On February 18th, Conscious Alliance partnered with the Stronghold Society, a nonprofit organization based out of Colorado, to host our first of many youth art workshops. Conscious Alliance was grateful to have our friend and longtime supporter, Robert Marx, in attendance to offer artistic guidance and support for the nine youth participants in the workshop.
Walt Pourier, member of the Conscious Alliance Advisory Board and founder of the Stronghold Society, started the day by gathering all of the volunteers and nine native youth to lead a sage smudging followed by traditional Lakota prayer. He then spoke to the group, setting the themes of the day to sources of inspiration and self-expression. He encouraged the youth to feel free and to allow their art to reflect their personal sources of inspiration as well as their culture’s timeless tradition of storytelling through artistic expression.
To begin the workshop, we gave each of the young artists a drawing pad, a pencil, and a set of watercolor paints and they began their creative processes. Some drew flowers, trees, and horses depicting their natural sources of inspiration. Others drew monsters, skulls, and zombies, drawing from inspiration rooted in imagination. Another recurring theme in the sketches was the cityscape. Most of the youth grew up in Denver and clearly drew inspiration from their memories of and feelings towards their home city.
Once everyone in the group had a solid idea of their contribution to the collaborative mural, Robert Marx taught three of the girls how to cover the wooden panel with a blue base color. Once the base had been set, the 4 ft by 8 ft panel was brought inside and the first strokes of paint were carefully placed. After a few hours of painting, each of the kids had added their own creative piece to the mural, all surrounding the Stronghold Society’s logo, which they had decided would be in the center. The kids succeeded in expressing their individual ideas through personal introspection during the brainstorming activity and then through collaborative teamwork during the mural activity.
Conscious Alliance is excited to have been a part of such an inspiring and successful creative workshop. As the first we have hosted, this workshop laid the groundwork for the many like it that we have planned for this summer and years to come. Looking to the future, we are thrilled to continue to supply such outlets for creative expression for both native and non-native youth who seek out such opportunities. We are proud to have our focus not only in emergency hunger relief, but also in these youth movements that will serve to inspire and encourage this critically important generation.
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