Arts Visalia Presents Summer Arts Classes

Children involved in last year’s Arts Visalia Summer Arts program show pride in their work.
Children involved in last year’s Arts Visalia Summer Arts program show pride in their work.

Every summer, Arts Visalia presents a six-week series of art classes for children and youth aged five and up with our Summer Arts program. On Monday, June 9, classes will begin. Structured as mini-camps, each class meets for two to three hours daily for one week, with classes organized by age bracket. In all, six weeks of classes will be offered; three weeks in June and three weeks in July, followed by an exhibition of artworks by all of the kids who participated in the Summer Arts classes at Arts Visalia.

With an emphasis on process over product, our goal is to provide our students with a safe, fun environment where they learn the basic theories and techniques behind art.

Creating art engages young people in hands-on rewarding activities where the final product is a result of their own efforts, their own experimentation. This experience helps to develop hand-eye coordination, critical thinking and a sense of delayed gratification. One need only see the pride on a child’s face when they stand in front of their artworks on display in our gallery to know the benefits of making art in their lives.

All of the students’ hard work and fun culminates in the annual Young at Art exhibition, featuring artworks by each student from each class. Each student is invited to display at least one artwork from each class they took, resulting in an art show which highlights the unique touch each student brought to the things they learned in their class.

The Summer Arts program at Arts Visalia grows every year with more and more young people participating. While the classes are tuition-based, financial assistance scholarships are available to help cover the tuition costs for children who otherwise may not be able to participate. Our goal is to ensure that every interested child in our community has the opportunity to take part in our art classes.

These scholarships are available thanks to the generous support of grants from the United Way of Tulare County, Southern California Edison and the City of Visalia, in addition to private donations made to Arts Visalia’s Art Scholarship Fund. If you know a child you believe would benefit from one of these scholarships, please contact Arts Visalia so that we may get them enrolled. Enrollment is open now and continues on a first come, first served basis for all classes.

Classes in drawing and painting, cartooning, printmaking, ceramics and more will be held this summer, taught by some very talented and exceptionally dedicated art instructors.

Teachers for the program include long-time Arts Visalia instructors Jamie Boley and Joan Huckabay, College of the Sequoias instructors Jessica Robles and Francisco Alonso, Jorge and Maribel Garza of Clay Studio/Artzone, and two new faces to the program in Sharon Turner and Laura Guzman.

We at Arts Visalia are very proud of this program and we believe strongly in the importance of providing engaging arts programs for the young people in our community, experiences that we hope will provide positive, lifelong memories for them and maybe even encourage a few along the way who might choose to pursue careers in the arts.

Arts Visalia is located at 214 E. Oak Ave. in downtown Visalia. For more information on our programs, call us at 739-0905 or visit us at artsvisalia.org.

Kevin Bowman is the director of Arts Visalia and an instructor of art at College of the Sequoias.

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