I was watching WCBS local news a few mornings ago and i caught the tail end of a story that i looked up online today. It was about a student art exhibition sponsored by the NYC Parks Department. You can read the story for yourself at www.wcbstv.com. Hundreds of students throughout the NY area worked for four months to paint pop art picnic tables for the city’s parks. What a FANTASTIC arts educational opportunity. The kids really ran with it…they used tables as canvases to express themselves in beautiful ways – they addressed the issues that face them in school and in life, and they gave us an insight into their thoughts and feelings. They learned the value of teamwork and how to manage a project.
I will continue to blog about the value of arts education which is increasingly at risk in this country. The arts are so important in reaching kids…in giving them an outlet to express themselves….in helping them learn about themselves and the world around them. Ok, i’ll get off my soap box now.
I AM still working on my educational studio and hope to have it up and running in the next two months, in time to start hosting some workshops for the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year…if not before. In the meantime, i have recently hosted several interactive arts projects with kids around the country at a few of my gallery shows in Houston (Off the Wall Gallery), Austin (The Russell Collection) and Jacksonville (R Roberts Gallery). The piece we completed in Houston was auctioned off to raise funds for the Children’s Fund. The rest of the pieces were donated to corporate collections at Wolfson’s Children’s Hospital, The University of North Florida, and the Dell Children’s Hospital.
Each time i work with the kids is a rewarding experience. It’s always so interesting to see what types of kids come to these events. It’s such a mixture. And there’s always that ONE kid whose eyes just light up. You can tell you’ve inspired him or her to think about art…to go home and play with it some more…to look at it…and consider it. I’m astonished by how bright and thoughtful and interested they all are…so focused…and proud of the finished artwork. I must admit, it makes me proud too.