As we wind down the month of July, and with it our summer art programs for youth, Arts Visalia shifts gears for the month of August, when we present the kids’ artworks in our annual Young At Art exhibition.
Every summer, we offer a six-week series of art classes for children and youth ages five and up. Structured as mini-camps, each class meets daily for one week, with classes covering a wide variety of approaches to drawing, painting, ceramics and other art forms.
This is our chance to celebrate the creative talent of these young artists, to give them a moment in the spotlight. With each student invited to display one artwork from each class they took, the gallery walls (and pedestals) are literally packed with artworks of all shapes, sizes and styles. Our approach always places emphasis on the process of creativity over the final product, though in the Young At Art show, we are always proud to show off the results of all the students’ work. 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.
Classes this summer were taught by some very talented and exceptionally dedicated art instructors, including longtime Arts Visalia instructors Jamie Boley and Joan Huckabay, College of the Sequoias instructors Jessica Robles and Francisco Alonso, Jorge Garza of Clay Studio/Artzone, and two new faces to the program in Sharon Turner and Laura Guzman.
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 as well as a sense of delayed gratification.
The youth education program at Arts Visalia grows a little each year with more and more young people participating in it. 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 in the classes. 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, the Carolyn S. Kruse Foundation and the City of Visalia, in addition to private donations made to Arts Visalia’s Art Scholarship Fund. If you know a child whom you believe would benefit from one of these scholarships, please contact Arts Visalia so that we may get them enrolled. Enrollment is taken on a first come, first served basis for all of our classes.
“Young at Art 2014” is on display at Arts Visalia through August 29th. Admission is free and open to the public.
Arts Visalia is located at 214 E. Oak Ave. in Downtown Visalia. For more information on any of 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.