Sabrina Parrish organizes and leads Artfest's very popular children's art workshops. An important part of Artfest's mission is to fire the minds and imagination of children by giving them the tools and space to create. We asked Sabrina about her involvement with Artfest.
Why you think art education is important for children?
I think arts education is important for children for so many reasons: It can provide an independent creative outlet as well as become a creative social outlet. Art education encourages children to think and problem solve creatively and fosters artistic confidence.
I think if children don’t find this encouragement and confidence when they are young, by the time they reach about grade four you have a class of kids that believe “I can’t draw” and “I’m not good at art”, which can be harder for them to overcome. One of my favourite things is seeing when they are so proud of what they’ve created that they can’t wait to tell you or their parents, siblings, etc, all about it.
How do you plan your children’s art curriculum?
When planning the programming I often start by deciding which art supplies or materials we should use each day. From there I start to brainstorm projects that would fit well into the day’s theme, some themes are based around dates and holidays and others are a little more silly. Examples of past them have been - beginning of summer, monsters, fresh produce, Canada day, when I grow up…, books, locale architecture, etc. After I have settled on a project I create examples and anticipate how I could alter it so that children of all ages and abilities can participate.
What you like best about the Artfest Kids workshops?
I love the casual nature of the Artfest Kids workshops. They are drop in workshops that are open to children of all ages, so you can come anytime and stay for as long as you’d like. If you’re around for the weekend or live in the area we do different projects everyday using new materials.
Visit our Artfest Kids page for programming and schedule information during Artfest Toronto in the Distillery District this Labour Day long weeked.