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Young Artists Spring Into Action

group 6 girls

Marina Middle Schoolers ready for summer!

Spring is bouncing into summer and hundreds of young artists around the North Bay are finishing class projects and creating exhibits, performances and other artful events for family and friends with Youth in Arts.

Recent posts have highlighted Spring projects by K-Dub Williams’ students at Marina Middle School and Angela Baker’s students at Harding Elementary, in addition to the amazing work created by Suzanne Joyal’s kindergarteners at Loma Verde as part of the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts program. Youth in Arts also produced a special “Passport Art Event” at Harding, and Nydia Gonzalez and Shawna Alapa’i concluding performing arts residencies at Ocean View Elementary in Albany and Sonoma Mountain Elementary.

Students of all abilities perform together at Tam High

Students of all abilities perform together at Tam High

In late May, Arts Unite Us “collaborative residency” projects at Harding and at Tam High School in Mill Valley wrapped up with terrific performances by all the students. Collaborative residencies bring together special education and general education students for shared arts experiences. At Harding, students wrote, directed and performed an original play “Lydia and the Land of Gee-Jo” around themes of Pollution, Bullying, Self Acceptance, New Beauty Standards and Taking Care of Each Other.  At Tam High , the original pilot site for the collaborative residency program, students from the Special Day Class and advanced Conservatory Theatre Ensemble worked with Mentor Artists Suraya Keating and Melissa Briggs to write and perform their original play, “By my Side,” which opened the school’s popular One Acts Festival.

Hip Hop at Bahia Vista with Kaitlin

Hip Hop at Bahia Vista with Kaitlin

Tommy Shepherd’s students at Wade Thomas put an exclamation mark on their rap and beatboxing residency with a performance of their original rap for their peers at school, and Kaitlin McGaw’s kindergarteners at Bahia Vista will soon perform a vocal music and hip hop show for their fourth grade buddies.

At Laurel Dell in San Rafael, Djenane Saint-Juste has been teaching students Caribbean dance around the theme of Kanaval (Carnivale), using costume pieces the students created this Fall with visual artist Gabby Gamboa. The students will perform in a grand parade with family and friends at the school’s big Fiesta del Sol event this weekend. And at Mary Silveira, Mentor Artist Julia James finished a successful year with a big art show featuring work by all her K-4 students in the program.

Youth in Arts award-winning `Til Dawn a cappella ensemble performed their annual Spring Concert at San

`Til Dawn 2014 Graduating Seniors

`Til Dawn 2014 Graduating Seniors

Domenico Hall of the Arts this past weekend–a big congratulations to all the performers for a wonderful show and a special shout out to our graduating seniors. We will miss you!

Also at San Domenico, Youth in Arts workshopped a new performance of “Goodnight Gorilla” on May 23 with music by Dee Spencer performed by a terrific band of Bay Area music educators and musicians who are working with us to develop the work into an educational performance piece for youth jazz bands.

Workshopping Goodnight Gorilla at San Domenico

Workshopping Goodnight Gorilla at San Domenico

You can see it’s been a very busy Spring, full of fabulous art and fabulous young artists. Watch this blog for more detailed reports on many of these projects in the weeks ahead and get ready to celebrate summer with Youth in Arts! Come see `Til Dawn at Youth in Arts night with the Pacifics, visit our Everything Under the Sun YIA Gallery exhibit, sign up for a unique summer camp program, check out the Mountain Play and benefit Youth in Arts with your ticket purchase, or join us for our gala Summer Solstice celebration at Studio 333 on June 21. We’d love to see you in person and share our work with you. Happy summer!

Mary Silveira, Weeks 16-18

The 5th Graders at Mary Silveira have spent the past few weeks continuing to work on their exploration journals.They continued creative writing inspired by their observation and perspective drawings, and made revised drawings of their island maps. We practiced color pencil blending techniques, and discussed how artists can make more lively drawings by blending analogous colors instead of using just one. For a warm-up exercise we made mandalas, instinctual circular drawings. These mandalas proved to be very popular!

We also created new island inhabitants by drawing hybrid creatures. To do this, each student drew two different animal models from observation. Then they cut and recombined these animals into a new creature, pasting it into their sketchbook. Cutting up and reassembling their drawings was difficult for some of these artists, and very freeing for others. But the unexpected results were a joyful surprise. After naming this new creature, they then added it into their stories.

For a culminating project, students will be exhibiting their maps and journals at the school art show. It has been great to see how enthusiastic these young artists have been about sharing their creations every step of the way.

Mandala making.

Mandala making.

Mandala making.

Mandala making.

Revising a map.

Revising a map.

Mandala making.

Mandala making.

Revising a map.

Revising a map.

Hybrid creatures.

Hybrid creatures.

Hybrid creatures.

Hybrid creatures.

Observation drawing from a toy fish.

Observation drawing from a toy fish.

Cutting up observation drawings to assemble into a new creature.

Cutting up observation drawings to assemble into a new creature.

Observation drawing using a toy animal.

Observation drawing using a toy animal.

Observation drawing using a toy animal.

Observation drawing using a toy animal.

Revising a map.

Revising a map.

Assembling a new creature from observation drawings.

Assembling a new creature from observation drawings.

Explorer journal pages.

Explorer journal pages.

Imaginary island map.

Imaginary island map.

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.

Art Expedition at Mary Silveira Elementary

I am working with the 5th Graders of Mary Silveira in San Rafael for an 18-week visual arts project in which our young student artists are creating scientific exploration journals and maps of imaginary islands. Along the way, we will develop our observational drawing skills, learn new drawing and watercolor painting techniques, map making, book binding, and other arts skills. Through this project, we are using visual art to apply the skills and knowledge we learn through the study of science and social studies.

The first three weeks were devoted to warm-up drawing exercises, team planning and sketching ideas, and creating the cover of our explorer sketchbooks with fancy decorating endpapers. Students are working in pairs and trios to develop their island environments. We also completed our first observational drawing, an enlargement of a button, using circular shading.

–Gabrielle Gamboa, Mentor Artist

Gabrielle Gamboa’s work with Mary Silveira students will be on exhibit this winter in our YIA Gallery exhibit “Imaginary Voyages” opening December 13 in downtown San Rafael and running through the end of January. For more information on how to book a free gallery visit and art activity for your class or youth group, click here or email us at yia@youthinarts.org

 

 

 

 

Art Inspired by Music in Marin Schools

Youth in Arts is partnering with the Marin Symphony to feature children’s artwork inspired by music in the Symphony’s annual Family Concert on February 10. The work will be displayed on monitors in the lobby at the performance, as well as in a projected backdrop for the concert finale.

Mentor Artists Suzanne Joyal and Julia James have worked with 350 students at four schools–Willow Creek Academy in Sausalito/Marin City and Mary Silveira, Bahia Vista and Marindale in San Rafael, teaching students new visual art techniques to help them create art inspired by the music of Hector Berlioz, which will be performed by the Symphony, along with music from the film Brave. Read more…

Where We Live Opening

Mary Silveira Principal Will Anderson Investigates his students Art

 

Children’s Art Worked shined in March Art Walk Downtown. Mentor Artist Julia James was on hand to show her culminating residency work from Mary Silveira Elementary School.

“Where We Live” focuses on students visions of the area around them.  A hands on paper quilt project “What We See” is provided for gallery visitors. Free gallery visits and workshops can be arranged for school and community groups by emailing Jennifer Daly – jdaly@youthinarts.org

Young Artists Add to the Gallery Paper Quilt

A family views the artwork

Second Graders Explore Expressive Line with Vincent Van Gogh

Starry Starry Night over Mt. Tamalpais, by Julia James

Second Graders at Mary Silveira School learned about the artist Vincent van Gogh and created their own version of his famous painting connecting it to the region in which they live.

Week One, Landscape Drawing

After drawing their landscape, students first painted the stars and moon

Using expressive lines, students experimented with short, long, thin and moving lines, which were then painted using tempera paint and a variety of brush sizes. Students also learned about shading when they added black to their other colors.

Expressive Lines include short, long, straight, wavy, dotted and swirling

Questions explored by the students included:

How do I draw the landscape I see, and what happens when the sky meets the land?

How can I use different lines to show emotion and movement in my art?

How many different types of line can we find or invent?

Adding sand and PVA glue to tempera paint adds texture

Painting the large areas first

Our second meeting was all about color when students painted their personal version of Starry Night.

The student added their own home on Mt. Tam to personalize their Starry Night

Details of swirls and wavy lines add energy to the painting

We explored the questions:

How can we use blue, purple, turquoise, and brown to create a night scene?

How can we use paint and a paintbrush to create movement?

How does adding a little black change the shade of the colors?

Giving students ample opportunity to stretch and explore lines, paint and color provided a fun and vibrant learning experience for all.