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Imagining Friendship’s Extraordinary Exhibit Opening!

WRLogoForBLOGOn Friday, April 11 the YIA Gallery opened “Imagining Friendship” the culminating exhibit to three months of work at Loma Verde Elementary School as the first recipient of the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Fund.

Over two hundred people experienced the hands on cardboard gallery. Children from 2 to 52 were crawling inside the giant boxes to view the art which explored the meaning of friendship through the lens of visual arts. Mentor Artist Suzanne Joyal helped show families where their kindergarten child’s artwork could be found. Squeals of delight could be heard as students spotted their self portrait and then added images to the 10 foot tall recreation of a classmates depiction of friendship.

People clustered around small buttons to listen to the voices of young artists talking about their creative process. Making Learning Visible books showing photos and children’s quotes during the intensive residency were also widely viewed.  Mentor Artist Suzanne said, “The take away is – the more opportunity you give children to share ideas and materials the more ingrained it becomes in them.  I loved seeing them grow over the course of the sessions.”  One teacher commented, “Today is Friday the day Suzanne usually comes into the classroom, all the kids were asking, “Where is Ms. Suzanne? Luckily I could say, we will see her at the Art Opening tonight!”

A special presentation was made to the Rezaian family on behalf of the school site. Principal Eileen Smith remarked, “Friday evening was one of the most gratifying experiences of my year.  Seeing the pride on the students’ faces as they stood in front of their artwork was a beautiful moment.  Parents had an opportunity to celebrate publicly with their children and the joyful emotions in the gallery created an unforgettable experience for all in attendance.  This culminating event brought our Loma Verde Community together in a celebration of art.  It was also very rewarding to observe the donors and know that their generosity is making a difference.  This grant brought families together and symbolized the importance of art within a community.”

Applications for next year’s Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Fund recipient are being accepted until May 17, 2014. For more information, click here.

Special thanks to Peter Rodgers for capturing the photographs and joy of the evening.

Observational Drawing: Playgrounds and Flowers

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.

Learning to draw what your eye SEES, not what your mind REMEMBERS. Children practiced looking closely, and allowing our eyes to guide our pencils. This helped children to better remember their work, and to better appreciate their efforts.

Children used their own sculptures as models for their drawing. They practiced looking closely, defining the types of lines they could see, and even made choices about what they might do next.

Playground drawings using colored pencils in our art journals

Flower drawings using pencil, Sharpie…

… and tempera cakes for lots of color.

Model Magic Flowers

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.

We had so much fun with sculpting Model Magic, we decided to revisit the medium. This week, we looked at amazing photographs of flowers and plants, along with the beautiful glass sculptures of Dale Chihuly. We talked about how things grow in nature, and how artists reinterpret what we SEE, into what we IMAGINE!

fern with spores

fern with spores

Glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly

Glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Children were given small bases of mat board and chenille stems. We reviewed the techniques we learned a week earlier to build unique and magical plants.

Model Magic! Sculpting people for our playground

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.

This week we created friends to live in our paper playgrounds. We used Model Magic and practiced using our small muscles to create people and creatures to live on our playgrounds.

Children squished, squashed, rolled and more as they created their people, then played with their friends as they shared their designs with classmates.

Kindergarten Art at Loma Verde: Exploring Friendship

Kindergarten Art Intro: Self –Portraits

We are so excited to begin the wonderful Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Project at Loma Verde Elementary School. Our first lesson involved creating the covers of our Art Journals. Using oil pastels and the cool colors of tempera cakes, we created rich and silly pictures of ourselves.

Our first Journal question: What is a friend? We drew pictures.

Read more…

Loma Verde Elementary Selected for Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Kindergarten Arts Program

Loma Verde Elementary School in Novato will receive visual arts instruction from Youth in Arts Mentor Artists for all kindergarten students, along with special trainings for parents and teachers and a culminating YIA Gallery exhibit, through the generosity of the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Fund.

The program celebrates the life and love for the arts of five-year-old Walker Rezaian. Visual arts lessons at Loma Verde will focus on the theme of  “Friendship,” an appropriate tribute to Walker, who touched so many lives in his Mill Valley community with his loving and outgoing personality. Youth in Arts has worked closely with Walker’s family in designing the program and selecting Loma Verde as the 2013-14 recipient.

Walker Rezaian

Principal Eileen Smith says Loma Verde parents have greeted this opportunity “with great enthusiasm—they are highly motivated to facilitate this program.” The school has not had funding for a formal visual arts program in the past, and Smith says they anticipate a very positive impact on their students. The school serves a diverse population of children, many of whom are English Language Learners from economically disadvantaged families.

The Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Fund is a project of the Walker Rezaian Memorial Fund. For more information, please contact Miko Lee or leave a comment here.