Tag Archives: Painting

Digitas Gets Creative At Friendship Circle

Digitas Gets Creative At Friendship Circle

Volunteerism is what makes the Friendship Circle go round. When Digitas, a global marketing and technology agency, chose to devote their employee volunteer day to our cause, we were thrilled. On June 5th, we welcomed 40 Digitas employees to Friendship Circle and with them came enthusiasm, excitement, and a desire to assist our mission in a very special way.

Digitas Volunteer Day

A group shot of Digitas Staff excited about getting their hands dirty.

With the completion of the Farber Soul Center on track for later this year, Friendship Circle customized a unique volunteer experience for this group of creative minds.

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Friendship Circle volunteer Bonnie Laker Winkler shares how much the experience of giving back means to her.

One of numerous impressive aspects of the Soul Center is the Soul Cafe. The Cafe will have a clean, industrial look to it and a dining area made up of 10 cafe tables. What better way for Digitas to leave their artistic mark than through developing and executing 10 modern designs for our table tops, painted alongside our Soul Center artists!

Soul Center   Friendship Circle

A Rendering of the Farber Soul Center which will be open in the Spring of 2016.

The day began with a tour of Lifetown- the afterschool program rooms, gymnasium, and Weinberg Village. Volunteers had an idea of what they were stepping into that day, but like many things in life, you can only describe the wonder of Friendship Circle so well. To see it is to believe it.

Digitas Volunteer Day

Bassie Shemtov leads a tour through Lifetown. Here she walks Digitas employees through the art room.

After the tour, Digitas volunteers joined our Soul Center artists and staff in our multipurpose room for the Cafe art project. With the help of stencils created on our very own laser cutter, the volunteers and artists combined their talents to bring the table top designs to life.

Digitas Volunteer Day

Soul Center artist Casandra Thompson and Soul Center Operations Director Jordan Shifman design the layout for a Cafe table with Digitas volunteers.

Digitas Volunteer Day

Soul Center artist Sam Morris paints a table top alongside Digitas volunteers.

The end result was a collection of images that exceeded all expectations. Once the tops are coated and the bases are attached, the tables will serve as a fond memory of artistic collaboration. A beautiful first impression on the Farber Soul Center.

Digitas Volunteer Day

Digitas volunteers display their beautiful work!

The Friendship Circle thanks Digitas for their efforts, skills, and vision. We can’t wait to see the tables displayed in the finished facility.

Soul Center Mini

Big Hearts at Soul Center Mini

As construction continues on the future site of the Farber Soul Center, a new  temporary location has been opened to provide opportunities for young adults with special needs.

The “Soul Center Mini”, provides an exciting preview for the future. Only a fraction of the size of what the completed Farber Soul Center will be, every inch of the space is utilized for artful purpose. From weaving to printmaking, painting to graphic design, there is truly something for every artist to showcase their talent.

Upon entering Soul Center Mini, one cannot help but feel its impact. Entry walls display beautiful artwork, setting the stage for the potential and possibility beyond them. Instructors Carolyn Morris and Brian Kavanaugh have designed a space that provides opportunity and encourages collaboration. Carolyn, a gifted fiber artist, notes, “the way Brian’s arranged the space, the openness of it…it’s creating a sense of community. The people who are weaving are talking to the people who are making clay, inspiring joint projects and togetherness.”

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Instructor Carolyn Morris leads artists in a weaving lesson.

Not only are the young adults instructed in a variety of media and encouraged to venture outside their comfort zones, they are educated on the responsibilities of a workplace. “We will be teaching specific skills to strengthen a person’s overall experience and resume…the scenarios that go along with having a job such as recording ones arrival and departure time, and how to handle social situations inherent to a work environment”, says Brian.

Additionally, every aspect that goes into a finished piece of art is attended to; each step treated as a learning opportunity. Artists have a hand in tasks such as stretching their canvases, installing their work, and cataloguing each piece, just to name a few.

Carolyn&Devorah

Carolyn Morris and artist Devorah Newman weave a scarf.

Introducing Brian Kavanaugh

For Brian, his level of comfort working with special needs comes with experience. Graduating with a BFA, he went on to obtain a graduate degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art. He joins the Friendship Circle from Autism Services in Buffalo, New York where he worked in a similar center for the arts. As an artist himself, any chance to make a mark on the community in a tangible way made all the difference for him. He’s seeking to do the same for the individuals at the Soul Center.

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Instructor Brian Kavanaugh hangs a tapestry woven at the Center.

Creating Works of Art Based on Personality

The level of enjoyment and quality of the work being created is directly correlated with the approach to instruction. Each artist’s background is carefully considered to determine where they might excel. For artist Saadia, the subject matter is much more important than the materials being used. Where as artist Aislinn’s interests lie in the process of a piece and the sensations of the material. Incorporation of these unique interests when working with the artists is what’s taking their abilities to the next level and always amounts to something beautiful.

Saadiacomposing

Artist Saadia Grossbard composes a collage.

Excellence at Work

Though the wonderful guidance being offered at the Center is undeniable, nothing compares to when an artist takes charge of their direction. When asked about the most rewarding aspect of the day, Brian replied, “the moment where they, the artists, start to contemplate what the next move should be instead of other people telling them what to do, when they make the next decision. It’s so empowering for them.”

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Artist Aislinn Wendrow contemplates her painting.

The Soul Center Mini has only been up and running for a short time, but the participating artists are finding a voice there. Each masterpiece represents the individuality and spirit of its creator, the very essence of art itself. The Center is paving the way for the Friendship Circle to expand its mission into the lives of young adults with special needs and the heart of the mission can be found there too.

A Friendship Circle Mom’s Night Out

Moms Night Out

Join Friendship Circle moms for a Chanukah Celebration and an evening of painting and fun!

Artistic or not, Painting With A Twist gives you the opportunity to create a beautiful canvas painting. A local artist will lead you step by step through the process of recreating an exquisite piece of  artwork.

At the end of the evening, you’ll have a one-of-a-kind creation and a new-found talent you’ll want to explore. This is not your average art class, this is art entertainment.

The Details:

Date: Monday, Dec 10, 7:00 pm
Location: 33033 Grand River Ave Farmington, MI 48336
Fee: $25
Food: Light refreshments and wine
Questions? Contact Sarah: [email protected]org or call 248 788 7878 ext 209
About Painting With A Twist: www.paintingwithatwist.com

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