Collaboration and problem solving, self-advocacy & awareness, and building new art skills were among Mentor Artist Lisa Summers’ exciting student goals in Brian Khoury’s class at San Marin High School. Through YIA’s Arts Unite Us program, Lisa worked with students in small groups for the first several weeks on skill-building lessons and projects that emphasized how we recognize emotions through facial expressions and how those facial expressions are communicated in art. Students used cardboard shapes and scraps (and Googly eyes!) to assemble faces that evoked emotions ranging from joy, sadness, humor and anger, to frustration, curiosity, and confusion by looking at the relative position of eyes (up eyes, down eyes, sideways eyes), eyebrows, and smiles vs. frowns.
In the second part of the residency students developed understanding of shapes, proportions, scale, shape, contrast and dimensional perspective by working with pastels and paint, Model Magic and blocks, collage, and even a stack of chocolate chips cookies.
Questions were focused on contrasts and comparisons between solids and patterns, opacity and translucency, two and three dimensions, and foreground and background. In the “Rainy Day” projects, students used patterned paper, colored paper, ink washes, pastels, metallic paint, and permanent markers to create a composition of a single figure standing in a downpour. Many students took this opportunity to explore rain gear fashion design including bat-themed umbrellas and raincoats. Students discussed shadows and negative space, and the visual impact of a gray-toned ink wash against the bright colors of the umbrella and raincoat. Students were asked to share their reflections on how their artwork said something unique about themselves, their interests, and their individual preferences for colors and materials.
A special thanks to the following organizations for making this program possible:
Welcome to the`Til Dawn 2019-20 company.
The new singers attend schools throughout Marin, from Larkspur to Novato and bring a variety of expertise and interests.
“I sing when I wake up and I sing until I go to sleep,” said new member Leah Nemerovski. “I don’t find passion in anything else.”
Current ‘Til Dawn members are already practicing and putting their musical experience to use. Nemerovski plays the trombone, piano, drums, ukelele and enjoys musical theater. She became interested in ‘Til Dawn when she saw them perform at her middle school. She was surprised how easily she connected with other members of the group.
Nemerovski, and Alisa Costello, both 14, attend San Marin High School in Novato. One of the things they enjoy is the closeness of the group.
“It’s like a family,” Costello said.
For the newest members, music runs in the family. Costello’s uncle was an opera singer who performed at Carnegie Hall; Nemerovski is learning how to play the drums from her dad. Will Ferris’s mom is a singer, and Jacquie Kizer has two uncles who are musicians. Emma Orrick’s father is a music producer.
Kizer, 15, goes to Redwood High School. Kizer moved to Marin from New York last year and previously sung in a similar group. Being in the group, she said, provides a safe space and an environment in which to have fun.
“It’s honestly been amazing,” she said.
Orrick, 14, is also at Redwood. and plays the piano and does theater. She was surprised by how quickly the group learns the songs.
“It’s always my highlight of the week,” she said. “It doesn’t feel like a chore.”
Ferris, 15, is a sophomore at Drake High School. He didn’t think he’d get into the group, he said, because he couldn’t figure out what to sing. He chose his winning song –”Fly Me To The Moon” – on the day of the audition.
Ferris said he enjoys performing all of the songs, although some are difficult because they are beyond his tenor range. The songs that are performed are chosen by the ensemble.
“I think it’s great,” he said. “I think it’s really healthy for the group.”
`Til Dawn is an advanced vocal music program that celebrates the value of the arts, encourages positive messages about meaningful social issues and inspires children of all ages. The 15-member ensemble is part of Youth in Arts’ I AM mentorship program and the longest-running, year-round teen a cappella ensemble in the Bay Area. It’s directed by Austin Willacy, who performs as a solo artist and also with his own a cappella group, The House Jacks. While Willacy is on sabbatical this fall, the group has been taught by singer Lilan Kane. a ‘Til Dawn alumnus, and others.
Lisa Summers, a teaching poet and artist, worked with two special day classes at San Marin High School through our Arts Unite Us program to create work representing “spirit animals.” In Brian Khoury’s class, students practiced observational drawing skills including gestural drawings, calligraphic imagery using handmade bamboo pens and inks, and learned to make patterns. After sewing lessons, students cut out spirit animals in felt, sewed and stuffed them, then displayed sketches, patterns, and sewn animals in the front office of the school.
Lisa explored the idea of a spirit animal with Steve Lamott’s class while they were reading Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya. In the novel, the curandera Ultima arrives with her spirit animal, the owl. Students considered what their protective spirit animal might be through lessons that ranged from gestural drawing to pen and ink to a group portrait project. In the second half of the residency, students prepared sketches for a triptych that displayed their spirit animal and elements of their “interior world” including landscapes, colors, and symbols that hold meaning for each of them. Students prepared and mixed colors, used collage techniques, and learned to transfer elements of their original sketches to the panels.
Lisa says, “I learned so much from working with Brian and Steve’s students about process, and the relationship between creative exploration and identity development. Brian’s students especially loved sharing their work with teachers and other San Marin students.” Selected works will be on display at Youth In Arts during the July exhibition.
Through the California Department of Education’s Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) grant that the Marin County Office of Education received, Youth in Arts was in multiple Special Day Classes this spring.
Youth in Arts is currently hosting “Rising Stars,” the 24th Annual Marin County High School Art Show at our gallery at 917 Street in downtown San Rafael. The opening reception for artists and their families on Sunday, March 8, attracted over one hundred young artists and gallery visitors.
Check out photos from the March 8 opening reception here!
Speaking to the assembled crowd of teens and their families, Youth in Arts Executive Director Miko Lee expressed her gratitude to all the exhibiting students. “Thank you for sharing your beautiful work with us,” Lee said. “You inspire us all with your creativity.”
Lee presented students with awards and honorable mentions selected by a panel of local arts professionals, Kay Carlson, Jay Daniels and Katie Rice Jones, from among over 150 student works selected by Marin art teachers at 16 schools to represent their programs.
The Best of Show award went to Ben Lyons, a student at Marin Academy in San Rafael, for his work “Industrial Revolution,” a high-concept ceramic tea set. Two other Marin Academy students also received major awards: Melanie Blue for Best Drawing and Seiichiro Nakai for Best Decorative Arts. Other major award-winners were Jenna Tooley of San Marin High School (Best Painting); Sophia Schwartz-Cutler of Marin School of the Arts (Best Sculpture); Abby Tarantino of Marin Catholic (Best Photo); Hagen Wehde from Redwood High School (Best Altered Image); and Cali Hetfield from The Marin School (Best Mixed Media).
Thirty additional students received Merit Awards, Honorable Mentions or Juror or Sponsor Awards. A full-list of winners is included below
The exhibit will be open to the public through March 27, with regular hours Monday-Friday from 10 am to 4 pm. “Rising Stars” is sponsored by Perry’s Art Supplies & Framing in San Anselmo, the San Anselmo Arts Commission, Marin Open Studios, Uchiwa Ramen and Il Davide Restaurant in San Rafael.
Best of Show – Industrial Revolution – Ben Lyons – Marin Academy
Best Painting – Introspection – Jenna Tooley – San Marin HS
Best Drawing – Self Portrait – Melanie Blue – Marin Academy
Best Decorative Arts – Tee Time – Seiichiro Nakai – Marin Academy
Best Sculpture – Treasurer – Sophia Schwartz-Cutler – Marin School of the Arts
Best Photo – Best Friends – Abby Tarantino – Marin Catholic
Best Altered Image – Untitled – Hagen Wehde – Redwood HS
Best Mixed Media – Untitled – Cali Hetfield – The Marin School
Reflective Objects – Raissa Boysen – Marin School of the Arts
Awe – Tara Henry – Marin Catholic
Birds in a Tree – TeamWorks Art Mentoring Program (Treyvonn, Mario, Adam, Angela, Javier, Oliver, Alyssa) – Loma Alta School
Flying Buttresses – Gabriel Hamilton – Sir Francis Drake HS
Chained For Five Rupees – Leigh Pomerantz – Marin Academy
Geometry in Color – Kasha LaRoche – Sir Francis Drake HS
Hobo Botanical Garden – Emily Villavicencio – San Rafael HS
Pour – Max Sigerman – The Branson School
Raven Inkwood – Yezi Li – San Marin HS
Self Portrait – Ciara Post – Marin Academy
Toadstool – Olivia Harvell – San Domenico School
Untitled – Tara Sola – San Domenico School
Untitled – Holly Parkin – Tamalpais HS
Children of the Moon – Alia Anderson May – Marin Catholic
Distortion – Dominic DiPaola – San Andreas HS
Drakes Beach – Andres Gomez – Tomales HS
Husky – Caeli Gallagher – San Rafael HS
Jean Jacket – Anna Taylor – Sir Francis Drake HS
Learning Equals Education – TeamWorks Art Mentoring Program
Light at the End of the Tunnel – Zoe Carrell
Mel Goes Bananas – Kate Claman – Marin Academy
Porcelain Head – John Iwaszewicz – Oak Hill School
Painting Silver Lining – Blake Patterson – The Branson School
Self-Portrait – Willow Jones – The Marin School
Untitled – Merryta Liu – San Domenico School
Untitled – Angela Chen – San Domenico School
Young Sanity – Alondra Vazquez – Terra Linda HS
Black Cat Prizes
Digital Art – Makai: Towards the Sea – Jana Viets – Marin Catholic
Manipulated photography – Untitled – Hagen Wehde – Redwood HS
Unmanipulated Photography – Untitled – Olivia Runnfeldt – Redwood HS
Untitled – Anna-Sofie Whalen – Tamalpais HS
Wings to Fly – TeamWorks Art Mentoring Program – Loma Alta
Loma Alta School/TeamWorks Art Mentoring: Teacher Katya McCulloch
Treyvonn, Mario, Adam, Angela, Javier, Oliver, Alyssa
Marin Academy: Teacher Anne Maurice, Katharine Boyd & Jenny Rosenberg
Seiichiro Nakai, Melanie Blue, Ben Lyons, Kate Claman, Ciara Post, Leigh Pomerantz, Rebecca Strull, Erika Page, Luke Raddue, Anjali Bodony, Lindsay Levine
Marin Catholic: Teachers Laurie Reemsnyder & Mark Jaeger
Abby Tarantino, Jana Viets, Alia Anderson May, Tara Henry, Juliette Hvistendahl, Meghan Rooney, Jack Burnham, Kristen Rolstad, Dino Kalfos
Marin School of the Arts: Teachers Sabrina Kalleen & Mary Grehan
Sophia Schwartz-Cutler, Raissa Boysen, Ciel Pierlot, Jensen Neff, Emely Lemus
Oak Hill School: Teachers Michelle Barbera & Sophie Cooper
John Iwaszewicz, Hannah Sherwood, Ben Willbrand, Ryan Heller, Harrison Mahler, Megan Busby, Luke Meng, Matthew Seiberling, Braden O’Connell, Strider Barker, Katie Tysinger
Redwood High School: Teachers Susanne Maxwell & Karen Meadows
Hagen Wehde, Olivia Runnfeldt, Kenzie Johnson, Megan Wilford, Ryan Stiles, Haley Turner, Bridget Wait
San Andreas High School: Teacher Gray Douglas
Dominic DiPaola, Patrick Cook, Meryl Fe Klein, Altimont Bolton, Samantha McEvoy
San Domenico School: Teachers Logan Wood, Jill Hoefgen & Carina Ybarra
Merryta Liu, Angela Chen, Tara Sola, Olivia Harvell, Erika Johnson, Bella Gosman, Kathryn Volovski, Ellen Zhu, Vicky Lin, Camille Ayanruoh, Mia Ma, Moment Li
San Marin High School: Teachers Mariah Fisher & Denise Mozzetti
Jenna Tooley, Yezi Li, Olivia Lamont, Liam Gavin, Lauren Frank, Yezi Li
San Rafael High School: Teachers Johanna Herrera & Trenton Smith
Zoe Carrell, Caeli Gallagher, Emily Villavicencio, Roxana Velasquez, Daylor Giron, Kailey Brown, Marissa Mullins, Duriel Meisner, Sonia Sondheim, Kien Lam, Brenda Arellano, Julia Jackson-Clark
Sir Francis Drake High School: Teachers Martha Cederstrom & Beth Cederstrom
Anna Taylor, Gabriel Hamilton, Kasha LaRoche, Ashmoore, Sarah McAmis, Michael Kest, Matt Richman, Annika Williams
Tamalpais High School: Teachers Zach Gilmour, Lisa Ouse Hicks & Mary Krawczyk
Holly Parkin, Scarlett Costello, Anna-Sofie Whalen, Natanya Glatt, Ryan Turner, Jordan Sherman, Anna Baldwin, Hannah Saltonstall, Jessica Hudson, Izzy Parlamis, Nicole Cochary, Genevieve Tremblay
Terra Linda High School: Teachers Katy Bernheim, Elizabeth Galbreath & Allison Oropallo
Alondra Vazquez, Cielo de la Rosa, Marcus Perkins, Daniel Swanson, Brisia Reales, Annabelle Vinokur, Tifani Sosa, Majken Hanson, Taren Bouwman, Jasmin Salgado, Chris Perani
The Branson School: Teachers Eric Oldmixon & Allyson Seal
Blake Patterson, Max Sigerman, Zoe Moynihan, Grace Roberts Burbank, Frankie Gerraty, Sam Reinertsen, Megan Gillfillan, Bix Hirigoyen, Sophie Rosenbaum-Jones, Jack Verhille, Hunt Wyman
The Marin School: Teacher Alison Murray
Cali Hetfield, Willow Jones, KC Seligman, Moiya Morgan, Jeffrey Kolthoff, Michelle Chan, Crash DesRosiers, Tess Hecht, Cali Hetfield, Jacob Weber
Tomales High School: Teacher Rachel Somerville
Andres Gomez, Clara Wright, Mario Passantino, Abrielle Spaletta, Ashley Weir, Litia Bowater