Updates from Artist Mentor Sarah Albinson at Siempre Orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico:
Day 1. Feb 20th:
Today I landed and after a series of necessary stops for food and groceries we (Monte, Lisa, and I) made it across the border and to Siempre Para Los Ninos.Â Monte and Lisa are my partners in this work. They are incredible people!! They are both Americans living in Southern California, and who are simultaneously dedicated to working with Siempre! They are Â my primary connection to Siempre and have helped form a program that will hopefully continue to be empowering in a variety of ways to everyone from staff to kiddos at Siempre.
I got out of the car and immediately I recognized four of the kiddos from last year. They smiled shyly. I waved enthusiasticallyÂ They remembered me. Some ventured over and I was able to greet them by name- they were shocked I could remember.Â People are constantly in and out of their lives, and few ever return. I tried to make a point that they were special to me and I love and remembered them.Â Being plagued with a head ache my spanish was especially lacking, but I was able to at least say hi and soak in the beautiful reunion.Â Friends, I cannot express enough how much I love these kids.
After re-touring the slightly adjusted compound we unloaded and prepared for the first class of the week.Â I opened it up to most ages and ended up with a class of 22, ranging from 6 to 19 year olds.Â The assignment was to workÂ on one drawing for 40 minutes. If you didnâ€™t like what you had started, you were not allowed to start over and instead you had to reconcile the image.Â The subject had to be a dream you have had- good or bad, or dreams you have for the future.Â The spectrum of creativity as well as being able to witness the breadth of their creative process was a beautiful thing to witness.
I am very humbled and excited to be here. The students are as amazing and gifted as I remember them. The challenges of risking oneself is just as challenging here as it is anywhere else and I hope that we can find ways to empower those gifts into work that will continue to help them grow as individuals and as artistsâ€¦. HERE WE GO!
Day 2. Feb 21st:
I awoke, feeling as if the 75 degrees Â simply had to be a dream- none of this could be real… BUT IT IS. I started class atÂ 9 amwith the three oldest students. We worked on original drawings to turn into prints by the end of the week. Creating original works is really a terrifying challenge for most students I have worked with whether it be in Minneapolis, the Dominican or Mexico. It is scary to risk ideas no one has seen visually before… but that is the challenge of this week: let your own work be heard and celebrated.Â By the end of a 2 hour brainstorming and drawing period, we finally ended up with drawings that I am really impressed with.
After lunch I opened up the class to a range of ages again because the young kids have shown an exceptional amount of enthusiasm and dedication— even talent! I am so impressed with some of the 6 year olds. They are unafraid and SO DEDICATED.Â We did an hour and a half of drawing in the afternoon after an hour of advanced drawing with the older kids again. I tought perspective drawing and we took some time to draw outdoors. They picked the basics up in a flash. After that we began woking on paint and watercolor.
We have a lot more to teach and yet the excitement and ability to learn is ever present.
I have been eating with them, and I write you as I watch Sky High en Espanol in a room full of some of the coolest kids I know.
I can’t wait to see whatÂ tomorrowÂ brings. I will not have a translator for the majority of the day… good thing I am teaching visual works.