2018 | Clarkston Community Center

June 12-22


Baris Karayazgan

Visiting ArtReach Artist from Turkey leads summer camp at the Clarkston Community Center.

The ArtReach Foundation partners with Clarkston Community Center and Visiting Turkish artist Baris Karayazgan for a two-week summer art camp for children of Clarkston, GA

For over 19 years The ArtReach Foundation, based in Atlanta, GA has been providing arts programs to children of trauma around the world. Founder, Susan Anderson has recently been working with the Clarkston Community Center (CCC) of Clarkston, GA to bring artist Baris Karayazgan of Istanbul, Turkey to the community to lead refugee children of Clarkston in sculpture activities using plastic recycled water bottles. 

The summer camp will be a two-week program, beginning June 11, facilitated with over 325 Clarkston, GA children participants. The children will be led by Baris Karayazgan in a series of sessions creating large extinct or becoming endangered animal sculptures using recycled water plastic bottles. 

ArtReach has collected more than 10,000 water bottles from Atlanta businesses and individual supporters for the project. Live Thrive Recycling Center of Grant Park, Georgia Institute of Technology Recycling Center and Mason Fine Art have supplied the bulk of the bottles needed for the project. “The experience ArtReach has gained by working out of country for the last 17 years gave us a vast base of knowledge for applying our art programs to the needs of children of trauma from war, violence and natural disaster, right here at home.” Says Susan Anderson. “Little did I know when I met Baris in 2005 at a Peace Forum in Rhodes, Greece, that 13 years later I would reach out to him to come here and work with our youth in this resettled refugee community. I am thrilled to see the animal sculptures that will result.” 

In 2016 ArtReach launched a local initiative for workshops to assist refugees here at home. “We had planned local workshops for over a year and a half, wanting to create ongoing programs for children in need, here at home. Says, Martha Henson, Executive Director of ArtReach. Working locally not only strengthens our organizations efforts, but also gives local refugees ongoing art programs as well as a touchstone for updates and connection on issues of trauma.” 

With a steady yet slowing influx of refugees into the Atlanta area, it is not unusual for these newcomers to arrive traumatized leaving behind family members, pets, schools and homes, possibly never to return to again. ArtReach and refugee partners such as New American Pathways, Global Village Project and Clarkston Community Center have partnered to welcome them with a unique form of southern hospitality - music, drama, art, and creative writing activities which help ease the discomfort of displacement and disparity ultimately creating a well-adjusted, healthier and happier new American. 

About Summer Camp: Clarkston Community has been hosting summer camps for children in their community for several years. For more information, please contact, programs@clarkstoncommunitycenter.org,director@clarkstoncommunitycenter.org; Executive Director: Cindy Bowden, 404-508-1050 | https://clarkstoncommunitycenter.org/programs-old/youth-programs

About Artist Baris Karayazgan:

Barış Karayazgan was born in Istanbul in 1973. He graduated from the Department of Sculpture at Mimar Sinan University in 1998. He continued his study at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia between 1999 and 2000. He then completed master’s degree on sculpture at State University of New York Albany in New York. He has participated in many group exhibitions in Turkey and the USA. After he returned to Turkey, Karayazgan founded the Pace Çocuk Sanat Merkezi (Pace Art Center for Children).