February 13, 2013

ArtWorks Program Gaining Steam

Even though the ArtWorks community service group is a relatively new group on campus, its members have already gotten to work helping children in the Carlisle area.

Torie Schonfeld ’14, one of the program’s coordinators, has always been interested in community service. She attended a community service fair last year, where she was introduced to a group called the Carlisle Arts and Learning Center (CALC), which helps introduce the children of Carlisle to the arts. Finding a way to blend her love of both community service and art history, she started ArtWorks as a partner organization with CALC. The children are all students at Lamberton and Wilson middle schools in Carlisle. Last semester, they engaged in a project in which they made miniature cardboard replicas of the buildings in Carlisle and painted them the colors of the rainbow to represent unity, Schonfeld said.

Inspired by a trip to Australia, Schonfeld is teaching the students about Aboriginal art (art indigenous to Australia) this semester. They will also learn about the dangers that the Australian coral reefs are facing and create eco-friendly art. Schonfeld explained that the students will make underwater-themed artwork out of recycled plastic water bottles. The finished projects will be displayed in the shop windows of Carlisle, as part of the Works in the Window campaign. “Arts in education are a very important thing to have,” said Schonfeld. “It’s a different way to engage the mind and learn.”

There are about ten kids, 11 volunteers, and two coordinators involved in the pgrogram. “I’m lucky to have people as interested and passionate about the program as I am,” said Schonfeld of her volunteers and co-coordinator, Molly Orell ’15.

Orell coordinates the Monday night group, while Schonfeld is in charge of Wednesday nights. Orell is having her students make paper mache animals and hopes to partner with the ASPCA. Like Schonfeld’s project, the animals will be displayed in storefronts.

“They [the students] really love it,” said Orell.

Some of the students have learning disabilities.

“We don’t specialize in disabilities, but we won’t turn any students away,” said Schonfeld. “[ArtWorks is] a place to grow artistically and as a person. It’s a place for the students to be themselves in a safe environment.”