This young boy proudly shows off his recent
By Emma Reinhalter, Assistant Director, Cultural Canvas Thailand
The Young Lions Global Art Program was founded by Art Relief
International in late 2010 with the goal of providing free community art
classes to neighborhood children. In doing so, we hoped to provide a
safe and creative space for the children to play and grow, all the while
helping to break down the cultural and societal boundaries that
initially divided the children. Children participate regardless of their
family situation, their ethnicity, or their social standing.
Students are encouraged to be creative.
There are Young Lions who are dropped off each week in sports cars and
others who must leave class early to sell flowers at local bars. There
are Young Lions from Tai Yai, Hmong and Chin tribes. While society often
segregates and discriminates against particular groups, the Young Lions
Global Art Program seeks to eliminate these barriers. It allows each
child the opportunity to reach their full potential without restriction.
We use the medium of art to bring children of diversity into a state of
unity and inclusion. Our Young Lions gain an appreciation for one
another, and in doing so, learn to accept themselves and their
differences, all within the guise of play.
Students from different ethnic groups join
together to draw and paint.
Recently they held a workshop teaching young students marble art.
Marbling paper was first started in Persia or Turkey in the 1100s
although examples from the 1400s are the only ones remaining. It was
used for decoration and also for documents to stop forgery. The kids
mixed their own formulas and created their own designs in the colors
that float on the thick liquid the paper soaks in. The kids really
enjoyed trying something enw.
Founded in 2009, by Cultural Canvas Thailand, Art Relief International
works to transform the lives of struggling social groups in Chiang Mai
by offering these communities the opportunity to express themselves
through the arts. We believe in providing a voice for individuals by
exploring various creative means, including visual, performance, and
experimental arts. Our mission is to promote expression and cultivate
the creativity that lies inside each individual. We use art to create an
atmosphere of inclusion and belonging where often there is none. From
Burmese refugees who have been forced to relocate under harsh living and
working conditions to children with cerebral palsy who have been
severely neglected throughout their lives, the past stories of our
program’s participants are often quite grim. Through Art Relief
International, such individuals are given a medium through which their
voices can finally heard.
Chiang Mai Zoo brought a variety of animals
to Prem for students to see up close.
By Joy Huss
The concept of sustainability is at the core of everything done at Prem
and Earth Day is anticipated by all on campus as a way to celebrate the
importance of living in harmony with our world. This year’s Earth Day
was a great success with students and staff learning about the
importance of biodiversity while working to increase the biodiversity of
their schools’ campus.
young student examined soil in a petri dish for signs of life.
All students from Grade 2 - Grade 11 were included as they moved from
activity to activity throughout the day, with the Junior School students
teamed up with older students in Senior School. At the farm, the groups
worked to build habitats for local animals and insects. At the library
students examined soil and water samples for evidence of life, while in
front of the library budding artists created dozens of murals depicting
plants and animals. Many included inspirational messages along with
their visuals. In the auditorium teams visited multiple stations to
learn about some of the planet’s most endangered species, and also had a
chance to view videos highlighting the need to conserve our
biodiversity. Chiang Mai Zoo staff were on campus, and brought a wide
variety of animals which thrilled the students, old and young. The FORRU
forestry unit of Chiang Mai University also participated in the day, and
guided the students in a census of the hundreds of trees on campus.
“We are so lucky to live and work in the midst of the wonders of
nature,” Sustainability Coordinator Donal O’Connell said. “I know
everyone involved in this year’s Earth Day will view our campus in a new
light from now on,” he added.