Friday, August 18, 2017

Art in the Sand

Since starting at Save the Harbor last fall, I had heard many times that the sand raking activities we do at the end of the summer are unforgettable. All summer, I had been looking forward to learning to make art in the sand using rakes, so of course I was thrilled when I found out I would have the opportunity to learn how to do it from Andres Amador himself!

We had our first session together on Thursday, where we were joined by a few other members of the youth staff and the office staff at the Curley Community Center. We learned the proper way to hold and use the rake, and different techniques for drawing different lines in the sand. Once we had mastered the basics, Andres guided us through some simple exercises where we got to explore our creativity and the potential of the rakes, including drawing different shapes and designs. At the end of our session, Andres used a drone with a camera to show us what our designs looked like from above. It was such a surreal experience! Things look so much different when you're looking down at them from above.

On Friday, we took our skills out to a much bigger canvas - Carson Beach. We were joined by several groups of kids and a big chunk of our youth staff. Working in small groups, we bestowed the teachings we had learned the day before, tasked the kids with turning the beach into a field of flowers, and then turned them loose. Some of the kids were very excited about making the flowers, but others wanted to further explore the extent of what you could do with the rake, and played around with making abstract designs or writing their name. Again, at the end, Andres showed the kids what they had created from above, and they were very impressed!

After the kids left, five of us stayed behind to learn how to use the rakes to make mandalas in the sand. We each started by brainstorming some practice designs for the mandala on a piece of paper, and then together we chose elements from each mandala to incorporate to the design we were going to create in the sand.

Andres started us off by drawing a set of concentric circles in the sand, and then divided the circles into even parts. From there, we broke the drafted mandala design into separate tasks, and each began working on small parts of the mandala. Before long, each one of our individual parts had become part of a beautiful, cohesive design! The result from above was absolutely stunning; I can't believe we actually made that!

The view from above is so surreal
I learned so much from Andres, and am looking forward to the next opportunity to make creations in the sand.

Artistically yours,


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