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917 "C" Street
San Rafael, California 94901
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Daisy Come Home: First Grade Storytelling with Laurel Dell First Graders

Students practiced sequencing (before and after), and also reflected on all of our recent work with observational drawing, imaginative monster drawing, horizon lines, landscapes, and color mixing as they worked in teams of 2 or 3 to imagine the adventure a horse might have in Daisy Come Home. We put all of the images together in a book for the classroom, and now they can practice writing to add words to their part of the story. These students participated in the Walker Rezaian Creative Hearts project last year, and we are able to build on all of their prior knowledge.

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Admiring Finished Paintings

Daisy Come Home, By Ms. Nunez’ first graders and Suzanne Joyal (A mostly true story).

A long time ago, before there were cars and lights and motors, my great-grandparents Josie and Buggy lived with their horse Daisy on a farm near the ocean. Every day when the weather was good, Buggie would load his tools onto his wagon, harness Daisy to the front, and ride to the dock at the edge of the ocean. He would load his tools onto his rowboat. Before he got in his boat to row to an island, he would pat Daisy on the rump, and say “Daisy Go Home!”

And every day, Daisy would go straight home to Josie. At the end of the day, Josie would pat Daisy on the rump again, and send her back to the dock to bring Buggie home.

Until the day she didn’t come straight home, and went on an adventure all by herself! No one knows what she did. Where would YOU go if you were Daisy?

Following are a few of the imaginings of Ms. Nunez’ students. Daisy changed colors, went to the mountains, ate some apples and blueberries, made some friends, walked through a snow storm, went to Chuckie Cheese’s, got lost in a rainforest, and even met some dinosaurs!

Thank you for your support, California Arts Council!

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Kindergarten Art is at TOAST!

We are so grateful to TOAST Restaurant in Novato for exhibiting the beautiful portraits of past participants in the Walker Rezaian Creative Hearts Fund Kindergarten Art Project.

Every year Children work so hard to create their portraits as they study line, color, form, and emotion to create these wonderful works of art.

Portraits will be on display until May 30: stop in and take a look!

TOAST for breakfast lunch or dinner, 5800 Nave Drive, Unit G, Novato, CA 94949

self portrait from Bahia Vista School

self portrait from Bahia Vista School

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so many emotions on one wall!

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stop in to see

 

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 Celebrate their Art in the YIA Gallery

 

WalkerHeaderMs. Vazquez’ kindergarteners walked to Youth in Arts today to admire their very own artworks featured in the Walker Rezaian Creative Hearts Fund/Laurel Dell Gallery exhibit. They looked closely at their work and that of their friends’. Working with Jen Daly, groups of students played in the cardboard weather world: the Sun House with bright yellow spots and a rainbow gate, the Rain House with grey clouds, rainsticks and noisemakers, and the Cloud House with its soft squishy floor and whitish sky. They paddled together in the cardboard canoe, and even made leaves for the Seasons Tree.

Students also practiced what we shared at the Family Art Nights and began their very own Guatemalan-styled kite. Working with Suzanne Joyal, Naomi Tamura, Ms. Vazquez, and some very helpful parents, students also made the parts of their very own class Kite, to be flown at Fiesta de Sol in June. Working with mirrors, Sharpies, colored pencils, and oil pastels, students created self portrait diamonds which will be glued together into one beautiful kite.

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Family art night: Families working together to sew their kite.

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Miko Lee demonstrating how to sew to families

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Family Fun at Laurel Dell

boy handsLast night, sounds of laughter, music and stories filled the auditorium on the campus of Laurel Dell Elementary School as Youth in Arts conducted the second Family Art Night as part of the Walker Rezaian Creative HeARTS Fund.

Mentor Artist Suzanne Joyal led the intergenerational crowd in making a book entitled, “With Our Hands.” Caregivers and their children outlined their hands on recycled maps and then decided what their hands could do together. The book will go on display in the “Imagining Friendship” Gallery Exhibit opening at YIA Gallery on April 8.

Meanwhile Executive Director Miko Lee led families in an old fashioned quilting bee, sewing diamond shapes onto a 12′ Guatemalan kite. The kite pieces were designed at the enthusiastic Family Art Night in February. There were so many diamond shapes designed that Youth in Arts will create an additional kite.

Suzanne will be headed back to the school to make sure as many students as possible are included in this additional finished kite. The kites were designed to celebrate community and be mobile. The finished kites will be unveiled at the YIA Gallery and then will move to the temporary school site while Laurel Dell is under construction.  The collaborative artwork will travel with the community.

Thanks to our amazing volunteers: Stephanie Daly for ironing the diamonds onto the kite and recreating the centerpiece, and to youth volunteers Lena and Haley for helping out on the Family Nights. And a great thanks to all the parents, caregivers, teachers and children that came out to make art with us. We know you have so many things to do and we are thrilled when you join us to create, collaborate, and build friendships. As Principal Pepe Gonzalez summed up, “Another great night with Youth in Arts!”

Thanks to the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Fund and the California Arts Council for making this possible.

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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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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.

 

Family, Optimism and Friendship at Bahia Vista Elementary

This week Youth in Arts celebrated art and friendship with Kindergarten students and their families at Bahia Vista Elementary School.   Optimism and friendship are two important themes in Kindergarten and YIA Mentor Artist and Program Director Suzanne Joyal lead families in an family niteevening creating art around these topics.

We started out talking about how we can be good friends and singing a song in Spanish and American Sign Language about friendship with YIA Mentor Artist Nydia Gonzalez.  Sharing, supporting, listening, respecting and playing were definitely important and students made it clear that they feel great when with a good friend!

Teacher Suzanne then lead everyone in creating a beautiful Tree of Hopes, adorned with drawings depicting everyone’s hopes and dreams for the future.

For the past few months YIA Mentor Artist and Program Director Suzanne Joyal has been teaching all 7 Kindergarten classes a visual arts curriculum geared around the themes of friendship in honor of the life of Walker Rezaian.

Kindergarten teacher Mrs. Pauley reflected on the past few months, “This program has helped each of my students learn a new way to express themselves, build self-confidence and discover the amazing artist within them.  We feel so thankful to have gotten this experience and are happy for the next bunch of kids that get to work with you.”

Youth in Arts WRLogoForBLOGExecutive Director Miko Lee has announced that applications are open for the 2015-16 Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Kindergarten Arts Program. “We are thrilled to continue this program next year.” said Lee. “We look forward to sharing the experience with another low income school in memory of Walker.  We have had a wonderful partnership with Walker’s family in creating this program and providing life long learning tools for so many children in our area.”

Interested Title I schools in Marin County should apply by May 18. Apply here.

The Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Fund is a project of the Walker Rezaian Memorial Fund. Youth in Arts is a nonprofit established in 1970. The leading arts education nonprofit in the North Bay, Youth in Arts offers students experiences and instruction in the visual and performing arts, and enriches the community with cultural events.

 

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.

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