As you try to think back to the last time, I’ll tell you how and where I spent last Saturday.
On December 3, 2011 the Image Factory Shop presented We Are Free, a children’s book about Garifuna culture by Mali, Ibo and Ingrid Cayetano. Pen Cayetano played some spirited renditions of popular Christmas carols on his electric guitar as we waited for the presentation to start.
The event started with a video welcome by Mali Cayetano from Germany. I often marvel at how technology allows one to ‘be there’ even if it is not possible to physically be there. Later we saw the We Are Free music video. After which we were treated to beautiful musical performances by young musicians Liam Woods and Isabel Chamberlain. Then Mrs. Espat graced us with a lively reading of a portion of the colourful book, while Gilvano Swasey showed the vivid illustrations to the audience and Pen Cayetano read the Garifuna segments. Ingrid Cayetano closed the presentation, thanking everyone for their support of the book and event. The owners of the store gave the young musicians each a copy of We Are Free.
After the presentation, the fun continued. The Image Factory Shop was opened for purchases of all the latest releases in children’s books. There was a 10% discount on all purchases made on that day. Micah Vernon and Erron Golanche painted colourful designs on the children faces. There were several options from which to choose, from Spiderman to butterflies to footballs, flowers and dinosaurs. I also got my face painted. It was nothing fancy, just some green and white lines and dots, but it took me back to days when life was simple, books had lots of pictures and bubbles were fun to chase. As the children waited to have their faces painted, they were invited to draw whatever they chose using the crayons, pencils and papers provided. At the end of the day, I collected almost 20 beautiful designs elaborated on A4 paper.
We had accomplished our mission for the day, dressed in our Wimpy Kid and Angry Birds Image Factory Shop t-shirts. We presented We Are Free, and showed our guests what ‘Saturdays at the Factory Shop’ is all about.
So, now what?
In an initiative to foster deeper creative expression in young readers, the Image Factory Shop has proposed a series of art classes. These art classes will provide children with basic techniques in drawing, painting and sculpture. Drawing, being the building block of all these, will be the main focus of the first set of classes. After reviewing the basics of drawing, the next step will be painting and later sculpture. At the end of the first series of classes there will be an exhibit in the Image Factory Art Gallery featuring selected works from the students.
The exhibit gives the students an opportunity, from an early age, to see the process of an artistic piece i.e. from idea, to sketch, revision, then edition and finally the actual piece and exhibit.
These classes are to be held on the second and last Saturday of each month. The duration of each session is two hours. Each session costs a minimum of ten ($10) dollars. Students will have to purchase the suggested book for a set of sessions.
The Image Factory Shop is currently registering children for group 1 (ages 4 – 7) and group 2 (ages 8 – 13) art classes. Registration started on December 3 and ends on Friday, January 6, 2012.
The Children’s book club is another initiative in the works and will get underway in February. Each month a book will be featured and children will meet weekly to read and discuss chapters of the featured book.
Since I don’t have the time machine that H.G. Wells mentioned, I cannot return to my happy and simple childhood. Still, I did enjoy sharing my Saturday in the presence of brilliant young minds, and feeling, if even for just a couple seconds like I was 6 again.