Children line a table, alternately paint with watercolors and blow through a straw on the watercolors as part of an interactive activity in the Orchard Suite during the More Than Just Scribbles art reception on Feb. 23. (Photo by Rin Carbin)
Children line a table, alternately paint with watercolors and blow through a straw on the watercolors as part of an interactive activity in the Orchard Suite during the ‘More Than Just Scribbles’ art reception on Feb. 23. (Photo by Rin Carbin)
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Children’s Center’s art collection featured at University Union Gallery

A multicolored beeswax display, a puffy cotton cloud and hanging stars were among the artworks spotlighted in an art reception meant to show the importance of creativity and art in childhood.

Children from ASI’s Children’s Center the artists of the pieces showcased their learning experiences with artistic skills and group work at a family night and art reception in the University Union Gallery on Feb. 23.

The collection, titled “More Than Just Scribbles,” will be in the University Union Gallery until March 16.

According to gallery director Rebecca Voorhees, the art collection’s goal was to promote the Children’s Center’s work after its usual exhibition hall was closed for renovations.

An art piece by the children from the Children’s Center is displayed at the art reception for the new gallery “More Than Just Scribbles” on Feb. 23. (Photo by Rin Carbin)

Voorhees said that the idea for the Children’s Center’s art to be hosted in the University Union Gallery came after she didn’t want to see the exhibition take a break for a year.

“I think for a parent, it’s incredibly rewarding to see your kid’s work in a professional gallery,” Voorhees said.

Children also found a reward from the spotlight, pulling their parents in to show them their artwork, while parents took the opportunity for photo-ops to share with family and friends.

One parent with an excited child was Guadalupe Hernandez.

“We’re proud we can look at the work they do every day and I can see all the learning he does,” she said.

Her son, Alex Ontiveros, posed next to his contribution in a collection of works, together called Batiks. Batiks, the result of a group effort from several children, uses muslin, liquid glue and acrylic paint to paint a colorful display of teamwork.

Parents and their children weren’t the only event-goers Sacramento State students also toured the gallery.

Tamara Duran, an art major who helped assemble the gallery, found the beeswax display, called “Hive of Exploration,” to be her favorite.

The display, inspired by the children’s study of the bees in campus gardens, is made of beeswax and painted in various colors using paint brushes, spray bottles and rollers. Several lights are behind the beeswax, lighting sections of it.

“It makes me feel happy,” Duran said. “It reminds me of my childhood I miss those days.”

Other works include “Color Storm,” which is comprised of a cotton “cloud” and paper “raindrops” painted by flicking watercolor paint onto the paper and leaving it in the rain. The children also created “Starry Scribbles,” which features marker-colored stars hanging from painted cardboard tubes.

Beeswax, painted with paintbrushes, spray bottles and rollers by ASI’s Children’s Center are materials used to make a piece called “Hive of Exploration.” The piece is part of the ‘More Than Just Scribbles’ art gallery in the University Union Gallery, which runs from Feb. 20 to March 16. (Photo by Rin Carbin)
A cloud sculpture is displayed at the University Union Gallery’s new exhibit “More Than Just Scribbles.” (Photo by Rin Carbin)

Family art night was also a goal of the art reception, according to Voorhees who said that it’s important to do arts and crafts as a family adding that she does crafts with her own son frequently.

The art reception featured an opportunity for attendees to participate in art activities, organized with the help with the Crocker Art Museum.

Michelle Steen, the manager and coordinator of family programs at the Crocker Art Museum, said the activities were intended to focus on the process of creating art instead of the end result.

Activities included watercolor painting by blowing paint through straws, using colored tape to make compositions, oil pastel group murals and a group collage made of tissue paper, pipe cleaners, googly eyes and other materials.

“We want to support high quality early childhood education and let people know about our own developmentally appropriate process at the museum because it’s important,” Steen said. “Art has a profound effect on human development. It helped me develop my own artistic skills and own perspective.”

Sac State President Robert Nelsen also attended the event, advocating for the importance of art and the talent demonstrated in the gallery.

“Art is what makes humans human. Our Sac State kids are more human than most of the world,” Nelsen said. “I hope (attendees) realize how talented the next generation of Hornets is.”

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