Jenni Blackmore

I believe that creative expression is an essential component of our well-being and a natural product of everyone's gift of imagination. Creative writing, painting, drawing and puppetry are the forms I enjoy exploring with students of all ages.

Thanks to the Writer's Federation of Nova Scotia and their Writers in the Schools program I regularly visit schools & work with students. The projects vary emmensely from full length play scripts & published anthologies which obviously require several visits, to an hour or so discussing the writing process and discovering just how easy it is to make contact with the genii of imagination. The Spring '98 issue of the W.F.N.S. newsletter Eastword has an article describing a typical school visit, with samples of the great writing that was produced.

Visual Arts Nova Scotia has a similar program: Professional Artists IN The Schools, which enables professional artists & school groups to work together. My visits can focus on book illustration, papier mâché construction & mural / set production but I also enjoy introducing students to new media & encouraging them to mix and experiment with various techniques.

I'm also fortunate to be a leader of spring and summer workshops at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. The ambiance of the gallery provides for so much inspiration - which is further enhanced by the Gallery's dedication to the integration of various art forms. During summer sessions in 1997, I worked with musician Matthieu Keijser & some wonderful kids. Together we constructed a 'Global Village' (out of cardboard boxes big enough to climb inside), peopled it by making puppets & coreographed a performance complete with percussion accompanyment. What a great time it was! Similar programs will be offered during March Break & the Summer Arts Camp '98.

There's a lot of kid in me but I also like working with adults as well. I teach a variety of art & writing workshops during the spring and fall at the Tides of Tiamat Arts Centre. These workshops always emphasize the importance of individual expression & celebrate the joys of creativity from a personal perspective. Schedules are available which describe these workshops in more detail.

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