Open studios 2001

      For the next three weekends, local artists are opening their studios to the public. Itís an excellent opportunity to meet artists and see their work in the studios where it was created.

      Open studios is especially valuable for showing children the variety of media in which artists work. For those kids who show an interest in art, it is a creative channel that can help to strike a balance with the academic skills emphasized in school.

      The arts are not funded in schools anywhere near the level at which they should be. This makes it all the more important for parents to guide their children toward events such as this, because otherwise the experiences may not come from anywhere else.

      Some benefits that you can expect your children to gain from introducing them to artists and their work in this forum are:

  • an expanded definition of art, which includes painting, sculpture, photography, collage, calligraphy, assemblages, needlework, quilting, jewelry making, printmaking, and other media.
  • steering away from the "right or wrong" dichotomy. Many academic subjects have only one right answer. In art, however, there are no mistakes; people express themselves in a variety of ways. Form, color, and media reflect each artistís take on her subject.
  • making the artists real because they are on hand for conversation. Artists who open their studios to the public are ready to discuss their work. Why not expand your vision of who artists are -- and expose your children to that, too?

After your visit to the open studios, you can continue to encourage your home-grown artist by:

  • encouraging experimentation with a variety of media;
  • providing a variety of paper, paints, craft supplies, and odds and ends for the creation of original art;
  • enrolling your child in art lessons in the community;
  • making time available for your child to create and explore in this area;
  • showing appreciation for what your child creates.

For information about all Silicon Valley Open Studios locations, phone (650) 941-5337 or visit My family always enjoys the concentration of artists at the Cubberley Community Center in Palo Alto.

This column has been incorporated and expanded in Teach Your Children Well: A Teacherís  Advice for Parents.

All columns are copyright © Jay Davidson.  Permission is hereby granted for individuals to download and copy them for individual use.  There is a modest charge for printing these columns in any publication.  To receive that permission, contact   Jay Davidson