From learning to design their own tie-dye t-shirts, to creating anime or superhero masks, our young beneficiaries have found a new avenue of expression in our new DEN Art Jam sessions.
The one-hour sessions, which are held at DEN @ JYC, our drop-in centre for children aged nine to 12, kicked off in May 2021. They serve a dual purpose: they provide a creative outlet for young people to express themselves, while also serving as a check-in tool, so we can ensure that both they and their families are well.
The sessions are conducted monthly, either in-person or virtually, and the children are exposed to various art mediums during each session.
The Art Jam kicked off on 4 May, with a session on tie-dye. Participants folded, twisted and tied up t-shirts with rubber bands before pouring dye onto them. The result: a creative, personalised piece of fashion, and an introduction to the possibilities of colour.
Subsequent sessions saw them learning to paint, design anime and superhero masks, and even create personalised jigsaw puzzles.
For virtual sessions during the Heightened Alert phase, art materials were prepared and packed for the children to collect during designated time slots. Group sizes for physical sessions were also kept small, and slots had to be pre-booked.
Knowing that children are hit as hard by pandemic restrictions, one of the recent sessions gave children the space to share their best memory, reminding them to look for joy in little things.
“The sessions give our beneficiaries the opportunity to explore different mediums and express themselves. It was great to see them taking pride in their artwork. Our social workers also got to strengthen their bond with these children,” says Ms Nur Hazimah Binte Rosidin, a social worker at DEN.
Jia Wei, 12, who had a chance to visit Jewel Changi Airport with his family after the Circuit Breaker, was able to capture this memory in a painting he can now treasure.
For 12-year-old Yi Shan, it was a chance to step out of her comfort zone. “Although I do not draw well, the activities made me think about creativity in different ways.”