Menifee Students Develop Art Skills at Youth Art Institute

Students use crayons to create artwork in one of the classes at the Summer Art Institute. Abou...

Students use crayons to create artwork in one of the classes at the Summer Art Institute.
About 200 students from the Quail Valley community of Menifee are developing their artistic skills this week in the 2014 Summer Youth Art Institute, sponsored by Arts Council Menifee.

This is the second year of the week-long program, in which Arts Council Menifee provides free instruction in the arts to children ages 6-11. The program is funded through the Community Development Block Grant program for implementation at two local schools. Next week, the program shifts to Romoland Elementary School.

The City of Menifee, Assistance League of Temecula Valley and Southern California Edison are additional sponsors for the program, in which students spend 90 minutes per day developing skills in drawing, painting and other art forms.

This year, Arts Council Menifee board members chose to add creative writing to the program. Painting and artwork are taught on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and creative writing concepts are taught on Tuesday and Thursday. Teachers from local schools and other volunteers provide the instruction and supervision.

"We want to show the children that the arts is more than just painting," said Bill Zimmerman, president of Arts Council Menifee. "Each year, we want to bring one more component to the program. This year, that component is creative writing and poetry."

The program is part of the ever-expanding outreach program of Arts Council Menifee, which was voted Non-Profit Organization of the Year by the Menifee Valley Chamber of Commerce. Creative writing teachers are working under the direction of Shirley Wible, who heads up the literary division of ACM.

One of the teachers working with the students Wednesday was Anna Arroyo, an art teacher at Paloma Valley High School. She was working with children ages 5-6.

"Today they're drawing robots, and then we will work on learning the elements of abstract art," Arroyo said. "They learn about geometric shapes and the color wheel. They're amazed when they see how primary colors combine to make secondary colors.

"Most students don't have an opportunity to develop these skills in school anymore. This gives them that opportunity. And they are the ones creating the works of art -- not a computer or video game."

Mario Vega, 15 and a student at Paloma Valley High, is working as a volunteer for the second year.

"I did it last year because my siblings attended and I wanted to come back and help this year," Vega said. "Creativity can be done by anybody. I'm a big fan of animation, but there are many art forms."

A reception will be held at Quail Valley Elementary Friday at 6 p.m. to display the children's artwork. They will be given a certificate of completion as well as art supplies and paper to continue making art and creative writing projects at home.

Class sessions run from 9-10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. For information about attending next week's art institute at Romoland Elementary School, visit the Arts Council Menifee website.

Students followed instructions on an overhead projector to learn water color skills.

Arts Council Menifee board members led City of Menifee employees on a tour of the art institute Wednesday.


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