Artist in Residence

Batik art.

OBJECTIVES: My Batik art and Culture workshops are meant to steer students of ALL ages towards being more aware of their community, other world Cultures, their environment, and to motivate them to be of good character.

These workshops will not only bring about greater understanding on the Maasai culture, but will indeed help students levels gain confidence in their individual artistic talents.

  • The Batik workshops will also enhance student’s creativity, and personal character.
  • Students will learn about, primary and secondary colors, and how this knowledge will enhance their creativity in the Batik art process.
  • Students will learn the basic Batik art terminologies such as isolation, hot waxing, cold waxing, and outlining, in basics to Batik painting techniques.

View a slide show of a batik art process by Sironka.


Batik Course outline will include the following:

I. What is Batik Art?
While making the lesson brief, clear and a fun experience, I will lead students in an introduction to the origin of Batik art technique and art form. This will broaden student’s understanding of the origin of the Batik making process, and help explain and differentiate between tie / dye, and Batik painting processes.

II. Studio safety
Students will be introduced to simple and adaptable safety procedures, studio design and layout. They will also be introduced to the materials needed to design, paint and produce Batik paintings.

III. Introduction to various styles of Batik making:
With the help of different Batik paintings, I will let students observe and comment on the techniques applied by other Batik artists, with special emphasis on Kenyan Batik artists. This will enhance students individual observation regarding technique, and style.

IV. Wax resist and Isolation process:
When heated at different temperatures, paraffin wax will have a corresponding degree of resistance to cold-water fabric dye applied to the cloth.
Objective: Students will learn the meaning and use of “ISOLATION”, “COLD WAXING” and “BLENDING”.

V. Mood and color:
A careful observation of theme and color combination will enhance individual perception of mood and creativity. The choice of colors used will depend largely on what students prefer to use in creating their pieces.

Objective: Team work!
To enhance individual style and creativity, individual participation will gradually be translated into a group effort. The art work created will represent an acceptance of each others contribution and team work!


Students themselves will do an evaluation of the painting they will have produced in relation to the theme and message.

The underlying moral content of my Batik painting and Maasai Culture workshops:
Respect for others, Love for nature, a more accommodating world view, the advancement of world Cultural understanding and cohesion.
VI. Schools’ participation.
(i.) Teachers will help in planning the class schedule as to suit their school’s time and class schedules. Class teachers will help their school meet the requirements in their preparations prior to my visit.

(ii.) During my workshops, there will also be a time exclusively set aside for discussion on the Batik making process. This forum is meant for both students and teachers to ask questions.

VII. Multi-Disciplinary:
It is my hope that during my residency, an outreach program for me to visit other elementary schools, high schools, Colleges and Universities in the area, to hold Batik art and Maasai Culture workshops, will be made possible.

I would also welcome the opportunity to hold workshops for parents, teacher, and other members of the community where possible.

Such public events however, would fall under a different criteria, and a cover charge by venues would be discussed.

Maasai Culture presentations.
artres3The Maasai are to this day a nomadic tribe from Kenya, living in small settlements of approximately 10–20 families per settlement. They occupy a large area of the Rift Valley of Kenya, and Tanzania.

Many Maasai make their living trading in cattle, sheep and goats, and still many more have turned to selling bead ornaments to tourists as a source of income.

As has always been their custom, the Maasai equate wealth with the number of cattle, sheep and goats that an individual owns.

Unlike many of the other Kenyan tribes, the Maasai have held on to many of their Cultural ways. These include the age–set system, their colorful dress code and livestock ownership.

However they have also resisted change. This includes certain retrogressive traditions such as girl circumcision, and early marriage for their girls.

But amidst these setbacks, many Maasai have today chosen to cautiously improve their lifestyles. They have done so without drastically altering their traditions and Culture.

They continue to hold on to a pastoral nomadic lifestyle and to being a noble, good mannered, and people of impressive physical appearance.

A video presentation
on Kenya and her history, and on Maasai Culture for students to view, will not only seek to introduce to them a hitherto little known country, people and Culture, but will indeed enhance their understanding of one of the world’s most unique, and probably one of the last surviving Cultures.

Students will advance their appreciation of other Cultures, their Cultural awareness and enhance peaceful coexistence by people from all parts of the world.

These presentations will also discuss foreign influences, development and what impact these factors have had on the lives and Culture of the Maasai people of Kenya specifically.

Professional reference

Dr. Scott Turner
Department of behavioral sciences
University of Montevallo
Montevallo, Alabama
Dr. Jennifer Coffman
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
MSC 7501
Haarisonburg, VA
Dorothy Kittaka
5231 Chippewa Trail
Fort Wayne,
IN, 46804
Gordon Wilson
Chair – Art Department
Whitworth University
300 W. Hawthorne Rd,
Spokane WA, 99250
Jeanette Krishan
Art Professor
Spokane Falls Community College
MS 3060
3410 w. Fort George Wright Dr,
Spokane WA, 99224 – 5288.
Darlene Ricket
Social Studies Professor
Spokane Falls Community College
MS 3060
3410 w. Fort George Wright Dr,
Spokane WA, 99224 – 5288.
Presentation and workshops for College, University and the public:

The Maasai Culture presentation will also discuss foreign influences, internal development and the impact that foreign ideology and modern day development have had on the lives and Culture of the Maasai people.

Venue to provide:

  • Auditorium, microphone and power point or overhead projector.


  1. Kenya – The people / the land, and the early explorers.
  2. Who are the Maasai of Kenya?
  3. Myths and religion of the Maasai people.
  4. Child-bearing, Motherhood and early education of Maasai children.
  5. Clans, maturity and the age set system Religion and the Maasai.
  6. Warriors, songs and transition of the Maasai people.
  7. Body-art , beauty, and being Maasai.
  8. Marriage and family life, and leadership.
  9. Architecture and housing.


  • Maasai beadwork will be available for sale.
  • Batik art by Sironka will also be available for sale, and interested persons can also place orders for individual pieces on commission.

Cost of visit:

  • Contact NICHOLAS SIRONKA for details