Artist in Residence program fosters community youth art |

Artist in Residence program fosters community youth art

Courtesy image

I have this piece of art hanging next to my desk at work; I enjoy it every time I look at it. It is simple, it is happy, it is calm.

When I think about what draws me to this piece, it is a combination of the shapes, the colors, the subject matter, the balance, the simplicity.

I can see the strokes the artist made when putting color to paper and I think about the texture of the paper and the sound of the color medium as it was being applied.

I work mostly with cloth and fiber and photos, it’s been a long time since I have tried drawing or painting. This piece is a reminder for me that simple is good, and that I should make time to draw, doodle, color and maybe even paint.

“…In this day when the academic process often seeks the ‘right’ answer, the Artist in Residence Program shows children that there is power in individual expression.”

There is symmetry to this piece and I always say I am an asymmetrical person, so I wonder why I am drawn to such a balanced work of art.

I am sure there are studies galore that will explain all of this, the color theory, the effect of color on mood, the satisfaction of creation, the effect of art on the brain, but right now I just want you to look at it and see what you think and what you feel.

Now, the most important thing I want you to know about this piece is that it was created by a fourth- or fifth-grader in one of our local schools. The satisfaction of creation was felt by a youngster. I appreciate this piece and the program that created it.

This work was done as part of the Artist in Residence program. Arts For the Schools contracts with three local professional artists, with funds provided by Measure A, to provide art instruction for third- through fifth-grade students in the Tahoe-Truckee and Incline school districts.

These artists work with teachers in each grade level to ensure that California Visual Arts Key Content Standards are fulfilled with each project.

Student art projects introduce children to a variety of visual and language arts mediums.

A general theme for each project encourages the individual expression of each child, and in this day when the academic process often seeks the “right” answer, the Artist in Residence Program shows children that there is power in individual expression.

Projects have ranged from traditional arts, to egg painting, to poetry and collaborative installations.

I bought my piece at the Artists in Bloom fundraiser a year ago. Student artwork is framed or mounted for display and sale, with proceeds going to Arts For the Schools.

Some pieces go on to be part of Art In Public Places. You can see student art all year at Truckee Town Hall, Dragonfly, and Truckee Donner Community Center. The totems at Glenshire Clubhouse are also an Artist in Residence project from 2002-03.

Arts For the Schools would like to give a big thanks to the Truckee Town Council for supporting art education in our region and for the space for displaying those wonderful painted eggs.

To Dragonfly Owner and Chef, Billy McCullough, for providing space for the Artists in Bloom event and the space for displaying our local youth’s artwork.

To the Truckee Donner Community Center and Steve Randall for providing space to display art works.

To The Real Graphic Source for mounting many pieces of artwork for display.

To all the volunteers who help frame and hang the pieces for the Artist in Bloom Event.

And thanks to the Artists in Residence for working many hours with the kids to share their love of art, and for the time they put into the Art in Public Places displays all year.

For more information on Arts For the Schools programs, please visit our website at

Paula Rachuy is a member of the Arts For the Schools Board of Trustees.

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