Much of the hand-made tin art produced via Creative Haiti is the sort of colorful collection you might expect, with tropical fish, lizards and birds aplenty, plus an obligatory smattering of funky masks. One new piece special to the nonprofit organization’s ongoing partnership with Wellesley High School Global Marketing students is a keychain sporting the Wellesley Raiders lacrosse logo, as a show of support for Connor Darcey’s family and to back the Wellesley Field Fund.
As in years past, you will be able to buy some of this art at the Wellesley Hills Junior Women’s Club’s annual Wellesley Marketplace at Wellesley Middle School this Saturday, Nov. 21.
Hayden Gribbel, a Wellesley High junior who heads up advertising for the year-long class project under the tutelage of teacher Jane Lord, says Wellesley High students have been working with Haiti’s Cite Soleil Opportunity Council for 6 years to help people in that country recover from the 2010 earthquake by putting their artistic and business skills to use. One project that this year’s Global Marketing class has underway is called Haitian Collaboration, and involves allowing people to request artists in Haiti to reproduce logos or other designs (such as the Raiders lax logo) as pieces of art, Gribbel says. The class originally planned to market this idea only to businesses, but has expanded to offering to individuals, for everything from custom monogramming of home decorations to gifts for new grads.
Creative Haiti’s innovations go beyond art as well. They’ve come up with a way of using human waste as briquettes for cooking. “Though seemingly gross, the idea can save a lot of money and replace charcoal as a reliable and environmentally friendly alternative for cooking fuel,” Gribbel says. (I’m thinking this won’t be sold at the Wellesley Marketplace though.)
The Haiti project is serious business for the Wellesley High students. The 22-student class is divvied up into departments of 2 to 5 people, and includes CEOs and other titles. “This project takes priority over anything academic [in the class] that may conflict with the timeline we need to get orders in and have them made and brought back from Haiti before they are needed by our customers,” Gribbel says.