The ARTree Community Arts Center

Developing the Roots of Creativity

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Grow Creativity Over Summer Vacation

Noel Bermudez

The ARTree Communications Chair

It is already here for some, and almost here for others. It’s the three months of the year when many families explore, relax, renew and bond in a way that is different from the cooler months of the year. You know what I’m talking about – summer vacation. Summer has special meaning for children. Travel, free time, and an open and relaxed mind are some prime ingredients for creativity. Research shows that few activities help drive creativity in seemingly unrelated fields– engineering, technology, medicine – than art.

Creating art is sometimes best done away from school. Schools teach real skills, but getting away from the classroom can remove a structure that can sometimes be restrictive. Leaving those structures can be a huge boost to creativity. Seeing new places, discovering exciting activities, or meeting new people can be the foundations of creativity. This is really important for young lives.

In her 2012 book “Young Children and the Arts: Nurturing Imagination and Creativity,” Professor Carol Korn-Bursztyn says that art is the foundation of learning and developing creativity. This includes not just visual arts, but also preforming, language, music, and many others forms of art. When children work in an artistic mode, it encourages cognitive development that not only improves intellectual and leadership skills, but increases confidence and security in their own decisions that continue to strengthen as they grow older.

This summer, The ARTree has programs that can help your children find their creativity with programs that will introduce them to basic techniques in watercolor, sculpture, mosaic and performance. See our schedule. Also, join us on the 4th Thursdays of each month for our speaker series at the Old Town Newhall Library, featuring influential artists, film-makers and community leaders.

Make way for a creative summer vacation.

We Are All Artists

Noel Bermudez

The ARTree Communications Chair

Most of us recognize certain professions by what they wear. We know firemen and policemen by their uniforms, and nurses by their scrubs. But it’s hard to see who artists are, because artists don’t wear uniforms. One reason is that there are so many different kinds of artists. We may think of painters in the smocks, but metal sculptors can wear heavy aprons and protective goggles, muralists put on large hats to protect them from the sun, and actors and singers (when not in costume) look just like us.

Looking like us is one of the most important things about being an artist, because artists don’t just look like us, they are us! Children have this “looking like an artist” thing perfected. At The ARTree we know that children have the spirit and freedom of artists inside. French writer Emile Zola said “if you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.” Living out loud is something children do naturally. Not just by being heard, but by their open and free actions. We find that children have artistic abilities within them that need only the slightest encouragement to emerge and be heard.

A primary focus of The ARTree is to help children “live out loud” through art that they create. That is why our classes are diverse in both their subjects and the teachers that inspire them. Watercolor, wire sculpture, clay forms, dance and storytelling are all aspects of art that children experience and grow from. We offer classes throughout the year and all over Santa Clarita. Look on this site to view our schedule. Then, see if you will recognize the artist right next to you.

On April 6, Show Up for Public Art

Noel Bermudez

The ARTree Communications Chair

My fellow Santa Claritans, I ask you to consider public art. Is art a sculpture on a highway median or a mural on a wall? Is it a concert in the park or a play in the foothills? The City of Santa Clarita wants to know your answer. What is public art to you? Is it important to have it in the lives of your children, your neighbors, and your community?

On Monday, April 6, 6:30pm at the Activities Center, you will have a real opportunity to tell the city want it should do about public art. Santa Clarita is creating an Arts Master Plan. It will direct the city’s spending on art for the next ten years. That’s a long time. And, as hard as it is to believe, the city wants the input of citizens from across the valley. The writers of this master plan will get ideas from many sources, but the most important source is us – the folks who live, play, drive, work and go to school here.

Do we want more concerts, support for art non-profits, public sculptures or murals, an arts center or a theater? These are just a few of the ideas that have been discussed recently by art supporters. But that’s not the full list. Priorities will be determined by what you have to say, but you can’t say it if you are not there.

Mark your calendar. Monday, April 6, 6:30pm, at the City of Santa Clarita Activities Center, 20880 Centre Pointe Parkway. Be there and be heard. Woody Allen said that eighty percent of success is showing up. You can bet that the ARTree and our supporters will be showing up. Will you?

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