Morning Drawings Workshop At New Day
Updated: Dec 11, 2018
On December 4th, Art Connects brought artist Gabriela Vainsencher to New Day to lead a drawing workshop for residents of the transitional shelter for survivors of domestic violence. Vainsencher created space for thirteen women to explore their creativity and focus on something other than this stressful and uncertain time in their lives.
Through a series of guided exercises, participants shared both their ease and discomfort with putting pen to paper. A sense of camaraderie pervaded the room as residents learned techniques in watercolor, tracing, and collage. Each participant left the workshop with a complete art kit for future exploration.
The concept for the workshop grew out of Vainsencher’s own Morning Drawing series, a practice of making a drawing every morning for four years. At New Day, the artist’s insistence that art can happen at any time, without convenience or inspiration, opened up possibilities for residents juggling responsibilities relating to family life, finding a permanent home, and solidifying a sense of self independent of their abuser.
The drawings residents created ranged in content from depicting favorite characters, capturing the likenesses of loved ones, and responding to objects in the room. They began their compositions by laying down a watercolor wash with a large brush. From there, they traced their chosen subject and collaged the tracing onto the watercolor. Expressions of individual creativity were shared through freehand experimentations and intuitive gestures.
Vainsencher first joined the Art Connects and New Day families when she contributed a two-part mural to the Art Connects exhibition We Rise at the shelter. The exhibition was curated by Cat Del Buono who brought in a total of 18 artists to donate or create new work for the permanent show! Here, you can see Vainsencher standing in front her mural Super Heroes, which depicts everyday women and girls in powerful poses.
New Day Shelter is operated by the NYC Human Resources Administration.