit as well, to students who were not aware it (War Toys) was in the Webber Center,” Said Martin.

Attendees at the Psychology club event viewed the work of the War Toys exhibit and were given the chance to see how the children expressed the violence they lived in. Then students were prompted to sit, paint, and express things in their own lives.

Art can help people express their feelings. CF student Virgilio Lasaga draws while listening the sounds children in the war torn Middle East hear every day.

Art can help people express their feelings. CF student Virgilio Lasaga draws while listening the sounds children in the war torn Middle East hear every day.

Some students drew images depicting events private to themselves, while others expressed their feelings about the War Toys exhibit itself.

Still other students used their time painting and drawing not to share their own hardships, but rather to draw peaceful images and words of support and wishes for peace for the children in the Middle East.

Students were given the opportunity to either keep their personal art or to leave it posted on the wall for the remainder of the War Toys exhibit. Most decided to leave their work behind to share with others.

“I think it’s a good way for people to come in here and express themselves if they want to be creative,” said CF student Shavonte Calloway.

Story by: Melissa Gomez

 

 

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