Leah Jacob evolved the principles of ART SHIFT Workshops. Below are pictures of her own personal works to showcase her extensive knowledge and artistic experience.
A graduate in Psychology at York University in 1970,
Leah responded to trends in psychological thought, by looking for a constructivist model of learning
to unify human potential. A qualifying creative stategy for learning emerged which integrates group processes within a theme enquiry. The socio-cultural context combined with hands-on experience has lasting positive effects for learners of all ages.
After graduation, she began working with the Addiction Research Foundation, outreach program, "Spectrum". As the liaison and community education co-ordinator Leah, functioned as a perceptive social ecologist and team player. She was able to bring together support for the program, in the Yonge - Finch area of Toronto, despite the looming controversy over the drug issue in the media.
Leah has a knack for bringing people together for common goals, creating workable structures and advocating for community based solutions.
*In Vancouver she organised the community to save and renovate an historical building transforming it into a parent-run day-care. She also helped with the designing of the play center.
*She initiated an adventure playground and amphitheatre, called Chocolate Park around a neighbourhood arts and theatre program she organized, in False Creek, Vancouver.
*She managed all aspects of a children's performance workshop at Arcadia Artist Co-op including costumes, music and sets.
While studying Early Childhood Education Leah worked in daycare, bringing artistic experiences to the young children. She noticed that children with emotional issues often missed the attention they needed within the day-care setting. In answer to this dilemma, she began working as a Play Therapist at the 'Children's Listening Center', under the direction of Dr. Rachel Pinney. The center was based on Margaret Lowenfeld's psychotherapeutic work with emotionally traumatized children. Therapists were trained in 'Creative Listening' techniques which also define 'safe limits' for play and interaction. Play is the primary language by which children spontaneously learn, adapt and formulate their worldview. In the child-directed and non-judgemental sessions, children were able to assert their own personal play symbols and recreate themselves. Children who were confused, angry and distrustful, developed flexibility and socialness. Leah started the School Liaison Program at the Center, which supported the children's healthy re-integration back to school and their community. In addition to therapeutic sessions, Leah interviewed parents and presented progress reports. Dr. Pinney was a remarkable mentor and advocate for children's rights.
This therapeutic paradigm, helped to define the important principles necessary for acitve and self directed learning.
The symbol work with the children stimulated a resurgence of Leah's own creative work in new mediums beginning with Stained Glass, and eventually requiring full focus and formal training.
Leah devised her own designs, worked full size and in series. She researched art styles extensively and developed a wide range of applications and techniques. She produced a portfolio of commissioned work for her application to the Ontario College of Art. There she majored in Glass and added Enamel, Jewelry and Metalwork to her studies. By her second year she won two scholarship awards for design, and was awarded an Individual Craft Grant to create a series of glass sculptures. She also organized a small manufacturing process for her fused glass plate series.
Leah worked on a Caravan Stage Co. environmental production "The Coming". This intense experience clearly showed how intention combined with planning manifests exact results. Leah created 10 "Scare Bird" costumes from junk and recycled materials for the environmental drama that explored the results of our inability to act in our collective best interests.
For the next 10 years Leah constructed workshops to help others define the creative process and access personal creative resources. She worked locally, with teachers on theme projects, as dance camp art director and ran creative teamwork workshops for adults improving their employment skills for F.A.C.T.S in Cobourg. She also offered a wide range of workshops for people of all ages in her studio teaching design, metalwork, jewelry and enamel.
During the Millennium, Leah expanded the workshop premise by teaching other artists the workshop format in a program called 'Visions of our Future".
Leah's mastery of a wide variety of arts medium has given scope to answering the question of how to generate creative thinking in individuals and groups. The partnering of Artists with teachers of all persuasions lends a dynamic that impacts how we create our future culture.
With the launching of this site, she is ready to expand and travel with this process to interested localities, schools and learning environments. Learning about creativity is central to becoming responsible citizens able to create a new and healthy future.
These are examples of her work. Leah presently does commission pieces in enamel, jewelry and stained glass. A CV and references are available upon request.