Me and my 4 children have been attending Ort Gallery sessions for some time now. I think, our first ever introduction to the Gallery was in 2013 when me, mum with crying baby and 4 years old toddler attended our first ever art workshop. Our connection with Ort Gallery has turned into a seven-years creative experience, full of growth and development and way beyond pencil, crayon and paint. Me and my children have became part of art club for families and took part in Saturdays sessions in Ort Gallery.
One can only imagine how sad and disappointed they were when our city and whole country entered lockdown phase. Let’s be honest, my younger ones (Yahya and Mohammed) couldn’t understand why we can’t go out to “our” gallery anymore, while two older (Ismaeel and Ruqayyah) became quite depressed for not being able to take part in something what was important part of their lives. I guess many of us (adults) felt the same…but children mental health is much more delicate and them, being suddenly stuck at home and cut from real world had quite an impact. But then, to our surprise, Josie Reichert and whole team at the Ort went extra mile and organised our sessions to take place in safety of our homes, by providing all the necessary materials needed to run the sessions.
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The day we were about to receive our first set of art packs my children were up early morning, full of excitement, stuck to window, looking for Josie arrival. Crafts packs have been delivered with accordance to rules of social distancing…and what a beautiful surprise it was to receive all those art resources. From clay, beads, scissors to pencils, paper, glue and much more… Kids were over the moon. Now only left for me to follow instructions given by our amazing artist Samantha Krankpod, which were sent by email and let the creativity take over. To be honest, it was and till this day is, one of things that kept our moods lifted. We incorporated home Ort sessions into our weekly family routine. We even dedicated whole day to enjoy art and explore new creative techniques. If it wasn’t thanks to Ort Gallery, I wouldn’t be able to provide for my children so many beautiful and fun experiences during this difficult time.
Thanks to Ort we are part of something bigger; a community, support network where me and my children do care. Our art sessions let us have fun, relax and learn while we stay safe at home.