Since 2017 Angie and I have been running Hamilton Families Shelter Thursday afterschool art program. Hamilton Families Shelter is an awesome non-profit in San Francisco, at the very front lines of battling the homelessness problem in the city.
We wanted to give our students the opportunity to engage in guided art practice that was accessible for the wide range of ages that come into the program. One of the reasons for using air dry clay is the ability to expose students to 3D art making without the need for a kiln.
We designed the program for Hamilton Families Shelter around building our student's confidence in their artistic ability and understanding foundation art terms and vocabulary. Lessons begin with a demonstration of a finished artwork and introduction of the day's theme, followed by guided instructions and free create.
One of our most successful projects was a collaborative mural that involved "painting with clay." The students loved the process of mixing the colored clay to emulate making colors with a palette as well as working side by side on the same artwork. We divided the mural into three parts and multiple students working on each, with many switching between the murals to put their mark on all of the panels.
If you're interested in volunteering with us and making an impact though art education, go check out Hamilton Families' website.