MEET CHARLES

What do you do at Art Start?

I’m a Visual Arts Teaching Artist for weekly workshops held at a Brooklyn family shelter.         

How long have you been with Art Start?

I signed on as a volunteer during the Spring of 2012, right after completing an internship with Art Start that Winter.

 

Can you share a special moment at Art Start?

Every time that I’ve personally managed to break through a kid’s walls of exclusion and distrust in the midst of bonding over both the art and casual rapport we’ve created together, that’s a precious moment. Having them voluntarily lower their guard and grow accustomed to– even become a fan of– your presence, surprisingly in the span of one or two sessions, reaffirms that. I’ve been privileged to experience several of these moments, which all make it easier and more necessary to return back the next week, the next month, the next year…

     

What do you love to do?

It’s taken a while for me to realize it, but I love working with the youth, in any and every capacity. From education to tutoring to mentoring to simple recreational activities, it always serves to be a gratifying experience from both sides of the table.

I currently work as an Assistant Teacher at a private institution for children diagnosed with ASD. The position doesn’t truly allow me a considerable amount of freedom to encompass art into the workings of the lesson material beyond a superficial incorporation. So, having the opportunity to focus freely and centrally on art without expectations or constraints with young, open minds has been so refreshing.

   

Has your time at Art Start influenced you in any way? 

My time at Art Start thus far has been a facilitator of so many things. These weekly sessions have helped to certify the notion that my passion does reside well with working with the youth. The work accomplished with the children of Art Start has influenced my former outlook on art, with respect to the manner in which it ought to be created and employed in order to express one’s emotions, thoughts, and personality. It’s also helped me to conjure the dormant artist bound within me as we collectively work to foster the budding artist bound within every single child that comes.