Handcrafted ceramic bells, plates, and miniature model houses recently adorned the shelves of the Dalan exhibition room and art cafe in Yerevan. Each piece was lovingly created by one of the 30 residents of the Friends of Warm Hearth's group home; together they were the fruits of a year-long art therapy collaboration project.
Friends of Warm Health (also known as the Jermik Ankyun Foundation), a local NGO that works with individuals with special needs in Armenia’s Ararat Province, has partnered with us for the past year on different initiatives. The idea for this particular project was launched by Vahram Galstyan and Anush Ghukasyan, both independent artists and ceramics instructors. FAR supported the project through the construction of a new pottery “lab” at the group home, including the purchase of a kiln.
This opportunity for art therapy and creative expression has benefitted residents in myriad ways.
“These creations show the great efforts of Roza, Siranush, and the other residents of Jermik Ankyun,” said Vahram. “The pottery lab offered tremendous support for these people and the positive changes are obvious; they are happy, motivated, and they have improved their motor skills and enhanced their socializing skills. This is our greatest achievement and success.”
"We love pottery very much. It helps us relax, it makes us happy,” said Roza, a 25-year-old resident who has dyskinetic cerebral palsy. “We would love to have another exhibition in the future.”