Twenty children from the Olive Close social housing area of Melkbosch Village were treated to their first art class and a picnic breakfast at the home and gallery of artist Marina Jacobs.
The children, aged 3 to 6, will attend the class once a week and learn how to do mixed-media projects and also find out more about traditional art.
The children used to live in the Rietvlei informal settlement in the centre of Melkbosstrand before moving to Melkbosch Village in 2010.
Ms Jacobs’s house was a hive of activity when Tabletalk arrived, and the children were busy eating lunch treats in a sunny courtyard after having been guided by the artist in painting a stick figure and a peaceful landscape.
The head of the Melkbos Community Centre, Karen Dreyer, who organised the event, then gently showed the children how to create works of art with bubble wrap by dipping it in paint and printing designs on paper in bright colours.
Three other women work with the children: Annelise Baartman, from Atlantis, and Annique Rheeder and Mareithia Pretorius, who both live in Melkbosch Village.
The volunteer teachers are all studying at the West Coast College for their Educare Diploma.
“We became very aware of the need for a daycare centre as the children were running around in the streets doing nothing while their parents were at work,” Ms Dreyer said.
“Mareitha, who lives close to where the children live, actually opened up her house so that they could be in a safe place, but it’s not an ideal situation, and we are looking at offering them more help in the form of creating a regular care centre for them as the Melkbos Care Centre could not accommodate them. So this is a good way to start.”
Ms Dreyer said she had spent two years negotiating with the City for a pre-school in Olive Close, but her efforts had come to nought because R1 million would have been needed for three prefab classrooms, a bathroom, kitchen and sickbay.
Ms Jacobs has been painting since 2013 and is self-taught. Her home is filled with dozens of her paintings. Artist Marie Theron, who lives in Grotto Bay, on the West Coast, is exhibiting her paintings at Ms Jacobs’s home and will be at the heart of a group exhibition starting on Friday May 5.
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