When a student chooses a form, molds the wire mesh and over the next few weeks applies papier-mâché, plaster and paint to create a sculpture out of thin air, she is developing many skills that will be important to her future. She learns planning, patience, how to create a step-by-step process for moving toward her vision, persistence, how to deal with mistakes. One day, when she applies to college, and eventually begins a job in her chosen field, these internal skills will be essential.
The art classes at The Care Center allow young women to build self-esteem and learn creative problem-solving skills that they may not have learned from writing or math classes. The blank canvas is analogous to each student’s life. We draw that analogy often and encourage students to complete, rather than discard projects when they get stuck. We urge students to re-evaluate their approach when they’re not satisfied with the outcome they’re getting. We instill the value of beginning with the end in mind and taking creative risks - one canvas at a time.
Students at The Care Center also regularly experience art outside the classroom through field trips to The Mead Art Museum at Amherst College, The Springfield Quadrangle, The Community Music School, The Eric Carle Museum, Smith College Art Museum, and visits to The Wistariahurst Museum.