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 International Volunteer Blog
Nature as Art at FORRU
Last Friday and Monday, ARI trekked up the mountain to Doi Suthep National Park to host the Stamford School’s ninth grade students at the Forest Restoration Research Unit’s (FORRU) nursery. We had jam-packed days hiking through the forest, making art out of natural materials, preparing seeds for germination, and potting trees to be planted in the coming months.
Spending a full day in the most beautiful location in Chiang Mai was a dream come true for most of the students and teachers, so creating art out of materials found on our hike was just icing on the cake. After showing a presentation of artists known for their art in nature, the students were inspired to begin collecting their own materials. A hike through one of the national park trails was the perfect place to find the materials to use!
The students came back from their hike with bags full of leaves, rocks, twigs and a variety of other plants to begin their pieces. Divided into small groups, the students were asked to list the senses that they experienced in nature; seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling and tasting (only if they were feeling extra-adventurous!) to get them into the creative process.
Once that activity was complete they had to choose one member of their group to lie on the ground so that they could trace them with the materials that they had collected. After the outline of the person was made, the students decorated the interior of…