Alice Ayers

Alice Ayers

Central Region
Little Rock, AR
[email protected]

20 years living in Africa taught me a different approach to making art and I am excited to share it with all! In my class, we will use music and movement to awaken our intuition and prepare us to approach the projects from a different perspective. We use a natural flow to designing and attempt to set aside the western principles of art. It is sure to be challenging and fun! The goal is for students to develop an appreciation for non-western and African art. Some examples of workshops:

Dance of The Mask
Following a presentation on the purpose of the mask, and exploring the ritualistic process of drum, music and movement used to evoke the spirit, you will design your form from air dry clay (instead of mud), and make choices on embellishments based on feeling/intuition. Using found objects, items brought from home or items available in the studio, you will embellish your piece. The final piece will be used as a component of a movement we will create. Participants may bring personal items to embellish the piece, if you have special paint, dye or inks you want to use. Other supplies will be provided.

Cultural Textiles
We will explore traditional East African Kanga and Kitenge fabric design and West African Kente fabric designs. Using a loosely woven fabric, you will dye, stamp, sew, applique' and paint to design your textile. You will be inspired by West African Andinkra symbolism and East African Kanga proverbs as a source. As in the previous workshop, we begin with music, movement and breath to help evoke your instinctual source. Participants may bring personal items to embellish the piece, if you have special paint, dye or inks you want to use. Other supplies will be provided.

Self Exploration
The purpose of this workshop is trifold. We will explore beliefs and patterns in our lives as we push individual boundaries, use art materials and techniques that are unfamiliar and challenging, and leave with practical skills to apply in everyday life.

We are indoctrinated through childhood by our environment and we practice the thoughts over and again until they become patterns or habits in our lives. Participants of this workshop are challenged to address the beliefs which are either not productive to their growth or have aided in them being in their current circumstances. Through discussion, and artistic techniques these beliefs are destroyed and replaced with others that produce positive effects. Each old belief is replaced in writing with a new statement of belief.

Art as a Metaphor for Life
The practice of creating art teaches us to relax, take chances, research, embrace mistakes as lessons, and receive what we desire. This is a mosaic art lesson with a twist. We will use different hard materials such as broken glass, tile and objects and attach these to a glass bottle in which the written statement is placed. This will be used as a reminder if we slip back into our old system of belief. As in life, we often shy away from the unfamiliar, perceiving it as difficult or beyond our scope of learning. By creating an environment in which a person feels safe to try, one is directed to stepping outside of their comfort zone, taking a chance, replacing the belief of it being too difficult with the belief that it is possible, and embracing the results.

Available to conduct workshops for teachers and other groups.


I spent 18 years living and working between the Americas and Africa. I hold a Bachelor of Art, and Masters in Art Education. My professional career has involved exhibiting in America, Europe, Mexico, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa. I have served as a resident artist in theatre, visual art, poetry, and adjunct professor in Kenya, United States and Mexico. I've contracted out as an artist in education since 1989, and performed residencies in over 250 schools, colleges, community centers and libraries. I'm an "arts activist", believing that it is part of my mission to share education, skills and knowledge in whatever venue presents itself. I have recently worked with incarcerated women, in which case I raised funds and set up the programs. For the last ten years I've worked with art therapy and creative visualization methods. I have authored three books, "Tomorrow's Garden", "The Art Book", "It's Me I'm Running From", and co-author of "Msingi Wa Sanaa".

AIE Program

Preferred Age Level: All ages
Geographic Availability: Statewide
Time Availability: Open
Special Needs: Room with tables, access to overhead projector, computer hookup, access to water.