Youth In Arts San Rafael logo

917 "C" Street
San Rafael, California 94901
(415) 457-4878

Mary Silveira, Weeks 12-15

Mentor Artist Gabrielle Gamboa provided this update on our art and science integration program at Mary Silveira school. Artwork from this program was featured in December-January at YIA Gallery as part of our “Imaginary Voyages” exhibit.

After creative warm-up exercises, such as “Connect-The-Dot Creatures” and “Mandala Making”, Mary Silveira 5th graders have been adding to their “Imaginary Island” exploration journals. We learned some techniques for drawing and shading in one-point and two-point linear perspective to illustrate island locations, as part of a continuing adventure story that each student is creating.

And since one session happened to take place on Valentines Day, we took a break to make mixed-media greeting cards and gifts!

Dotcreature3dotcreatures2perspective1 perspective2 dotcreature1perspective3 perspective4 perspective5 perspective6 valentine1 valentine2 valentine3

Neil Cummins Students at YIA Gallery

Neil Cummins Elementary students from Ms. Suther and Ms. Marcus’s class visited YIA Gallery at Youth in Arts to explore the “Imaginary Voyages” exhibit of work by Mary Silveira students with Mentor Artist Gabrielle Gamboa. The students also created their own artwork in our Studio.

Youth in Arts staff talked with students about how scientific illustrators use both their powers of observation (like all scientists and artists) and their imaginations (like all scientists and artists!) Neil Cummins students then took inspiration from Mary Silveira students’ detailed “scientific” island maps, imagining what it would be like to land on each island and what kinds of creatures they might meet there.

We talked about perspective and the difference between a “Bird’s Eye” view (as in the Mary Silveira maps) and a close up view. Neil Cummins students then created paintings of the creatures they had imagined in a close up view. Enjoy a gallery of their work below!

“Imaginary Voyages” was featured at YIA Gallery from December 14 through January 30. To find out more about how your students can have their work exhibited at one of the only children’s art galleries in the U.S., contact Suzanne Joyal.

Our new exhibit “Carnival” featuring work by Laurel Dell students opened on February 14. Visit Monday-Friday from 10-4 or contact us about arranging a free school group tour for your class or youth group. All tours include a hands-on arts activity.

Mary Silveira, Weeks 9-11

The 5th Graders at Mary Silveira have been very busy! We made imaginary exploration sketchbooks, binding them by sewing. The first thing we did in our new sketchbooks was to make an observation drawing of a key that they found on the beach of their island, studying the object carefully, and drawing larger than life. Then we started learning 2-point linear perspective, and practiced our new skill to draw and shade 3-dimensional objects. Next week we will imagine what the key opens…and draw it in 2-point perspective!

We also had a fabulous art opening at Youth in Arts’ YIA Gallery of our colorful and imaginative island maps, drawn in watercolor, pencil, and pen. Some of the 5th Graders expertly served canapés, adding a touch of glamour to this fun event. The show is up through January 31.

Laurel Dell Carnival Costumes- Weeks 5-8

By Mentor Artist Gabrielle Gamboa

Note: Carnivale costume pieces created by Mentor Artist Gabrielle Gamboa’s students at Laurel Dell will be part of a special exhibit on Carnivale traditions around the world at YIA Gallery from February 14 through the end of March. The pieces will then be used back at the school in a dance festival celebration students are preparing with Mentor Artist Djenane St. Juste. Visit in February and March to see all this vivid and creative student work in person!

The last few weeks of my residency at Laurel Dell have been a whirlwind of activity. Each class’ costume is built around their crew theme: suns & moons, garden bugs, cats & dogs, candy, birds, ocean fish, or the rainforest. We used a variety of techniques to complete our headdresses, capes, vests, and masks, such as cut or torn paper, paper mache, paint, layered colored pencil, and mixed media assemblage using recycled materials.

Carnival Costumes at Laurel Dell

We have started our 8-week visual arts unit at Laurel Dell Elementary, during which we are making Carnival costumes and learning about Carnival traditions around the world. Each class is a “crew” or a “band,” and the students chose their own crew themes. All the costumes will be made from some form of paper, and include found and recycled materials. Some crews are making masks of various kinds, and others are making headdresses, and also paper capes or vests.

Time Machines at Marinwood

On Thursday, 8/15/13, I taught time machine building at the Marinwood summer camp program. Okay, they weren’t functional, but they were fun! We started with sketching ideas for small, hand-held time machines. Our young artists then shared their ideas in small groups. Next, we used found objects and recycled materials to construct time machine sculptures. Some artists chose to construct the machine from their sketch, and others let the available materials dictate their design. This creative sculptural project is both assemblage and bricolage, and repurposes trash to make treasure!

Real Old-Timey Photography at Marinwood

On Wednesday, 8/7/13, I brought my camera-less photography workshop to the Marinwood summer camp program. We made cyanotypes, also known as sun prints, using specially coated photo paper. First, we made prints by laying found objects directly on the photo paper. The prints are exposed directly to the sun, and then developed in a bath of plain water. As the prints develop, the negative space around where the objects were placed gradually turns a lovely cyan blue. Next, we cut shapes out of heavy paper, and made prints with these shapes. Our young artists then combined the techniques they had learned to make a unique final print. Some of the artists drew on or cut out their prints to make even more unique artworks!

Monsters Spotted at Marinwood!

We had a great time at my 8/1 Furry, Scaly Monsters workshop at Marinwood summer camps. Our young artists started with a texture drawing exercise, in which they practiced their feathers, fur, and scales. Next, they turned their texture blob sketches into monsters by adding facial features, limbs, and monstrous horns, claws, fangs, etc. The final step was to transfer one of these monsters (or create an entirely new one!) to scratchboard to make a fun, textural subtractive drawing. Some artists chose to add real googly eyes as a final touch!

Summer Fun at Marinwood

This summer Suzanne Joyal and myself have been guest visual arts specialists at the Marinwood Summer Day Camps program. My first two workshops were Funny Comics (7/11) and Sculpt Like Michaelangelo: Working With Clay (7/25).

In Funny Comics, we used professional techniques to unlock our creativity. First, our young artists responded to a selection of rapid-fire writing prompts, followed by a selection of rapid-fire drawing prompts. Next, we put together the writing with the drawings to make unusual and humorous connections. Finally, the artists either re-drew their new comic, making changes to improve the humor, or were inspired to make a new comic all-together.

For our clay workshop, I introduced and instructed in the techniques of the pinch pot, the coil, and the slab. We then constructed lidded jars out of air-dry clay. Some of the artists chose to embed beads, sequins, and glitter in their jars! Being summer, many of the artists shaped their jars like ice cream cones and sundaes, or other creative forms, like an Egyptian canopic jar! the artists used our remaining session time to sculpt whatever they like using the techniques they had practiced.

-Gabrielle Gamboa


Renaissance Drawing at Davidson Middle School

As part of the 7th Grade Social Studies curriculum, I presented a two-day workshop at Davidson Middle School on Renaissance drawing techniques.

After discussing the apprenticeship system of artist training and the tools and techniques used by the dominant artists of the period, students chose a print by Michelangelo or Leonardo DaVinci to copy. This was one of the most common exercises a Master artist would give their apprentice!

We started by drawing a measured grid on colored charcoal paper, and then we copied the master drawings square-by-square to our drawing paper using charcoal and/or conte pencils. Students don’t need advanced drafting skills to do this…one just has to break down the images into lines and shapes, a little bit at a time. This process forces the draftsperson to observe very closely, and the students were surprised with the accuracy of their drawings!

Youth in Arts “Travel the World” programs provide professional arts instruction linked to K-8 History/Social Studies curriculum. Click here to download a flyer on programs you can bring to your school next year.


Older Entries »