It was such a pleasure to collaborate with the Esker Foundation and the mindfulness for youth team at YWCA Calgary with over 30 kiddos exploring how mask making can help us understand our emotions.
Over the course of the week, children aged 8-13 years learned about mask making in relation to Katie Green’s practice as an artist, and to their own emotional landscape. Through drawing, journaling, character development, acting, painting, and sculpting, participants worked with Katie to explore what it meant to embody the mask and character they were creating. Alongside this creative exploration, each day involved mindfulness practices led by YW Calgary Child Development Counsellor Mackenzie Fraser. Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention, on purpose, to the present moment. Practicing mindfulness can help children focus, regulate their emotions, and make measured decisions. By bringing together mindfulness and creative practice, children were given tools to decompress from daily stressors and shift their mindset.
Over thirty children participated in Esker’s inaugural spring break art camps, and some of their artwork is displayed here alongside their portraits photographed by Katie Green.
The enthusiasm, imagination, vulnerability and joy that these groups of children brought to camp was a humbling, uplifting, and inspiring experience for us all.