We are pleased to announce a new space on the 4th floor at Esker Foundation: Bridge: A space dedicated to young people. Unmasking Imagination along with the exhibition Thinking of You are the inaugural exhibitions in Bridge.
In March and April of 2021, Esker Foundation offered two free online spring break art camps for children. This workshop was developed collaboratively with local artist Katie Green, and YW Calgary’s Mindful Moments program. The camps ran alongside exhibitions by Louise Bourgeois, Chris Curreri, and Fin Simonetti, all of which draw on the theme of creativity as a vector for emotional and mental wellbeing.
Over the course of the week, children aged 8-13 years learned about mask making in relation to Katie Green’s practice as an artist, and to their own emotional landscape. Through drawing, journaling, character development, acting, painting, and sculpting, participants worked with Katie to explore what it meant to embody the mask and character they were creating. Alongside this creative exploration, each day involved mindfulness practices led by YW Calgary Child Development Counsellor Mackenzie Fraser. Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention, on purpose, to the present moment. Practicing mindfulness can help children focus, regulate their emotions, and make measured decisions. By bringing together mindfulness and creative practice, children were given tools to decompress from daily stressors and shift their mindset.
Over thirty children participated in Esker’s inaugural spring break art camps, and some of their artwork is displayed here alongside their portraits photographed by Katie Green.
The enthusiasm, imagination, vulnerability and joy that these groups of children brought to camp was a humbling, uplifting, and inspiring experience for us all.