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

“Imagining Friendship” Opens at YIA Gallery

Friends come in all shapes and sizes!

“Imagining Friendship” is at the YIA Gallery in San Rafael through May 24. The show features the colorful self portraits by kindergarteners and first graders at Laurel Dell Elementary School. The work was part of a residency this Fall with Youth in Arts’ mentor artists Suzanne Joyal and Cathy Bowman.

The Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts exhibition is now in its fifth year. The show celebrates the life of 5-year-old Walker Rezaian and his love of the arts. The show is part of a program funded by the Rezaian family.

“This is an exciting show that celebrates friendship in all its forms,” said Youth in Arts’ Executive Director Miko Lee. “The exhibition also features a wonderful cardboard for exploring. The exhibit shows families that art can be made from anything.”

As a backdrop for the show, Joyal and Bowman built a kid-sized, interactive cardboard world with tunnels to crawl through and doors to open. There are windows to look in and out of and a cardboard word game to encourage visitors to read and write. The show also features a giant word tower made from cardboard boxes inspired by the work of artist Corita Kent. The cardboard was generously donated by Sunrise Home.

 

Youth in Arts is also excited to announce the opening of its new ART LAB, housed in the YIA store. The ART LAB is open during regular Youth in Arts’ hours, Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Art Encourages New Readers at Laurel Dell

Families of kindergarten and first grade students joined together for an evening of literacy fun! Teachers Alejandra Vazquez and Krista Wallinger worked with reading specialist Maggie Stevens to share tools for new readers with students and their families. Participants received books to take home, and grown-ups practiced techniques for encouraging new readers.

Youth in Arts’ own Suzanne Joyal and Cathy Bowman (who is teaching the Walker Rezaian Creative Hearts Program with these students) designed a very special book for each child to make and utilize at home. It features the first letters that students learn, and each page is made from an envelope. Students drew a letter on each page, illustrated that page with words and pictures that start with the letter, then scrambled around the room searching for words that would go in each envelope.

Instructions in the book encourage parents to help their children find more words to add to the envelope pages, and then to take the words out to practice reading and writing. Since the binding of the book is just two holes, a rubber band and a popsicle stick, parents and students can continue to add pages as new letters are added to their word wall!

We are also working on refining the Letter Dance: combining sounds and shapes and movements which we can choreograph with words–stay tuned…

Thank you to our supporters~

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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.

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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.

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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 Explore Shapes and Textures

In our second week at Laurel Dell Elementary, working with TK and Kindergarten classes through the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Kindergarten Arts Program,  we explored shapes and textures as we created beautiful wall hangings using contact paper, construction paper, lots of different shapes and textures, and magic gold!

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Magic Gold makes the shapes and drawings come alive.

Kindergarteners are learning about comparisons, shapes and textures.

Kindergarteners are learning about comparisons, shapes and textures.

The project was inspired by work that was already happening in the classroom.

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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 Transitional K and Kindergarteners

WalkerHeaderLaurel Dell Elementary School is the 2015-2016 recipient of the Walker Rezaian Creative Hearts Fund grant. This is providing the youngest members of the Laurel Dell Community with visual arts instruction for most of the school year.

With observational drawing we learn to look closely and notice details. When we observe our own creations or things we love, we see more, and look even more closely. Laurel Dell’s youngest students often practice Observational Drawing: either their own artwork, or toy animals and dinosaurs that inspire more stories and more engaging play. Students also practice making many different kinds of lines, and adding lots of details.

 

Drawing our PLAYGROUNDS:

And then we PAINTED our drawings:

 

After playgrounds, we practiced observational drawing (and painting) with ANIMALS and DINOSAURS:

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Clay Friends for Playgrounds

We decided that the TK and kindergarteners at Laurel Dell would make better playground designers if they knew who their clients were. So, they made clay people to play on their future playgrounds. This gave students a more concrete way to envision their playgrounds. Who would their little friends play with? How would they play? Students changed their perspective as they made up stories about their new little friends.

We used Sculpy Souffle because of its soft, malleable feel, and its strength after it is baked. Students were able to spend lots of time exploring the material. Looking, squishing, rolling, pinching, cutting, and more. We then talked about bodies: what do we have two of? (eyes, legs, arms, etc.) What can we add for details? (fingers, toes, clothing, hair).

We finished this exercise with Observational Drawing in our sketchbooks. Students looked closely as they carefully drew their own creations. They then imagined a new world, as they added playgrounds, friends, and nature to their drawings.

 

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Kindergartener’s Paths for Playgrounds

Before we can build our playgrounds, we must design the ground. How do we move on a playground? How do we play? We looked at examples of playgrounds and paths, and then created our own. We used foam core for the base, drew our designs with colored pencils.

We used small plastic animals, with their feet dipped in paint, to create the paths that we make as we play.

Kindergarten Art Week One: My Family

Children practice story telling as they describe their family and favorite activities

Children practice story telling as they describe their family and favorite activities

 

TWRLogoForBLOGThe Walker Rezaian Creative Hearts Fund offers Kindergarteners from a title one school in Marin a wonderful opportunity to learn to use art to explore the ideas of friendship. This year we worked with every kindergartener at Bahia Vista School for 12 weeks!

We start with an easy assessment: SHOW us your family: Who are they? What do you like to do together? Where do you like to go? Students use colored pencils to draw as many details as possible. Teachers can see a student’s knowledge of:

  • Lines
  • Shapes
  • Numbers
  • Letters
  • Colors
  • Sharing
  • Reflecting
  • Encouraging peers
  • Asking good questions

 

Children work in small groups and practice sharing and respect: of each other and their materials.

Children work in small groups and practice sharing and respect: of each other and their materials.

 

 

Children talk more Children talk more when they can tell you about something they care about.when they can tell you about something they care about.

 

 

Children will soon learn about horizon lines: what happens

Assessment: Children will soon learn about horizon lines: Look out the window, and tell me what happens where the sky meets the land?

 

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Assessment: We will practice details soon: What color shirt is your mom wearing? Can you draw that too? Can you shoes and hands with fingers?

 

 

This first activity tells us This first activity tells me what kids know, and what they can do. It also makes students feel safe about their art-making.what kids know, and what they can do. It also makes students feel safe about their art-making.

 

Paper Playgrounds: Exploring Lines in 3D

WRLogoForBLOGThrough the Walker Rezaian Creative HeARTS Fund, Mentor Artist Suzanne Joyal has been teaching friendship through visual art with all the kindergarteners at Loma Verde Elementary School.

Kindergarteners at Loma Verde took their line research to the third dimension as they used new folding skills to design their own personal playgrounds.

Local architect Janine Lovejoy Wilford joined us in the classrooms. Janine specializes in designing learning spaces for children: both classrooms and playgrounds. Janine introduced them to the ideas of collaboration and design.

Children practiced, folding, tearing, rolling, and gluing strips of paper to build their slides, steps, tunnels and swings to design their magical play spaces.

Where do we want to PLAY?

What would our FRIENDS like to do?

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