Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The After School Art Club's Recent Art Show

I mentioned in a blog post last year that one day a week I teach an afterschool art "club" at the South Natomas Community Center.  It's a wonderful class.  The kids sign up specifically for art lessons and their parents are very supportive of the program.  Originally I planned the class for 8-o-12-year-olds, but this year a very talented 7-year-old joined the class, and he was an excellent student.  We started out small a couple of years ago, but word spread, and for the year that just ended, our enrollment was 22 students.  Luckily, I have four helping moms that come in and help with setting up, cleaning up, and passing out supplies.  They also circulate and guide the students in utilizing the skills they've been learning.  I would be lost without them

Each year, Sharon and Jim Tanovitz, owners of Art Ellis Supply (2508 J Street, Sacramento, CA), give the club an art show in their window gallery for a month.  It gives the students a place to highlight and exhibit their best work, and even to sell it.  It's great fun for them, for me, for the store, and for the community.  Jim and Sharon have offered my students this opportunity for years.  When I was teaching full time, I ran an after school art club at my school, and the Tanovitzes let them show their work each spring.  

What the classes cover: Students learn landscape, still life, portrait, figure drawing and painting.  (Clothed figures for this age group.)  They learn to use soft and oil pastels, acrylic paints, and watercolor paints, as well as charcoal and colored pencils.  We explore ethnic arts and artists for  El Dia de los Muertos, Cinco de Mayo, Black History Month (Harlem Renaissance), and Women's History Month, and we use bamboo brushes for special techniques during Tet or Asian New Year.  The students do a variety of styles from Impressionism to abstract, and they keep portfolios that they get to take home at the end of the year.

It's always exciting to see their growth by the end of the year when they select a piece of their art to exhibit.  This year was no exception.  Their work will be up for the rest of June.  Already 7 pieces have sold ($5.00), and Saturday we had a small "Second Saturday" reception from 10:00 a.m. to noon, passing out punch and cookies.   My four "super helper moms" are shown inthe first picture above.  A picture of two of the artists and their moms and Sharon at the reception are shown next.  And an overall shot of the 22 pieces of art in the show is shown to the right, followed by close ups of the works.

If you are in the area, stop buy, enjoy the art, and visit the store.  I buy most of my art supplies there, and they offer discounts for teachers and students.  If you are not in the area, support art somewhere, somehow.  It makes such a difference in young people's lives, and school art programs are being wiped out by budget cuts everywhere.


writing and living by Richard P Hughes said...

I wish I could stop by. We're just a couple of thousand miles apart. I love art, and I can afford $5.00

(This is also a test to see if my comment posts.)

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

It worked. Thanks, Richard for all the help. Meanwhile, I wish you could see the exhibit up close and without the reflections. The kids really did some great work.

Michelle Fayard said...

How wonderful it must be that you can create art with color, light and shapes as well as with words. And how equally wonderful you share your talents with youth. When my husband and I lived in the Sacramento area in the 1990s and shopped at the J Street art-supply stores, we enjoyed these exhibits, never guessing that more than a decade later I'd be critiquing manuscripts with one of the art show's key organizers. Congratulations to everyone on another successful show!


Rosi said...

Oh, I just hate going downtown, but I might just make an exception this month if I can find the time. You are giving those kids a great gift with what you are doing. They are lucky, lucky, lucky! Congratulations on the great show.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Michelle, I'm so glad you and your hubby got to see some of those shows. I remember, now, that he's an artist, so, of course you both would be shopping at Art Ellis! :-)

Rosi, I do hope you can find time to see it. The show comes down June 29th, two days before my surgery so that I can get certificates and money to the artists.

Lauri said...

How wonderful to teach art to children! There are classes here for children, but most are expensive. The schools cut art to save money. Argh.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Lauri, actually that's a main reason I like to do this art club: the schools here have cut art programs drastically. Music program, too.