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Marghanita Hughes

Discipline: Visual Arts
Homebase: Kelowna
Languages: English

Marghanita Hughes is an award-winning graphic designer, photographer and published children's author and illustrator. Marghanita is passionate about connecting children with nature through art. Throughout the year, she runs nature-based art classes for children and hands-on workshops for educators wanting to learn how to actively engage children with nature through art. Marghanita has been bringing nature-based art activities into schools for over 10 years both here in British Columbia and in Scotland, UK. Art and nature together create a magical way to connect children to mother earth and help the child understand their place in the world. In her workshops, Marghanita collaborates with teachers on art projects that focus on the interconnectedness we have with one another and all living things and can be integrated with the curriculum. She introduces students to the awe and wonder of nature through art with projects such as land art, large group collages and simple nature-based art activities and storytelling. All of which provide the students with a better understanding of their connection with nature and in ways that are fun and encourage them to explore and celebrate their unique sense of creativity.


Testimonials

There is a no more formative age for instilling a deep love of the natural world than childhood and Marghanita knows that. Use Marghanita's classes and books for inspiration and expand on her ideas to create programs of your own. Watch their imaginations explode with possibilities. Annie Kanda, Peachland Elementary

Project Examples

Pebble Meditation: Finding Nourishment in Nature


Learning about the elements: earth, water, air and fire. This is a powerful project that includes meditation, simple yoga moves, drawing, painting, sewing and storytelling in an effort to connect students with their body, their creativity and the natural environment. The project results in a personal collection of four meditation pebbles, a felt pouch to store them safely and a storybook all about the elements. This contemporary and engaging approach to working with natural items found in nature is very adaptable for all ages and abilities.

Celebrating Our Insects


In this workshop we infuse music, art and drama into a beautiful, colourful performance with an environmental message. We explore the beautiful journey and habitat of the butterfly and other insects through language, art, music, drama, math and science activities. Students will listen to a short piece of music by flautist Jon Sherman then design and create butterfly and dragonfly puppets and their very own musical instruments from nature. The students will use their creations to perform a short, environmental musical message to their fellow students. The stories and music teach us what we have forgotten in our busy urban lives, they remind us to bring peace and harmony into our lives, and bring to the forefront of our consciousness the importance of time spent reconnecting with nature. Through harmonies and images that enchant the heart and lilting rhythms that invoke the spirit, Butterfly Blue, performed by Jon Sherman, are original compositions take the listener on a healing journey of integration with the natural world. Inspired by the endangered Palos Verdes blue butterfly, this album is dedicated to all creatures, in this age of extinction and their struggle for existence.

Storytelling with Stick Characters


The fallen branch was once part of the living tree - a story in itself. Now we are giving new life to the fallen branch with the help of a child's imagination. The child creates their very own stick character and creates a story around their character(s). The responsibility of sourcing their own stick allows the child to take ownership over the activity and encourages their imagination to "see" a certain little person waiting to be discovered in the stick. The purpose of creating the stick people is to celebrate our own uniqueness and our collective oneness. We are all equal and beautiful. Storytelling with nature art offers students a beautiful and enriching way to express themselves creatively and provides a fun, exciting and joyful journey of getting back in touch with ourselves, the land and our cultural roots. We can learn to accept, respect and appreciate our cultural differences through creative storytelling. Curriculum connections to visual arts, language arts, Aboriginal art and teachings, science (biology, environment), social and emotional learning (love, compassion, mindfulness, honour and respect). Grades K-3.

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