Welcome to Art Relief International

Art Relief International works to transform the lives of struggling social groups in Chiang Mai, Thailand by offering them the opportunity to express themselves through an artistic lens.

Art changes lives. It is both a powerful means of expression and a recognized means of therapy – two things that are vital in the lives of ARI participants. ARI works to cultivate creativity, create an atmosphere of inclusion for groups that are often cast out and ignored, and encourage social change.


Our volunteer-based organization relies on dedicated and open-minded individuals looking to make a creative difference in the world. This unique opportunity to volunteer in Thailand rewards both volunteers and ARI program participants alike.

Art Relief ArtistsArt ShopVolunteerWorkshop Gallery

Art Relief International Volunteer Blog

  • Expressive portraits at Juvenile Detention Center 30 Mar 2015 | 4:30 am

    Hello there!

    This week we went to Juvenile Detention Centre, a place where boys stay while they await their sentence. A fellow volunteer, Ana, prepared a workshop but couldn't participate on that day, so we decided to lead it all together. Her idea was for them to create expressive self-portraits.

    In the beginning we all sat in a circle and Sophie showed them some images of self portraits from famous artists, abstract and realistic ones so they gained inspiration from the different techniques and styles. After that, Emma explained to the boys how to make the proportions when drawing a face.

    But before we started with the self portraits, we asked them to sit I front of the big mirror in the room and to draw themselves without looking at the paper and without taking the pen off the paper. This blind continuous line drawing was a really funny activity and the boys laughed a lot about their drawings.

    Then we started with the portraits. We told them that they could use any style and material they wanted and after a few minutes it was completely quiet and everyone got really into their self portait, drawing and painting. They were so focused and concentrated the whole time! We also did a portrait, it was really enjoyable and calming.