Avy Loftus is a Montréal-based visual artist, art educator and batik designer. As a visual artist, she has had a number of collective and solo exhibitions in Canada, the U.S., Ireland, Bulgaria, Japan, Korea, Indonesia and Bermuda. As a batik designer, she has conducted batik workshops at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Harbourfront Centre, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Marsil Museum (now the MCTQ), Musée des maîtres et artisans du Québec, the Chicago Children’s Museum, International Children’s Festivals in Washington, DC and Ireland, etc. She exhibited her traditional and modern batik artwork at the Marsil Museum in 2004, As an art educator, she has been working extensively with children since 2007 through an anti-bullying art project: Peace, Love & Hope, which she started in school. In 2013, she received the Queen Elizabeth Il Diamond Jubilee Medal for her artistic and community involvement.
Avy has practiced arts for over twenty years and has worked with fabric, creating tableaux using traditional and contemporary techniques. Batik is one of her specialties. Her daughter's experience with bullying made her realise the impact of bullying on children’s emotional, physical, and everyday life. It spurred her to action, and the Peace, Love & Hope project was born. Her own deep belief in these values drives her artistic and philanthropic work and nourishes her creative process. Her work resonates with others in its simple humanity, and as she takes her work further afield, she becomes transformed herself in the process. The act of creation and sharing fills her with a sense of accomplishment, allowing her to translate her vision into something both tangible and transcendent.
Other examples of activities
Peace, Love & Hope batik project
The Peace, Love & Hope workshops aim to engage children in creative activities rooted in expressing compassion and kindness through the creation of batik-based textiles, which later are assembled in a large-scale collective artwork. This work is part of an ongoing anti-bullying awareness campaign which was started 2007. For the proposed workshops, under the supervision of the artist, the kids draw a picture or design representing the idea of PEACE, LOVE & HOPE onto paper. (Symbols and letters are not allowed, to encourage freestyle creativity.) Students then transfer their design onto fabric, and they apply liquid flour to black out their design in preparation for the colouring process. Following a drying period of 6 to 24 hours, the kids then colour their creations using a batik process and a variety of colours. After another brief drying period, the artist oversees the removal of the flour paste from the artworks, which are now ready to assemble into the collective artwork quilt (see workshop part 2.) The role of the artist is to offer step-by-step creative and technical instruction throughout the creation of the designs, the batik process, and the assembly of the group artwork at the end. Throughout batik workshops, the artist will supervise and troubleshoot students’ work.
All artwork created by students will be combined into a large-scale group work, which will be shown at various exhibition venues including school halls, cultural centres and museums. Therefore, parents will be required to fill out permission slips before the workshops, authorizing the school and the artist to exhibit the children's artwork to the public, as per attached letter of consent.
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