Wow, I can’t believe we are heading into 2014 in a few days. How can I begin to recap the fall term at Christ the King and Holy Cross in their Fine Art Start after school program? I guess the beginning is a good place to start. 2013 welcomed me with a generous Artistic Focus Project Grant award from the Regional Arts and Culture Council that immersed me completely in the theme of our local Northwest Community.
I was invited to join the Fine Art Starts team in the summer of 2013, which further extended my community involvement. I have been teaching in local libraries, and art literacy programs for many years. Over the past few years I have offered 1-2 elementary school residencies integrating art into the academic curriculum in collaboration with the classroom teacher. This fall was my first experience with Fine Art Starts.
What sets this program aside from my previous experience is the ability to work weekly with the same group of students for 8 weeks and some students for an entire school year. The elements of art: line, shape, value, texture and color, are the reoccurring themes throughout the sessions as new materials and techniques are introduced to help the student learn to see and understand how these elements work together. I am a dedicated studio artist and that devotion also involves my personal commitment to touch a few young lives with the mindset in this studio practice. The small class sizes that Fine Art Start provides allows me to introduce a lesson and then help each student individually find their creative solution.
A handful of artists in our west coast community have had a profound effect on my own artistic development. I can only hope for my time with these young artists to be as memorable. I too continue to learn from them.