On Saturday October 18, over 50 UNIQLO staff members joined FreeArts NYC to welcome 40 children from homeless shelters in Brooklyn and Queens, for a special event. The children made t-shirts based on the work of American abstract artist Sam Francis whose merchandise was launched in stores earlier this month. After going on a tour of the 5th Ave UNIQLO Store, the children learned about Sam Francis from Leah Wolff, a program educator from MoMA. The children were also encouraged to talk about their feelings about art in general.
The children, who were recommended by the NY Department of Homeless Services, were from 6 to 12 years old, and came from the Boulevard Family Center in Queens and Urban Transitional Center in Brooklyn. These children don’t have the opportunity or means in their everyday settings to be able to express themselves through art. Giving them the opportunity to do so, was extremely meaningful for the children, as many of the children described the event as, “the best day…” and told us that their dream was to be a fashion designer or artist. FreeArts NYC, made the event possible by providing all of the supplies and additional support for the event.
Images courtesy of UNIQLO
Before the children made their t shirts, they drew and painted their ideas on sheets of paper that they were able to take home. In addition, Sam Francis postcards and journals were graciously donated from the Sam Francis Foundation and given to the children as a souvenir.
Leah Wolff, from the MoMA uses Sam Francis SPRZ shirts as examples
of how to make their t-shirts and to discuss the use of color and shapes.