The Art and Art School’s (MUK) art department in the Freudenstadt region welcomes Ukrainian refugee families with a special offer.
Freudenstadt – Two afternoons a week, an open studio for children and young people between the ages of three and 16 is offered in the Kunsthaus on Hirschkopfstraße; their mothers are also invited to the mosaic course Tuesday morning.
As school principal Katharina Pschorr reports, this new offer is made possible by the art teachers’ voluntary commitment. Eva Weidt is significantly involved in this. It was Weidt who immediately started arranging art courses for the refugee families who had arrived in the region. “It was important for me to offer something consistent to ensure stability,” the artist explains his move.
A visit to the Kunsthaus on Hirschkopfstraße shows that the offer was accepted with great pleasure. Many Ukrainian children of all ages are concentrated and eager to draw, paint, make collages or work with clay. The younger children come with their mothers, others alone. So does Daria, who regularly comes to the Kunsthaus by bus from Alpirsbach and has already painted several pictures here.
What the pictures show
She says nothing about her image. It is also aware that there will be no further inquiries, as Weidt explains. After all, she has experienced that “therapeutic elements, so to speak, happen at random” when painting. Daria’s image shows a large, highly burning kerosene lamp, but its light cannot illuminate the surrounding darkness. Daria has drawn a filigree landscape inside the lamp, with houses standing on a river and a plane circling overhead. A large figure with shield and sword stands behind it in a wreath of light.
At the table next door, Artem draws the Orthodox Church in his hometown. First he draws everything in pencil, again and again he compares his sketch with a photo on his mobile phone. Then he paints everything with watercolors. As Eva Weidt tells us, the children love coming to the Kunsthaus. Weidt reports that they are still anxious and stiff at first, especially their mothers. But it will be resolved soon. Today, on painting afternoons, she primarily feels joy, openness and gratitude.
In addition to the appropriate art medium, the fact that Weidt speaks fluent Ukrainian and Russian also contributes greatly to this situation, which benefits everyone. The artist, now living in Dornstetten, studied philosophy, Slavic studies, scenography, theater studies and dance in Tübingen, Warsaw and Japan; and sculpture in Lviv (Ukraine) for four years. She still has many contacts and friends there. In the summer, she really wanted to go down there again. Now Ukrainian children come to her, often more than ten children in the afternoon.
Weidt prepares everything for the open studio, colors and materials are ready. “I notice what the individual children need at the moment,” says the experienced art teacher and explains his way of working. And describes a physically handicapped boy who likes to work persistently with clay. “Each child is considered individually,” she describes her method and promises: “This process runs as long as it is needed.”
Katharina Pschorr, head of the music and art school, is full of praise for the great voluntary commitment from her teachers: “I am incredibly happy with this offer,” Pschorr admits brilliantly. She also suggests that donations are very welcome for the purchase of paint and materials. At the same time, Pschorr promises to work in the music school field to ensure that Ukrainian children can also receive music education if they so wish.