The City of Santa Clarita hosted a week-long Artist In Residency program at Rosedell Elementary School from Sept. 23 to Sept. 27.
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The Artist in Residency program involves a professional artist creating a piece of art on-site at a local elementary school. The artist featured at Rosedell Elementary School was fine artist and muralist Suzi Kades
During the week, Kades created an art piece to be implemented in the school’s multipurpose room. Throughout the week, Rosedell Elementary School students from grade levels K through 6th watched Kades create the art piece and were encouraged to ask inquiries about the artistic process and give input.
“Many times students learn about artists, but they learn about them in textbooks. This program allowed the students to witness firsthand an artist’s creation of a masterpiece,” said Donna Avila, City of Santa Clarita arts and events coordinator.
“They could ask questions and talk to the artist in person as opposed to just reading about it. They’ll be able to use what they learned from this program in so many aspects in the future,” said Avila.
The Artist in Residency program culminated with the unveiling of the completed artwork on Friday, Sept. 27. Students from kindergarten to sixth grade had an additional opportunity to ask Kades questions ranging from her use of color in the painting to how she created certain aspects of the painting.
“The kids got a wonderful experience out of this program. They were so enthusiastic. It’s safe to say Suzi is pretty popular with the kids now,” said Avila with a laugh.
The art piece’s overall theme was education-based and used a variety of mediums including acrylic and torn pieces of paper.
“The idea was trying to portray a realistic setting of students studying and working in the classroom,” Kades said in a previous interview, “and the knowledge of what they’re learning is exploding behind them.”
Pictures of students in black and white superimposed with dictionary entries, will represent the students as vessels of knowledge, Kades said
Students had the opportunity to choose many of the colors of the painting, including the spheres with the numbers, equal, and addition signs.
“We wanted it so the kids were engaged and participated in the program. I’ve never seen a program quite like this one,” said Avila.
The program is expected to continue on Wednesday, Oct. 2 and Friday, Oct. 4, where Kades is expected to pay another visit to Rosedell Elementary School to create another piece of artwork with Miss McGreevy’s fourth grade class.
“We hope to expand and have this Artist In Residency program in four to five elementary schools by next year within the five Santa Clarita school districts,” said Avila.
For more information on the Artist in Residency program, visit the Santa Clarita Arts and Events website.
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Source: Santa Clarita News