SARAH SHEPLEY

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ECUADORIAN

ARTS INITIATIVE

Ecuadorian Arts Initiative

 

EAI was founded  in 2016 as a way of serving the creative needs of children in Ecuador. For five weeks each winter, Sarah travels throughout the central highlands teaching art in orphanages, schools and local, often indigenous, communities. Donations of art supplies are offered to these communities along with immersion in art. The projects range from surface design to simple bookmaking and printmaking .

 

Essentially there is very little art in the schools, and in the smaller communities, none. Parents often have to purchase the supplies needed for projects and art supplies are at a minimum.

 

This project is a culmination of years of training as both an artist and a chaplain. As an interfaith minister, Sarah has created an arts ministry that both serves the creative needs of children and families, but also serves as a way to connect spiritually to the people she encounters .

 

Fundraising is key to this project and donations are accepted both online, as well as in person.

 

“My journey takes me throughout the country teaching in a variety of settings. Foundations that serve the needs of children whose parents are city workers, or in orphanages, schools, and in local communities whose lack of resources prohibit art often because there are no funds to pay trained teachers or because they don’t have access to materials. I bring supplies to donate as well as teach simple bookmaking along with mixed media projects. I often feel stretched and invigorated during my time teaching, going into areas where the lack of physical resources does not outweigh the wealth of spirt; there is always an abundance of heart and community and I find the paradox of what I encounter, part of my own spiritual growth .

 

Photos: 1. Indigenous community Pucara with children creating simple book projects with envelopes. 2. La Inmaculada Catholic School in Otavalo making origami boxes. 3. Second day at La Inmaculada creating handmade envelopes and books. 4. School children at Juan Jose Buñay Comunidad Sigsihuayco, Ingapirca making signature-style books.

 

Artwork (top of page): These mixed media pieces were created while teaching in Ecuador this past January and February, 2018. During my travels, I would devote time each morning and evening “recording” the day; the events of which are often unspeakable through ordinary means.

 

 

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