Sunday, May 14, 2006

Art Showcase

Friday night we had the 3rd annual Art Show for our After-School Academy. I love our Art Showcase.

From about January until May, Mr. Emmanuel Gillespie is loaned to us by the South Dallas Cultural Center. He teaches the kids techniques such as using shapes and shading, then he switches up the mediums from ebony pencil to watercolors.

The Art Showcase is the culminating event for our After-School Academy. We set it up like a professional art show. The kids' pieces are framed and displayed in a gallery. Courtney Rainwater is wonderful enough to cater the event every year so that we can serve typical art show finger foods like "wine" (sparkling cider in the elegant flute glasses), cheese, fruit and finger sandwiches. Visitors bid on the kids' art through a silent auction style with all proceeds benefiting our After-School Academy.

This year our Children's Education Coordinator, Rachel Embry, expanded the Art Show from just an "art show" to an "art showcase." So not only did our painters get to display their talent, but our ballet and hip-hop classes displayed their artistic talent as well. One of my favorite parts of the art showcase is watching the apparent pride on the faces of the children.

One of my favorite parts of the art showcase is watching the apparent pride on the faces of the children.

I watched the ballet class practice in their street clothes before their performance. They did pretty good, though a little distracted and somewhat off-task. I had never seen them perform so I didn't know what to expect. Thirty minutes later I saw some transformed young ladies as they gracefully walked out in their beautiful ballet attire. I watched Jazmine, 5 years old, as she walked out much more composed, with a HUGE grin on her face. She knew she was beautiful and she was ready to perform! I was impressed with Tionna, Daijha, and Kashia's focus and poise. It was a beautiful performance that nearly drew tears.

Meanwhile, back in the gallery, DeMarcus, 9 years old, was soliciting potential bidders for his pieces. I heard several people comment on his very professional behavior as he greeted them, introduced himself, shook their hand, and then proceeded to explain each of the colors how he blended them together to make his landscape watercolor painting. I believe his piece eventually sold for $25 dollars or more, thanks to his presentations. (If you only knew the heartaches that DeMarcus used to give us about 3 years ago, you would be even more impressed with that scenario! :) )

Then, of course, there were the wonderfully supportive parents who were vying for their child's artwork. You know a child has to feel special when his mother is trying to outbid someone else to the tune of $50 for a single piece!

Our kids aren't any different than most, but they have been blessed with opportunities that allow their God-given talents to blossom. I wish our society could recognize that all kids have talent. All we have to do is figure out how to uncover that talent!
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