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
Keepsake Plaster Handprints with Hope Home
This week I held my first workshop with Hope Home, an organization for children with disabilities. I decided to plan an activity to create Keepsake Plaster Handprints. In previous years, I had implemented this same workshop with another organization for people with disabilities back at home and it was a huge hit! The adults with disabilities enjoyed the sensation of plaster between their fingers and loved being able to paint and keep their decorations afterwards. I thought it would be a great idea to try it again!
This, however, was a much harder task for the children at Hope Home to complete independently. Plaster is a very time sensitive material. As Titania and I poured out plaster onto plates, we had to wait just the right amount of time before allowing the kids to print their hands and feet. Too early, and the mold was mush, too late, and the the plaster would harden; both of which happened at the workshop. I felt bad for letting the molds go to waste and felt even worse at the thought of my first workshop being a failure. But I didn't let a few mistakes ruin the fun. We had prepared extra packs of plaster for this exact purpose anyway!