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L.A. Beat

miniSAAG allows children to explore their creativity

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Children aged 6-10 can take a journey into the depths their imagination and creativity with the miniSAAG program at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery.Emily Promise Allison demonstrates what students do during miniSaag Sessions. photo by Richard Amery
“While the program, for kids age 6-10, officially began Sept. 7, it runs every Friday until Dec. 7 and drop ins are always welcome.

“The program allows children how to express themselves by creating an environment of freedom through abstract thinking,” summarized SAAG Public Engagement Co-ordinator Emily Promise Allison.

 She noted there are a a variety of colourful blocks, fabrics and accoutrements for the kids to create their own innovative environment to play in.
“I have three dimensional larger than life blocks and fabric of all kinds,“ she described.

“Every session involves a wide range of ways for them to engage with these objects. It is also dependent on the group dynamic,” she said, noting they must work with each other to create their own worlds and environments and costumes through the project.

 The result ends up being a combination of physical art and performance art.
“Sometimes we’ll take photographs of what they’ve created,” said Promise, who is also a performance artist and artist who spent some time working as an artist in New York City, where she discovered the idea.

“I feel grateful to bring this more abstract way of learning here to this community,” she said.

The act of creation itself is more important than photographing it.

“It’s a very experimental learning process which includes creativity and social skills,” she said.

“I enjoy teaching. It’s a lot of fun. The only limit is what’s in their imagination. Watching this group of people discover what is possible is a really magical feeling,” she said.
MiniSAAG runs 1-4 p.m. every Friday.  It costs $275 per semester or $25 per individual session. The final session is Dec. 7. Each session has room for a maximum of 10 and a minimum of four participants.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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