Laurel Dell Show Opens

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Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Laurel Dell Elementary School students successfully used YIArts.COR (our digital learning platform) to create self portraits, build bridges, design library entrances and make other art from their homes and classrooms.

Laurel Dell Imagines Friendship and Community runs June 10 to Sept. 10. It can be viewed at the YIA Gallery  (open weekdays from 1 to 4 pm; limited capacity and masks required). It can also be enjoyed online using a 3D tool that enables viewers to “walk” through the exhibit.

The show features more than 200 drawings, paintings, architecture models and other works from young artists in TK to 5th grade created this Spring during an online residency. Youth in Arts distributed special art kits to ensure that students had quality paper, crayons and other materials to use.

“We took an in-person, research based, scaffolded sequential arts program with a six-year history, and developed robust digital lessons that students could use at home and teachers could lead in the classroom,” said Suzanne Joyal, Youth in Arts’ director of accessibility through the arts.

This summer, children can visit the gallery in person. They can see the Laurel Dell artwork and also make their own art in our free Art Lab weekdays from 1 to 4 p.m. For the next four Thursdays, the Art Lab will stay open until 5 p.m.

The TK-2 visual arts residency at Laurel Dell is supported by the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Fund. The Creative HeArts program was created by Youth in Arts and the Rezaian family to celebrate the life of their young son Walker and his love of art-making. Children explore compassion, empathy and friendship through a rich variety of tools and materials. Using thinking strategies outlined in Bloom’s Taxonomy, they practice Understanding, Applying, Analyzing, Evaluating and Creating in a carefully planned curriculum.

Those lessons lay the foundation for Youth in Arts’ Designing Community program in grades 3 – 5. Supported by a team of architects and mentor artists, students practice how to design and build, draw to scale as well as critical thinking skills. They address real world challenges, from how to design a bridge that stands up to imagining communities that can thrive in a world struggling with housing shortages, climate change and more.

Youth in Arts is an arts education nonprofit that has served more than a million children since it was founded. This year marks our 50th anniversary! During the pandemic, programming moved online as part of our digital learning platform, YIArts.COR. This innovative resource offers free and affordable lessons in visual and performing arts designed to reach any learner, anywhere. To learn more, please visit our website at YIArts.COR.

Thank you to our generous sponsors: Laurel Dell PTA, California Arts Council, Architect Shirl Buss/UC Berkeley’s Y-PLAN, California Arts Council, Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Fund, Architect Janine Lovejoy Wilford, and the Marin Community Foundation.



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