Danger of Extinction say artists w/ disAbility
The artists trying to depict the animals in danger of extinction were the first program of Familias Especiales (FE) to start back up in end of July. They were always working out of their homes to paint animals in different everyday household items. They made a decision that they could safely get to work and use a mask plus social distance. They petitioned to see if they could go ahead and reopen before the rest of the program. In the mean time they had started a large contract with a school in Holland to make potholders with animals painted on them. The research and perseverance of these artist is very impressive. They have become experts about many different animals not only in Nicaragua but around the world. They always use material which has been recycled for instance making paper bags from paper sent to them from a milk company or recycling material from old security guard uniforms.
In Nicaragua the schools did not close down during the pandemic. Even though FE's special education school closed the public schools remained open. So our artists had contact with some schools and right now they are working with a Dutch twin city to do a daylong training on how to reuse material to create art. Of course they will be painting their beloved animals in danger of extinction. So the training will be to raise consciousness among the 13 schools about these animals. There will be a teacher from each of the schools receiving the training from three of our artists all wearing masks of animals in danger of extinction
These artists continue to be leaders in the environmental area in our city. One of the young women who make paper bags said “oh so many people told me I would never be able to do anything since I am blind, if they could just see me now." This young woman is the fastest paper bag maker in Nicaragua making as many as 100 bags in a work day. So she is rightfully proud of her ability. Those paper bags are hand painted with different animals and become beautiful packaging which sends a message to try to save the animals. These artists are supported by others who also work in the art area but serve as God Mothers to artists with disability. The mothers themselves have children with disABILITY and earn their living working with the artists to empower them in this work.
What’s new for these artist in 2020? Well, they have received a grant to purchase material to start silk screening. In the next few months they will start training and begin reproducing these special animals like Dolphins, Toucans and Panthers on more objects like t shirts and aprons and really objects that we have never even thought about. They already hand paint the animals on the yogurt lids to try to bring animal lovers to an awareness on many levels and all of this during a pandemic. Once they learn the silk-screening nothing will stop them.
Their masks have become famous as they try to get people to prevent the spread of COVID in Matagalpa.
FE wants to thank everyone for their support of this project and to say directly we are not going away. Maybe we had to close to protect our health but we are not extinct and we don’t want any of these animals to continue to lose members because of lost habitats and other reasons. These beautiful animals mean a lot to the planet. All is not lost just because we are social distancing, in fact we believe that we have saved a lot by living more carefully, so we will continue to look to see how this affects our animal population. For these artists it is having a calming affect which they hope will keep animals from extinction.
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