We are two immigrant women artists, enthusiastic dreamers, that wanted to create an arts group to work with the community. “Emotionart” is the name we gave it because we believe that emotions move us to create arts and build or rebuild better communities.
Our goal was to focus on working with seniors and residents at Toronto Community Housing buildings, on the East End, targeting the Danforth area between Greenwood and Coxwell.
Why do we focus on the seniors? Because I have noticed after 8 years of living in this area, in a housing building, they live alone and in some occasions sadly I have found out that some of them have passed away alone in their homes. This was the main reason to create a space where we can check in with each other every week, while getting to know each other better, reconnecting with each other, while we are all creating arts in a non-judgemental environment.
WHEN WE STARTED
This community art project started in January 2020, with the support of the Toronto Arts Council through a community arts project. We keep continuing to build more spaces with the community.
The pandemic has made us adapt, evolve and change from in-person programming to online, for now. We have to upgrade our skills and take some courses to learn the skills to deliver properly arts programs online. In the beginning, we used live streaming on Facebook, and post videos and on Instagram and on my personal Youtube Channel of AnaGabriela LopezCastro.
DRAWCEMBER ONLINE PROJECT/ “24 DRAWINGS OF JOY”
In December as we were into another lockdown just before Christmas in 2020, and we want to keep connected, we made a video to invite the community in our building to participate in a drawing challenge called “24 Drawings of Joy or Drawcember” and we made some posters and stuck on the hallways. We wanted to cheep ur, connect with each other while we cannot be physically together. The main idea was to make a drawing every day for 24 days until Christmas, the list or theme created was about Holidays.
We have 24 videos on Youtube of the whole drawing challenge.
And 10 people sent us their pictures of their drawings. Here are some examples of their fantastic work.
About this project it was fun and very enjoyable to keep creating while we were apart, we set an online- appointment every evening for 24 straight days. It is a really good challenge give the time and space, and we build some discipline and help us to improve our drawing skills, as much we draw we start to draw better every day, is challenging to draw things that we are not used to, but when we see our whole work put together at the end of the challenge is very satisfying, observe and learn.
Fantastical creatures: alebrijes workshop
Between June 3 and July 29 2021, we delivered an online program focusing on the making of fantastical creatures called “alebrijes”, and we had a very good response from participants.
Muse Arts helped us to expand our outreach to a Latinx women and seniors community. We have good responses and excellent works from Latinx women.
We were gathering for 8 weeks via Zoom, every Thursday in the evenings, and we created a very exciting and happy space for creating art together. We built new friendships and relationships, and they created amazing alebrijes. Here are some of theirs works.
To be continued… more alebrijes and more art projects…