From little hands come big ideas: More Than Just Scribbles showcases children’s art

The Union gallery displays children’s art with a unique exhibit


Chris Woodard

Fourth-year students Andrew Diaz and Veronika Akopyan admire the behind-the-scenes photos in the exhibit on Sept. 19, 2022. The artwork was made by kids as young as six months.

Chris Woodard

The University Union Gallery opened its doors to the More Than Just Scribbles exhibit on Aug. 29. The annual child created art exhibit has come to the campus gallery since 2017.

The Associated Students Inc. Children’s Center invites audiences to look beyond the scribbles and splatters to discover the wonders of young art basking in the soft light of the Union gallery. The children involved range from six months to five years old.

“It’s all about bringing parents and children together with art,” said Rebecca Voorhees, The University Union design, identity and studio manager. 

Voorhees, who manages the gallery, celebrated a successful opening reception for More Than Just Scribbles on Sept. 1.

“We decided to say, hey, if we’re doing a reception, what if we made this an entire night for the families to come out and we did art activities?” Voorhees said. “Kids got to walk around with their parents and show them what they made in class, then go and make more together.”

On display at the exhibit are paintings, photos, papier-mâché creations and more. Each piece is accompanied by behind-the-scenes photos of the young artists creating their work. Parents were not involved in the art displayed in the gallery, Voorhees said.

“I think it’s cute,” fourth-year mechanical engineering major Audrey Galeon said. “I think some of these look better than most abstract art personally.”

Galeon appreciates the innocence of the art and loves how things feel unplanned. “Us college students may look at some of these things inappropriately, but the kids don’t,” Galeon said.

Other gallery attendees may find amusement in their curiosity.

“It’s all a bit messy and out of the lines,” fourth-year design studies major Nancy Vega said. “It makes me wonder how they created it.”

Both Galeon and Vega admired their favorite creation and applauded the use of bright colors from the children. The two named their favorite piece the “Hive of Innovation,” displayed on the back wall of the exhibit.

“It reminds me of being a mom,” Voorhees said, as she recounted a story of her son’s first impression of art and the joy of discovering it at a young age. “It’s such an amazing time in their life for them to be figuring art out.”

The Union Gallery is a non-profit gallery open for the campus community and can be found on the second floor of the Union.

“The gallery is a wonderful place for students to just be able to escape and take a breath,” Voorhees said. “I think a lot of students don’t know that this space is here. It’s just a really good place I think to go and reset and just take a moment to yourself and take it in. We have the gallery here for students that is what it is for.”

More Than Just Scribbles is one of four exhibits to be displayed in the gallery this semester. Students, faculty and visitors of Sacramento State can visit the exhibit themselves Monday through Friday until Sept. 22.