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Creating Art Kits For Area Preschool Children

Kendal at Oberlin artists have been busy unleashing their creativity on designing art kits for local preschoolers. It’s a pandemic outreach program coordinated by Firelands Association for the Visual Arts in Oberlin (FAVA) and Kendal at Oberlin’s Art Studio for independent living residents.

The art kits will be donated and distributed to 4- and 5-year-old girls and boys involved with OberlinKids, a school-readiness program for families. The 25 art kits include markers, watercolors, assorted paper and other supplies, plus ideas on how to “make” art.

A project with the Firelands Association for the Visual Arts, residents create art kits for young children.

Joyce, who is coordinating the effort, explains “I got the inspiration from FAVA’s art boxes for young students. I knew that our residents would enjoy this kind of hands-on project.”

Joyce thought she might have to raise money for the project, but instead got a grant from the Kendal at Oberlin Residents Association (KORA) that had year-end funds available because of the shutdown. And according to Kathleen Jackson, FAVA’s Executive Director, “FAVA is grateful to the folks at Kendal for their support of art education in the community.”

For the past month Joyce and 10 other residents have been meeting in the Art Studio in small groups and 6-feet apart to make the kits. Joyce and the others used their imagination, experience and the Internet to come up with age-appropriate art projects for the children.

For instance, each child will get a notebook titled “My Idea Book” with several pages of art ideas from residents, such as how to draw a puppy, how to blend watercolors and how to make a collage and kitchen clay.

 “This little ‘art kit’ hopes to brighten your winter days! From your Oberlin friends – Firelands Association for the Visual Arts and Kendal at Oberlin Retirement Community,” reads the tag attached to the kit. 

“You’d love to be a mouse and see what happens when the children get the kits,” Joyce says. They hope that the children and their families have as much fun playing with the kits as the Kendal residents did in making them. 

Story by Molly Kavanaugh

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