Thank you to our fantastic volunteers

This week, we join Volunteer Canada in cheering and applauding all involved in volunteer activities accross the country. We launched our website almost a year ago now. Thank you Halton Community Services who helped us with our recruiting.

Two big thumbs up to our own crew of social media dynamos. Starting with Joshua who was the first to take on the challenge like a champion and keeps our Instagram profile at around 1 000 subscribers. Go see the images, all so uplifting!

Mary makes our LinkedIn profile well connected and a mine of interesting, news and articles, with insights from experts. As she puts it herself: « I tend to the LinkedIn profile for CDIC-CIDE. I really enjoy managing the account because I love being connected to the world and understanding how persevering children’s works can be done through social media outlets. It also helps me keep up to date on the ever changing trends in the art world and the local and global businesses that bring us together. »

Sangeetha jumped right into the action when she was handed over the Twitter for CDIC-CIDE. She is at it one tweet at a time, consistently even as she began a new position that keeps her tremendous digital skills as busy as ever. What a trooper!

Anubin works steadily behind the scene on our Facebook page. The Likes keep coming everyday. He has some good words for us: « In the times that we are going through, I would like to express my pride and unconditional support to all the frontline workers serving our community day in and day out including the pharmacy and convenience store staff who are ensuring that we all have the necessary supplies and supporting our well being. I would also like to extend warmth to the international students and new immigrants who have moved to Canada in the hope of a better future and pray that they don’t lose their spirit in this time of isolation. We are all in this together and each and everyone of us is willing to support and guide you through this until we get back on our feet stronger and more resilient than ever. »

Andrea joined us just this past month. Mother of a toddler, she is finding time to help us with building a Youtube channel. Watch for it later in 2020, because she has ambitions as you can hear her say: « I would love for my life long interest in video and film grow into a fulfilling and successful career. » Stay tuned!

Draw your attention to…

As social distancing is in fashion this season, those who stay at home have an opportunity to focus on improving their drawing skills. Make it fun with lots of interactions between siblings, and generations. Play games like “draw me something from this random line”, or “draw this on countdown”, or the popular “pictionary” with home made drawings.

The time is also ripe for a discussion about commitment with the help of a funny character. Explanation… Challenge your child to come up with a cartoon character so fun and lovely, that the family will want to adopt it for good. Warn the child that this will be demanding and will require much work. Ask the child to create the character, AND be able to draw it several times exactly the same. Then, explore positions, emotions and colors of the character. Share verbal stories about the character’s personality and challenge your child with a “what if?” idea to start a comic strip with. Take the time to explore online help such as Instructable Craft and do not let the creative team drift away from this adoption process.

Step 5: Add a head. Source: Instructable.com, 25 March 2020

This was Spring 2020

What do the kids draw while schools are closed, during this global pandemic? Which telling images will remain as memories, to illustrate future tales to children and grand children?

Does anyone have children’s drawings of the time of the Spanish Flu, a century ago? We doubt it, but let’s do everything we can to prevent a similar catastrophe this time around. Stay safe and protect those vulnerable around you!

Tristesse, by Valerie, c1982. Source: CDIC-CIDE.

Tip on our online Contribution Form

At CDIC-CIDE, we call “contributions” the images you give us to add to the Collection and to preserve for posterity. We reserve the term “donations” for charitable gifts, to which receipts for tax purposes apply.

When filling our online Contribution Form, a number between 1 and 10 must be inserted in the Contribution field. Then, more fields unfold to add details about the images. This information is precious to us because it becomes part of the object description in our database.

Below is one of the five first images sent to us using the online form in 2017, when we were still testing the website. The kindergarten boy who drew the robots (and his mom) are pioneers to us.

Robots, by Taneek, 2017. Source: CDIC-CIDE.

Art education at its best

Art teachers, undergraduates art students, curious parents, you must explore Craig Roland‘s web site, artjunction.org , his writings and presentations. He is by far the flip side of scholars who burry their findings deep into expensive publications and mazes of so-called search aids. His short and well illustrated article Young in Art is just one of many examples, most of them available online. Scholars take notice, follow the lead.

Young in Art, cover art, Craig Roland. Source: artjunction.org , 23 February 2020.

From an illustrated storybook to a storied illustration

When we carefully study its content, a child’s drawing can prove to be a window to the child’s world, and to our own as well. Should this drawing be old enough, it may give us a view to a nearly forgotten past. The drawing below, from our collection, was made by a boy, in the mid 1960s. Here, the hint to the past is actually spelled out in the words added to the drawing. It gives the title of a storybook which the drawing refers to. The book, written by Paulette Blonay and illustrated by Pierre Nardin, certainly made an impact on this child, and now resurfaces on our blog. The book itself is a rare find at antique sellers. Paulette Blonay’s Lili character and book series reached world wide fame and are easy to find, but little Tony not so.

Makes one wonder

Imagine. Many of us know that this simple word is also the title of a memorable melody with wonderful lyrics. A message of hope and of imagining the best. However, we can also imagine the worst. It may be difficult, even painful, but it is actually a good thing if it helps us prevent it.

Here is an exercice in thinking a number that stretches the imagination. Think of the number of children in the world. Around 2.2 billions according to UNICEF. Let’s say that than 10% have access to paper and crayons, so say 200 millions. Then say that each of them makes an average of 50 drawings per year, but we are only to save 10 for posterity. Let’s do it for 10 years and we get 100 drawings per child, so 20 billions drawings that could be saved in a 10 year period. Multiply this by at least 10, because public education has been progressively implemented in the Western world and beyond for about 150 years now. We get without much difficulty 200 billions drawings. But of those, how many were salvaged? How many disappear into oblivion everyday? We dare anyone to know the answer. Too few is our answer and we are here to change this situation. At the same time, we hope that the 2 billions children, that were left out of the equation, will have more opportunities than their predecessors, so they remind future generations what it was like to be a child in the 21st Century.

How far back can we go?

We begin the new year with an appeal to all young and young at heart people. What are the oldest images you can contribute to our collection? Who will contribute the first and newest images of this new decade? Below and side by side, are images spanning more than seventy years. To the left is one of the oldest in our collection. It is a collage from the early 1940s, made by a young Canadian girl, in her first grade class. Next to it, is a drawing by a girl of the same age, in the early 2010s. We believe it is important to demonstrate the historical significance of these objects. We believe this can be done only by collecting and preserving as many as we can save. Too many have disappeared already.

Left: Tulipe, collage by first grade girl, 1940s. Right: Maman Menga, drawing by first grade girl, 2010s. Source: CDIC-CIDE

Room with a view

As we get ready for a new decade, publications present their highlights of the 2010s. We look back at a most revealing and touching artistic perspective on the lives of children around the world. James Mollison‘s images from his book Where they sleep, remind us that there is still much to uncover and discuss about children’s place in our world. Do all children draw? Some authors seem to think so, but probably not all of them do. Do all children play? One can only hope so, but maybe not all of them do. One thing is sure, all children dream. Let’s hope we all do.

Where they sleep. By James Mollison, Source: jamesmollison.com , 15 December 2019.