Feelings Without Words

I’m not trained in art, but I taught art in a private school where you teach everything. I enjoy teaching art, and I like working with children. I’ve worked in various locations around DuPage County. PRC gets requests from after-school programs which would like to add art as an activity. That’s what I do.

When I retired I needed something productive to do. I live in Carol Stream and I wasn’t very familiar with the People’s Resource Center. I went online and googled volunteer opportunities. The initial application is online, then I went in for an interview, and started helping with the after-school arts program.

Another volunteer and I team up to design our program. We bring all our materials to the school and finish our projects in one weekly session. There’s no time to do complicated things. The kids just want to have fun and make something they can take home to show their parents.

I didn’t think about this when I signed up, but PRC is unique in their philosophy to include art and other creative opportunities for people. Art is an important way for people to express their emotions. I don’t know why other programs don’t add something like this.

Art is a great way to express feelings without words.

I always tell my students you can’t do it wrong. Whatever you create is good because you made it. I want them to be creative and not put limits on what they do.

I’ve noticed that after a certain age—especially with boys—they all use a lot of black instead of color. I think it’s because they don’t want anyone to know what they are feeling!

I had one girl who was in the group for at least three years. When she first started coming, she didn’t finish her projects because she was too busy defending her territory, making sure she had everything everyone else had. She would not share at all, and she wasn’t much fun to have in class. But by last year, she was doing wonderful artwork and had no behavior problems. She was very creative and always added something more to her project. I like to think art class had a role in her transformation.

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