San Rafael is one of ten sites around the Bay Area included in the Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge, a year-long collaborative design challenge to help Bay Area communities improve their resilience to flooding, natural disasters and rising seas. Youth in Arts’ Architects in Schools leaders Shirl Buss and Rich Storek, working with their fourth grade students from Laurel Dell Elementary School, helped to bring the Flood Fair to life with their young energy, beautiful scale models, and engaged fourth grade interviewers and docents.
The Bionic Team including Bionic Landscape, WXY Studio, and PennDesign are working with the San Rafael community to prepare a suite of design ideas for the San Rafael community. The Bionic Team began the challenge asking, “Where in the Bay Area can our expertise help?” And now matched with San Rafael, they’ve been asking residents “What needs to be done and where are we starting from?” Their first public event was the Flood Fair, held this Saturday at Pickleweed Park.
Thank you to Laurel Dell Fourth graders for helping to promote the event and making it relevant for all ages:
The Flood Fair was wonderful! Considering the challenging weather and date, there was a rousing turnout of local community members, allies and leaders. The student participation added an important dimension to the overall effort to inform, engage and enlist the community in our response to Sea Level Rise! Students interviewed visitors and asked them:
Thanks Mr. Pepe Gonzalez for your enthusiastic support of the students! Thanks again Marcel, Sarah and Rich, for creating such compelling “hands-on” activities: the ice melt, the “flow” of water, the Flo Mo and all the displays, food and energy!
This was a beautiful way to bring together many different facets of the community to create implementable solutions to the environmental challenges we are all facing!
On February 20th, as a special program during the “Rising Stars: 27th Annual Marin High School Art Show,” Youth in Arts hosted a panel discussion on “How to Pursue Art as a Passion and Profession.” We are so grateful to our panelists for sharing their experience and professional and life lessons with students and have received their permission to share some of their presentation materials here with those of you not able to attend.
Jane Baldwin spoke of her activism through photography, documenting the lives of the people of the Omo River Valley in Ethiopia.
This is a project that has evolved for Jane over a decade and she emphasized to young artists interested in documentary work and activism that you don’t need to know what your project will be when you set out to find it. She first visited the Omo River Valley to just take photographs, and returned many times in ten years to not only take her photographs, but to also record the stories of the women from the region. This as turned into work on women’s rights, clean water, and international education programs. She has exhibited her photographs and the stories she recorded in Sonoma, Korea, and hopefully in Milan Italy next year. Jane says to be open to new experiences and let them take you down new and unexpected paths.
Kanna Aoki, a painter who lives with her family in the East Bay talked about different ways she had put her college art training to use over the course of her career.
Kanna showed images of her work as a commercial artist, which she did both under the direction of commercial art directors (i.e. creating a specific image for a specific product) and “on spec” (developing graphics or patterns that companies might later decide to use in their product design or promotions). After starting her family, Kanna found the deadline-centric world of commercial art was no longer a match for her life. She grew her career as a painter, developing relationships with galleries that now show and sell her works–she also works on commission, creating paintings of specific views or images for clients. Kanna suggested students keep an eye out for galleries (or restaurants or other venues that show and sell art) that seem like they would be a match for your media and creative approach. Then do your research! Look them up online, reach out via email, try to make an appointment to show them your portfolio. “It’s important to remember that gallery staff are usually very busy–the gallery is where they work, meeting with clients, handling sales. You can’t walk in and expect to talk with them. You need to make an appointment.”
Steven Polacco, Associate Professor, Graphic Arts, Dominican University presented on “Five Things You Must Do When Applying To Art Colleges”.
Steven emphasized that students should do their research and find multiple schools to apply to that might meet their needs. The internet is great for research he noted but also urged students to “Get out there! Go visit these places and see what they are like in person.” He mentioned that if you meet with faculty on your visit, it’s a good idea to have some images of your work (i.e. on a phone or similar) that you can show them informally if you have a chance to do that. Not all faculty will take a look, but some will and it’s a good chance to get early feedback on your portfolio. When it comes to the portfolio itself, Steven urged students to pull together work that represents you and your artistic direction. He mentioned that sometimes you will want to “tweak” your portfolio for one school or another (certainly you need to meet whatever requirements they have). But don’t choose work to try to please this admissions committee or that one. Choose work that represents who you are as an artist and what you have to say. And, says Steven, “Have someone look at it!” He encouraged students to get lots of feedback before their applications are due, to make sure they are representing their work the way they want to. Finally Steven recommended looking at off-campus opportunities, programs in the community, summer programs, etc. Many art colleges have “pre-college” programs that can give you a sense of whether an art college will be a good next step for you.
Barry Beach, a teacher at Marin Academy, exhibiting sculptor and private college admissions consultant showed some “Do’s and Dont’s” for portfolio images you may use online or in other formats (link to examples here).
Some advice–keep the background free of distractions and as neutral as possible. Pay attention to how you crop your images to put your work front and center. Don’t be afraid to use photo editing tools to create a good, crisp image–while you don’t want to actually alter the underlying image, it’s definitely not “cheating” to adjust digital parameters (levels, brightness, shadows, etc.) to get a clearer image of your work. Barry also advised students keep and carry a sketchbook so that you are always creating images that may evolve into pieces in your portfolio.
Jay Daniel, owner of Black Cat photography (who also generously photographed work for students attending the workshop) spoke about his work as a technician creating high quality images for artists and about his experience in the art field at large.
Jay laid out elements to pay attention to when photographing work (PDF here) and went over a photography set-up that he said works for “75 to 90% of any artwork you might need to photograph” (PDF here). He also talked about how working artists need to balance creativity and financial sustainability. It’s a tiny percentage of artists, he noted, that can create absolute anything they want, however and whenever they want, and have that work out financially for them. You need to explore all your options and figure out what will work well for you. Will you be happy adjusting your work to an art director’s requests or creating work on a deadline that absolutely can’t be missed? Can you find someone who wants to buy the kind of work you like to create? He mentioned that when he was teaching a portfolio course in an art college, he required students to also create a business plan, something many of them resisted but that he felt was essential. At the same time he asked a “very successful artist friend” he works with what her advice for students would be and she said young artists need to balance the business side of art with their creativity and keep their practice “joyful.”
Finally architect, designer and educator Shirl Buss, walked students down the curving and creative pathway from a childhood love of building things with her father, to college at UCLA, to establishing a nonprofit around women in construction, to architecture school and her current work in both design and education.
Shirl talked with students about how the same ideas can come up again and again in different ways, creating new turns in the pathway–in Shirl’s case finding herself in a man’s world and deciding what to do about that, first in construction and later in architecture school; her love of teaching children of all ages throughout all the phases of her career; her enthusiasm for power tools (and especially for teaching kids to build with them!) and her interest in design and how humans shape the world around us. She encouraged students to be open and to explore and find their own creative pathways forward, which she is confident they will do!
We are so grateful to all our panelists–thank you!
The 27th annual RISING STARS show opened with a lively Awards Reception for participating artists at the Youth in Arts Gallery in downtown San Rafael on February 4th. 330 students, parents, and teachers visited the gallery throughout the afternoon. Executive Director, Miko Lee and Student Board Member, Rose Myers presented forty prizes to students from 17 of Marin County’s public, private, and alternative high schools full list of winners here. The show was blindly adjudicated by our panel of professional artists: painter, Kay Carlson; ceramicist, Melissa Woodbury; and photographer, Joy Phoenix. Additional awards were granted to students selected by Perry’s Art Supplies & Framing, RileyStreet Art Supply, Alejandra Tamayo, and Youth in Arts.
The exhibition, which runs through March 28th, highlights paintings, drawings, photography, ceramics, sculptures, digital and mixed media work from up to 12 teacher-nominated students from each school. Over 130 students submitted 2D and 3D artwork for this years RISING STARS, and the varied works have come together in a beautiful presentation that draws well-deserved attention to the talented visual arts students throughout Marin County. Though our staff and judges are always thoroughly impressed by level of student ability, the quality of artwork in this year’s show is particularly astounding. We were also moved by the eloquence and thoughtfulness of the artist statements produced by this years participants. Thank you student artists!
RISING STARS will be on view at YIA Gallery, 917 C Street in San Rafael, through March 28th, 2018; 11am–4pm. We are also open for the 2nd Fridays Art Walk Downtown: Friday, February 9, 5-8 p.m; Friday, March 9, 5-8 p.m.
and Allan Daly for photography
Teens, please join us for a visual arts workshop, How to Pursue Art as a Passion & Profession, on February 20th.
Youth in Arts is thrilled to announce that we have just completed a three-year strategic plan focused on intensifying the impact of our work to ensure all our students receive the full benefits we know arts learning can provide.
The vision behind this new plan is that youth of every background and ability will have the creative skills, compassion, confidence and resilience to share their voices and achieve their goals.
Our work will be guided by key values, reaffirmed in this planning process:
We believe in INCLUSION, that differences are beautiful, and that students of all abilities and backgrounds deserve an education in the arts.
We believe in CELEBRATING young people as artists, knowing one impact of the arts is bringing joy to human lives.
We believe in EMPOWERING youth to share their stories and express their beliefs freely and effectively through music, dance, visual arts, theater and new media.
We believe in ARTISTS of all ages, endorsing a mentorship approach to arts education that connects students with professional working artists, skilled in their art forms and effective in their teaching.
A Focus on Intensive Arts
In our arts residencies in local schools, we are adding new key elements that will now be a part of every program, intensifying the impact on students:
We believe that this approach of 8+ week residencies supplemented with events that include family members in children’s arts learning will provide a quality educational experience that will not only teach children specific art skills but also foster confidence and self-expression.
Assemblies and Performances
Youth in Arts has historically provided 45-minute performances for students, first through a mainstage series and more recently through our school “Assembly” program. In order to have the kind of impact on students we hope to achieve, we are now connecting any performance we provide to additional arts learning opportunities in the classroom. This means that we may provide schoolwide performances as part of a longer site residency, or in conjunction with curriculum-linked workshops, but we will no longer be providing “stand alone” Assemblies where a short performance is our artists’ only interaction with students.
We are in the process of developing a series of performances enhanced with classroom workshops linked to social science and language arts curriculum. While we intend this model especially for middle school sites, we would be happy to talk to elementary schools that are interested in this approach to arts learning.
Intensive Arts for Teens and Model Projects
Youth in Arts will also continue to offer our “Intensive Arts Mentorship” (I AM) programs for teens, including `Til Dawn A Cappella music program and C Street Project visual arts. We will continue to showcase youth voices through exhibits at YIA Gallery, and we are developing a new YIA Theater Ensemble to provide opportunities in a new genre.
We remain strong in our commitment to serving students of all abilities and will continue and hopefully eventually expand Arts Unite Us residencies serving special education classrooms. We also plan to further refine our model work in creating inclusive arts residencies that bring together students of differing abilities through shared arts experiences.
And we will continue to develop unique program models we have been piloting at some of our closest partner schools. These include piloting a K-8th grade sequential arts program starting the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Kindergarten Art Program and “Architecture in Schools,” along with several other promising models, including both direct classroom instruction projects and professional development for educators.
Our website will be updated soon to reflect these changes. Meanwhile should you have any questions about specific programs coming to your school, please contact Morgan Schauffler.
If you have questions about the strategic planning process or overall vision for Youth in Arts, contact Executive Director Miko Lee.
Mentor Artist Sophie Cooper writes about the culmination of the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Kindergarten Art Program at Venetia Valley Elementary
As the culmination of a 12-week program, K and TK students at Venetia Valley Elementary integrated their newly acquired techniques as visual artists through the creation of unique and expressive self-portraits. To prepare for this final project, students completed a number of activities exploring line, shape, color and pattern. Then it was time to explore emotion. Students were given mirrors and are asked to draw four quick sketches of their own faces with different emotions: happy, sad, surprised and angry. We discussed how the lines of the mouth, eyes and eyebrows changed with each emotional expression.
Ready to embark upon their final portraits, students began with a pencil drawing using the mirrors and the emotional expression of their choosing. The next step was to trace their lines with oil pastels, then bring their portraits to life using vibrant watercolors. Students were encouraged to use colors to further convey emotions. The final works were astoundingly unique portraits that captured the students’ sense of pride, courage and creative identity.
Learning to identify and communicate emotions is no small task, no matter how old we are. In addition, when it comes to emotions, words often fall short. For children in the early stages of developing an awareness of their emotions and relational skills, creative outlets enable students new ways of understanding and expressing themselves and those around them. We all know that emotions give rise to wonderful art, yet what I learned from the young artists at Venetia Valley, is that the art we create can actually teach us about our emotions.
Thank you to the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Fund and to our Youth in Arts donors for supporting this program.
On Thursday, April 27, Laurel Dell teachers, students, staff and families came together at Youth in Arts to celebrate artwork on exhibit created by Laurel Dell kindergarteners in the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Kindergarten Art Program.
Created by Youth in Arts and Walker’s family to celebrate Walker’s life and love for the arts, the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Kindergarten Arts Program combines visual arts classes led by professional artist and educators with “Family Art Nights” that bring the school community together.
All Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts activities center on a theme of friendship–this is both a celebration of Walker, who was gregarious and loved making new friends, and a perfect developmental link for kindergarteners who are learning to be a part of a school community.
The culmination of the project is the annual “Imagining Friendship” gallery exhibit of student work on view at YIA Gallery in downtown San Rafael through May.
The exhibit also includes work from kindergarteners at Venetia Valley, who will celebrate together this week on May 4, and hands-on art activities for visitors. We are open to the public weekdays 11-4, as well as this weekend May 6-7 from noon to 4 pm for Marin Open Studios and on Friday, May 12 from 5 to 8 pm for 2nd Fridays Art Walk Downtown.
Colorful self-portraits created by the students are displayed alongside artist-created cardboard play spaces that show children you can create “something from nothing”.
Laurel Dell staff, teachers and families created a beautiful tote for Naomi Tamura and Ali Rezaian who started the Creative HeArts Fund to honor their son, Walker, and who helped Youth in Arts design the program to have a lasting impact on children. Naomi has since also become Youth in Arts Board President, leading the organization in reaching more Marin children with our creative programs.
To learn more about Creative HeArts, check out our video below. For more about the gallery exhibit, click here. To donate to support this opportunity for young artists, visit our online donation page.
Youth in Arts thanks the Creative HeArts Fund and the Tamura and Rezaian families for their ongoing support for this program.
This activity is supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency.
Two December art sales events give you an opportunity this holiday season to support Youth in Arts while purchasing art for gifts or just for yourself (you deserve it!)
Through December 22, YIA Gallery in Downtown San Rafael hosts INSPIRE: Teaching Artists Exhibit, featuring the work of 26 local teaching artists providing art classes for students of all ages across Marin.
Come by for our Opening Reception on Friday, December 9 from 5 to 8 p.m. as part of 2nd Fridays Art Walk Downtown or visit any time between 11 and 4 weekdays. Your purchases support both the teaching artist who created each piece and Youth in Arts programs for students of all ages and abilities. Our gift shop with smaller handmade items and cards by teaching artists and students is also open for your holiday shopping!
Also, throughout the month of December, ArtJet is donating 10% of your online purchases of fine art delivered to you to Youth in Arts. Just shop ArtJet’s amazing collections of American art online and select Youth in Arts at checkout.
We think you can find a beautiful work of art or unique and handmade item or card for everyone on your gift list this season…
…but if you can’t, please don’t forget to shop Amazon Smile and benefit YIA with every Amazon purchase!
We’ve been busy at Youth in Arts getting Fall programs up and running at schools across the region and here on C Street!
Mentor Artist Cathy Bowman, for example, is teaching visual arts at both Lagunitas in San Geronimo and at Bayside-MLK Academy in Marin City. At Lagunitas, it was challenging to engage middle school teen boys in the visual arts process. But when Cathy encouraged them to carve their own linoleum blocks for prints, entrusting them with sharp tools and teaching them about the importance of caution and control in creating a good design, they rose to the occasion creating beautiful work! You’ll be able to see for yourself this January-February when Lagunitas student work is featured in our YIA Gallery!
Mentor Artist Shawna Alapai’i has also started teaching ukelele and hula at Cascade Canyon in Fairfax. Shawna combines music and dance techniques with stories from the native Hawai’ian tradition that link to nature and the Earth.
She will be bringing her own performance ensemble, Halau Hula Na Pua O Ka La’akea to Cascade Canyon for the children to experience, and then students will work up to their own December performance!
YIA Visual Arts specialist Suzanne Joyal is about to start our fourth year of the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Kindergarten Arts program. This amazing program engages kindergarteners and their teachers and families in a comprehensive visual arts learning program grounded in a theme of friendship, honoring 5-year-old Walker Rezaian’s life and love of art. This year–thanks in particular to donors at our April 2016 “Travel the World” gala–we will be expanding the program to a second site at Venetia Valley this year. Find out more about this special program in the video here.
Out-of-school, in our Intensive Arts Mentorship (I AM) programs, teens have been busy working on visual and performing arts skills and projects. C Street Project students created a giant-sized “Walkable Comic” for “Litquake” San Rafael, on exhibit in our YIA Gallery through mid-November. Click here for details on when to visit or how to arrange a free gallery visit for your school or youth group.
`Til Dawn A Cappella spent a Fall retreat weekend together and this week will open the Youth Leadership section of the National Bioneers Conference on Friday at the Marin Center in San Rafael. We are also taking `Til Dawn and C Street Project students to the Visual and Performing Arts college fair in South San Francisco this Sunday as part of our new “I AM Success” program to help teen artists pursue life beyond high school in the arts.
`Til Dawn is also busy rehearsing for their November 12 performance at “Signed-Sealed-Delivered, A Cappella Live!” at Dominican University. And save the date–Monday, December 26–for the `Til Dawn SING OUT! at Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley!
We have also been busy booking assembly performances for school and community sites. For example, Dance Palace Community Center is presenting a series of Youth in Arts performances for students from West Marin schools–this month Ernesto Olmos and Balamcoatl shared traditional Mayan music and dance. Capoeira is coming up in November and then `Til Dawn A Cappella will round out the series in January.
We have many more performances in schools coming up, and our Assembly Performances are available across the Bay Area. Our Program Manager Morgan Schauffler can help you book Assemblies for your own site–you can give her a call at 415-457-4878 ext. 160 or just stop in at 917 C Street weekdays 11-4 to see “Walkable Comics” and talk with any staff member about all our exciting Fall activities and events!
This month, Youth in Arts C Street Project artists Christopher Do, Ayame Keane-Lee, Marikit Mayeno and Joselyn De Leon have been working with Mentor Artist Cathy Bowman to create an original comic book for Litquake San Rafael, as well as a giant-sized “walkable” illustrated story in our YIA Gallery in Downtown San Rafael.
On Saturday, October 8, C Street Project artists hand-colored dozens of copies of their finished comic book Floating with purple and yellow colors that are important elements of their story. They delivered the books to Blue Moon Comics, where Litquake visitors could pick up a free copy and follow a trail of footprints to YIA Gallery. At the gallery, visitors were able to illustrate their own ending to the story and participate in a workshop with Mentor Artist Cathy Bowman on comic book drawing and design techniques.
C Street Project artists also used a press to create original printed images, both to decorate the outsides of the comic book, and as bookmarks for YIA Gallery visitors to take home with them.
On Sunday, the young artists worked with Youth in Arts Mentor Artists to hand-enlarge their book pages to panels that now fill YIA Gallery. They hand-colored each panel and drew their own “bubble worlds” (another story element) which will be strategically hung from the ceiling.
On each “bubble world,” one side of the bubble shows a world the artist wants to see (i.e. a healthy natural world or engaging schooling for everyone) and the other side shows an aspect of the world they want to change (i.e. factories belching pollution or girls excluded from school).
Come visit C Street Project’s “Walkable Comics” exhibit free to the public at YIA Gallery through November 18, Monday through Friday 11 am to 4 pm.
We’ll also be open free to the public on Friday, October 14 and Friday, October 11 from 5-8 pm for Art Walk Downtown. If you’d like to bring your school or youth group on a private tour with a guided hands-on art activity, contact Jen Daly at firstname.lastname@example.org (reservations required).
Or see the show when you join us on Saturday, November 5 to “Paint, Print, Cut & Create” at our art-making studio fundraiser ($30 Teens & Adults and $10 Children–info and tickets at youthinarts.ticketleap.com)
Youth in Arts is delighted to have Morgan Schauffler as our new Program Manager. Morgan, who grew up in Marin, has a family tradition of love for the arts. Her grandmother studied art history, and she grew up appreciating and making art at school and at home.
“I actually wrote and illustrated my own book in second grade,” Morgan recalls. She remembers her grandmother being so proud of her work that she sent laminated copies to all her friends.
Morgan carried her interest through her school years and went on to receive degrees in Art History and Human Communications at University of Denver, working in fine arts galleries while in school and after graduation. She spent a decade at the prestigious Paul Thiebaud Gallery in San Francisco, representing artists and working with collectors. When her son was born two years ago, she decided to take her arts interests in a new direction.
“I could see our local schools weren’t offering the arts classes I had as a child,” she explains. “I wanted to change that, to make a difference.”
Searching for how to make that difference brought Morgan to Youth in Arts, where she will now be putting her marketing and project management skills to work helping schools identify their arts needs and fill gaps in programming. With her extensive gallery experience, she will also support YIA Gallery at Youth in Arts, one of just a few in the U.S. dedicated to youth work. “I would love for more children and teen’s work to be seen and valued in the community,” she says.
In her free time, in addition to raising a bustling toddler, Morgan loves to visit museums, and she has her own collection of photographs acquired from her travels and paintings by artists she has represented. Although she does not consider herself an artist, she credits her arts experiences with building her creative and critical thinking skills. She believes all children need and deserve the arts in their lives.
“I want my son, and his peers–and all kids in Marin and the Bay Area–to have the opportunities I had,” says Morgan. “So working at a nonprofit dedicated to doing just that is a great fit for me.”
Come say hello to Morgan MWF 11-4 at Youth in Arts or contact her at 415-457-4878 ext. 160 or email@example.com.Older Entries »