Youth In Arts San Rafael logo

917 "C" Street
San Rafael, California 94901
(415) 457-4878
yia@youthinarts.org

Youth Discover their Authentic Voice through Spoken Word Poetry

Youth in Arts mentor artist, Graham Hackett, shares his experience at San Jose Middle School in Novato. Performance Poetry, or “spoken-word,” is a fusion of literature and theatre where the author is the performer. As such, young people choose to deploy it as a powerful form of citizens’ journalism.Middle School

So when San Jose Middle School in Novato made the bold choice to lead students through a unit on immigration and resilience, the diverse array of students approached the topic from various perspectives. Some reflected on the lives of their favorite sports heroes that were immigrants. Others explored their heritage and the legacy they built. Several even described their own first hand experience as immigrants themselves.

Whatever approach they took, students thoughtfully used literary devices and public speaking techniques to share their stories in nuanced, dynamic, and often powerful ways to address some of the most relevant, hot-button issues we face today in America.

GHackett Web Size

 

Color Comes Alive at Oak Hill School

By Mentor Artist Cathy Bowman

Artists at Oak Hill School have explored color in various ways this year. During a recent project, students arranged paint chips in a composition and then applied black ink on or around each rectangle using sticks, brushes or fingertips. The project gave students a chance to experiment with non traditional implements for applying color. They also considered how colors behave differently depending on how they are combined and arranged. The flat, matte surface of the paint chips worked especially well for this project.

oak hill paint chip1oak hill 6

oak hill 5oak hill 4oak hill 3

 

 

Oak Hill serves students with autism and other learning differences. For the final project of the year, artists worked on a collaborative mural using a large canvas tarp. Again, students experimented with different ways of applying paint – double brushes, foam brushes, rollers and a spray bottle. They also explored how painting changes depending on the amount of pressure applied and paint used. Some artists used light brushstrokes that were repeated in a loose pattern; others preferred to apply large areas of saturated color. A spray bottle filled with color allowed artists to wet the paint until it dripped to the ground. The size of the tarp and the freedom to work outside in the sunshine allowed students to paint on a much larger scale. We talked about how painting while standing up feels different from painting while sitting at a desk.

oak hill 7     oak hill 10     oak hill 11

 

oak hill 8    oakhill 9

 

Youth in Arts is grateful to Marin Charitable for helping to support this project.

Thank you to the Buck Family Fund of the Marin Community Foundation for supporting this program.
BFF-of-MCF-logo

Civil Rights Stories Come to Life at Cornell Elementary

By Mentor Artist Hannah Gavagan

unnamedHappy July 4th!

There is nothing like a good story. Some stories are life-changing and some stories are told over and over again but still somehow sound new. That is the magic of theater and story telling.

The third grade classes at Cornell Elementary were studying the civil rights movement and were exposed to all kinds of stories. The story of Martin Luther King Jr. The story of Ruby Bridges. Of Rosa Parks. But there was one story they learned that I didn’t know. And that was the story of Fannie Lou Hamer.

Fannie Lou Hamer worked tirelessly to be registered to vote. Then she gave back and helped so many people of color register. Then she ran for office. She lost every time she ran.

At first the students weren’t happy with the ending of the story. “But…She never won?!”

So often we overlook the most important part of the stories of these leaders – the struggle. Fannie Lou Hamer never won an election but she educated countless people on voting rights. She paved the way for others after her to run for office. I realized that was wanted I wanted to teach the students through her story. Sometimes we don’t get the outcome we wanted. But hard work and perseverance ALWAYS pays off, even if it pays the generation after you.

The students collaborated beautifully and told sides of the stories that are forgotten. I hope the walked away with knowing that persevering is worth it. That grit is good. That progress trumps perfection.

Celebrating Art at Bayside Martin Luther King Jr. Academy

By Mentor Artist Cathy Bowman

Students at Bayside Martin Luther King Jr. Academy in Marin City created many wonderful projects this year. They began with collage self-portraits after looking tabletop mirrors. They learned about proportions and scale when drawing faces. At the end of the year, students made a second self portrait using watercolor, pen and ink and. Their art was celebrated with an end-of-the-year display in the main building at school. Students also explored the theme of home and family in their work, creating paintings of their own homes and adding colorful birds and other adornments.

amanda MLK  mlk1mlk5      mlk8

mlk10    mlk12      mlk13

Architecture in Mill Valley

Thank you to all who came to and supported our Youth in Arts Architecture in the Schools program. Gracious Hosts Maura and Chris Tokarski opened up their beautiful home to us as a starting point and then lovely and delicious farm to table meal. We took a walking tour through some historical sites in the Cascade Canyon neighborhood of Mill Valley. We thank the neighbors who allowed us to explore their amazing homes. Led by our own Jennifer Daly, Maura Tokarski and Debra Schwartz from Tam Hiking Tours and the Mill Valley Historical Society.  Architect Shirl Buss described some of the work she does in the classroom and showed off the kids Tower of Power structures and connecting bridges.  We all made connections and enjoyed a sunny and wonderful afternoon.

A special thanks to Cary Carpenter and Jia Han for supporting the event.

STEM to STEAM

On June 13 and 14th Youth in Arts staff Suzanne Joyal and Miko Lee trained 60 self identified STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) teachers from the Marin County Office of Education on how to incorporate the ARTS into their curriculum. Teachers met in hour long grade level groups. They were led through a group brainstorm of their particular topic. They were then shown an example of a finished project and then led through the exercise which was connected to to address a grade level performance expectation. At the end of each session there was a gallery display and discussion utilizing Visual Thinking Strategies which are also employed by the STEM teachers. They were provided with lesson plans that note the links to the Next Generation Science Standard, the National Art Standard and Youth in Arts own Creative Expression standard.

Thank you for contributing your strengths in the arts to make this workshop meaningful and engaging for the participants. The teachers shared how they plan to use these art lessons with their students and how much they appreciated seeing how art can deepen student understanding in science.–Christina Lunde and Eileen Smith, Marin Next Generation Collaborative

For information on how you can book this professional development for your school site click here, where a link to lesson plans can also be found.

Please check out the attached photo gallery to see the work in action. Thanks to Christina Lunde for some of the photos.

Family Art Night

Thursday night brought Laurel Dell families from every grade together for an inspired evening of creativity. Fourth and fifth graders began the evening by sharing their visions for their new school with their friends and family. Students worked with architects Shirl Buss and Rich Storek to practice design thinking strategies as they explored ideas and created solutions for their new school.

Kindergarteners showed friends and family just a little of what they have learned as they added creatures and people to their imaginary world. As recipients of the Walker Rezaian Creative Hearts grant, students in TK and K learned about strategies for being a good friend as they also discovered lines and shapes and colors and tools in their three-month visual arts residency with Mentor Artist Suzanne Joyal.

We wish to make a special thank you to the Laurel Dell PTA, the Walker Rezaian Creative Hearts Fund, the California Arts Council and the California Wellness Foundation for their generous contributions to the Arts at Laurel Dell Elementary School.

WRLogoForBLOGCAClogo_stackedRGB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Kindergarteners Make Portraits and Explore Emotions

Kindergarenters have spent weeks learning about lines and observational drawing, and now it’s time to show what we know. Students were given mirrors and asked to make faces: what does happy look like? Sad? Angry? Surprised? We then talked about our friends faces and what we can do to keep them smiling. Children had the opportunity to experiment with mirrors.

Next, we made emotions faces: four quick sketches showing our faces with different emotions. Students added color with their colored pencils. Regular practice has made them pros with color.

In our third week of portraits, we went big on beautiful heavy watercolor paper (thank you RileyStreet for making sure we have the best supplies). Once students had practiced drawing a big oval with just their finger on the paper, they were given pencils then sharpies. Don’t forget the details (hair, eyelashes, eyebrows, ears, etc).

And then comes color! In oil pastels then liquid watercolors. I’m glad to have the super strong watercolor paper.

And finally, tell me a story with your picture frame. What do you love? What have you learned? What do you want people to know about you?

You can see all of the beautiful Kindergarten Art in our Gallery at Youth in Arts April 14-May 26.

WRLogoForBLOGCAClogo_stackedRGB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Observational Drawing with Kindergarteners

As an art teacher, Observational Drawing has become my favorite project. I have dozens of plastic animals that I have painted black to help artists focus on the lines and textures more than the “creature”. Plastic animals are a familiar toy, they are safe and fun to draw. Students learn to look closely, and let their eye tell their hand what to draw. They practice drawing what they see, not what they remember. After several weeks practicing lines in 2D and 3D, that are ready to go.

One class of animals is just not enough, so in our second day with them, we considered habitats, both real and imaginary. Mostly imaginary. Using an old map of the area, we drew more animals, colored them and cut them out, then worked together to create a habitat where everyone can live together in peace and color.

WRLogoForBLOGCAClogo_stackedRGB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Looking at the Lines We Made

WRLogo-Online200px-RedThe Walker Rezaian Creative Hearts program allows kindergartens to develop a deep understanding of lines, shapes, colors, and friendship. In this early class, we work on fine motor control as we design sculptures of 3D lines complete with colorful bead patterns.

Students gain their first experience with observational drawing, which is a fundamental component of the program. They learn to look closely and document their work with their drawings.

This year, the Walker Rezaian project has expended to two sites! Thank you to our generous donors.

 

Students practice perseverance and fine motor control as they find beads for their sculpture

Students practice perseverance and fine motor control as they find beads for their sculpture

P1160067

Lots of choices

P1160057

Lines move off the page and into 3D

P1160061

teachers have fun too.

The first step in observational drawing.

The first step in observational drawing.

Observational drawing of a sculpture

Observational drawing of a sculpture

P1160095

Thinking about choices

P1160088

Concentration

Making sure the sticky "feet" stuck!

Making sure the sticky “feet” stuck!

Students had to pay close attention to use some of the tiny beads.

Students had to pay close attention to use some of the tiny beads.

Teachable moments were embraced: how do you share one bucket with a group of friends? What happens when two people want the same shiny bead?

Teachable moments were embraced: how do you share one bucket with a group of friends? What happens when two people want the same shiny bead?

Learning to look: we ask students to look closely as they make drawings of their sculptures.

Learning to look: we ask students to look closely as they make drawings of their sculptures.

« Newer Entries Older Entries »