Martina Dresler, Art therapist and teacher at the Rashid Pediatric Centre, Dubai (for special needs) showcases the work of the children to the public at ARTE on a regular basis. Here is her story of the collaboration of Rashid Pediatric Centre with CaN by Celine and Nora.
“As an art teacher in a school for disabled children I have to deal with all levels of capability. That needs lots of creativity to have the right art assignments for all function levels and skills. Given the fact that Rashid Centre runs to a certain degree on charitable donations, I came up with a program that uses both teaching and producing. I created a program that allows us to integrate creative work from all our children into our products. For example, a simple bookmark with a bead hanger contains production steps with about five different requirements on skills. That means the making of a bookmark contains work and learning steps for about five kids, each with a different function, level and skills.
“We started on ARTE Market beginning of 2013 with very simple products (bookmarks, limited editions of notebooks and paperweight-faces from clay, handmade jewelry, postcards and paintings). Since the children now know that their work will be seen and sold on the market they gained more self-confidence and felt valued. They felt more excited to work on the production of their work!
“Even though the levels of capability vary, we have some very gifted students. We foster these students’creativity to expand their unique capabilities. By giving them responsibility for doing an art work such as an acrylic painting, silk painting, clay work or other art work, the students learn and grow with excitement and fun. Inspired by all that great crafts work displayed by Dubai craft people on the Arte Market, I also recognized the huge creative potential Rashid Centre is sitting on itself. Being aware about that source, it was only a logical step to look out for someone who can help us to create market-driven products with the design and/or work force of the Rashid children. But I did not believe that we would find someone who fits in so perfectly with our needsin such a short time!
“But miracles still happen! My colleague Amanda found CaN by Celine and Nora at Arte Market. She was totally excited and encouraged me to meet CaN and to see what they are doing.
“CaN and me clicked very fast and we found out that we have the same passion and ideas about the products we had in mind. It was a very spontaneous decision to start with a joint production of our first items – cushions! The positive reaction of our clients shows us that we are on the right track.
“Rashid Centre has actually students from kindergarten age to the age of twenty. The level of capabilities is very different and depending on the children’s disability. So besides our Rashid-branded product line, we are creating and fostering very new concepts for our older students who can’t find a place where they can learn to work as an employee. In our workshop for girls and boys we can now give them work under “real world” conditions, so they can learn to be part of a production team and taking over responsibility and enhance their skills and growth.”
Contact Martina Dresler for products or art orders: