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
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
- 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
- making time available for your child to create
and explore in this area;
- showing appreciation for what your child
For information about all Silicon Valley Open
Studios locations, phone (650) 941-5337 or visit www.svopenstudios.org. My
family always enjoys the concentration of artists at the Cubberley Community
Center in Palo Alto.