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Art Therapy Family Workshop with artist Bernard Seguin Poirier

On August 19, 2017, The Lighthouse Children and Families held an art therapy family workshop with artist Bernard Seguin Poirier.

This workshop was intended to help parents organize this type of activity at home. They discovered different tools, and techniques adapted to their children’s needs, capacities, and interests. Beyond fostering their children’s autonomy, the main objective of this workshop was intended to introduce the families to the many benefits of art therapy.

It was a great opportunity for our team of professionals to share their expertise and knowledge with the families, for example on interesting materials to use, stimulating techniques, adapting the environment and tools, or where to buy materials.

Because it is important to define the children’s capacities rather than limitations, we describe what they can do (affirmative) instead of what they can’t do (negative). Our activities are structured taking into account the children’s interests and capacities, different sensory stimulating materials and tools, and creativity, but the most important thing is for them to have fun! The facilitators’ role is to guide the activity and foster the children’s autonomy by encouraging them to make choices. They become an extension of the children’s body by helping them create, rather than creating something for them.

Well-renowned artist Bernard Seguin Poirier (who contributed to last year’s edition of the “Stars of the Lighthouse”) graciously accepted to host the workshop and share his talented, unique and magical art. Not only is he widely recognized for his monumental and meticulous pieces, but he is one of the rare artists in Quebec who practises enamel on copper.

His work is at once fragile and steadfast. Imagine a copper plate on which the artist spreads and pulverizes silica (or tiny sand grains) with a small strainer to design different shapes depending on his mood, and inspiration. He then covers the plate with coloured sand, and cooks it at a high temperature, which seals the colour forever.

During the workshop, the artist invited the five participating families to produce two of their own pieces. They brought one home, while the second one was integrated to the Lighthouse’s collective mural. This isn’t the first time he worked with children and their families: he produced several murals, for example at St-Justine Hospital and with Dr. Julien’s children’s foundation.

The families quickly learned how to design their copper plates and had the opportunity to share with other parents, children, and siblings. They were all delighted to be part of this unique activity and made very creative pieces, thus discovering the artist within. They will most likely keep fond memories of their workshop!

Authors: activities team of The Lighthouse Children and Families
Translation: Courtesy of Bernadette Blain