Our June 11th Lights On! Exhibit highlighted the work of fifth graders from Willow Creek Academy. This final project combined their skills in collage, writing, and photography to communicate their internal thoughts, hopes, and dreams.
The young artists have been thinking about what might be going inside the mind of Molly, the main character in their language arts book, Indian Captive. With their classroom teacher, Nathania Jacobs, they did an Open Mind Project in which they explored Molly’s interior world. Ms. Jacobs prompted them with questions like, What are her deepest thoughts about life? What does she imagine for her future? What does she wonder and hope for? What does she wish and dream about?

Youth in Arts’ Exhibits not only showcase the final product but aim to reveal parts of the learning process. Here, student photos, prompts, and a description of the project help viewers to understand the art making process.

Working with Mentor Artist Brooke Toczylowski the students were then asked to ponder these same questions about themselves and to use their art skills to ENVISION and EXPRESS their own inner world. Explorations in photography and collage throughout the year-long residency with Brooke served as scaffolding for this final collage project displayed here in the inaugural Youth in Arts exhibition. This integration project is part of a larger Who Am I? curriculum being created by Youth in Arts, which uses art to link students’ personal voice to social studies and language arts standards.
During the Light On! Opening Mentor Artist Brooke Toczylowski was available to facilitate a hands-on component. Viewers were invited to use the fifth graders work as inspiration and then to take their own photograph and create a personal collage. The walls in the art making studio below outlined the steps in the project and offered ideas and advice.

The hands-on component was extremely popular, with parents getting just as involved as their students. One of the priorities of the Youth in Arts Gallery is to provide and inspire these art making opportunities that are designed in conjunction with the gallery exhibit.

A parent and her pre-K child work together to create a piece of art during the inaugural Lights On! Exhibit in the Youth in Arts Gallery.

‘Til Dawn Member, Chloe, proudly displays her collage.

During a reflection, this young artist said he was thinking about shapes and architecture while creating his artwork.

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