This year, for the Celebration of the Arts that marks the end of another quarter, we wanted to try something different–something that would raise the bar of sharing artistic output, by pairing a mini-exhibit of the older class’ top picks, with a professional exhibition featuring a local artist.
We invited Steven Zins as our featured artist. An engineer and physicist by training and education, Steven has devised a computer-aided technique he calls facetation and applies it to Impressionist paintings, such that, up close, only the very distinctive colors in the work are familiar, but as the viewer steps further away, the piece comes into familiar focus.
We chose Mother’s Day as the day we would invite families from our adopted school, East Palo Alto Charter School (EPACS), to come to Palo Alto to enjoy a Mother’s Day Tea and to view select pieces of art created by EPACS students at a special exhibit. We invited all of our friends and supporters to experience this mixed-media art opening.
One of our dedicated teachers, high-school senior Claire M, who taught the younger students’ art class, was awarded one of Zins’ limited number of the Water Lilies series, in recognition of her dedication to our program, her can-do attitude and for the warm connection for which she was known with her students.
Ms. Sue, who teaches the older kids, had tough choices to make for the final pieces on display; these students have been developing their artistic skills and sensibilities over the past two academic years under her tutelage and were excited to be featured in an art exhibit beyond the walls of their school. Ms. Sue but was able to aggregate a whole wall of gallon-jug masks, a project she ‘saved up’ for over many weeks of stockpiling plastic jugs, so as to give all her students a chance to be recognized.
To top off the afternoon of tea, treats and tributes, a choir made up of kids from the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula and led by high schooler teachers Maya S and Chloe H entertained the crowd with sophisticated harmonies and fancy handwork.
The goal of this off-site event was to give our young artists a chance to show the world what they have created, alongside a professional artist, reinforcing the message that all art, in all of its many forms and stages of development is better shared.
Crossing borders, be they geographic, cultural, or psychological, empowers us to see the similarities we share with others, rather than the differences we must overcome to build community.