Children’s Art Day focused and fun

LAKEPORT — So many children and nary a peep out of any of them! Saturday’s Children’s Art Day at the historical Courthouse Museum Park in downtown Lakeport was crowded with kids concentrating on watercolor painting, button-making, rock painting, beans and rice mosaics, doodle art, making cereal necklaces and making paper plate chickens and paper bag owls.

Organized by Charlie Adams, 17, for his All-Star Program in the Blue Heron 4-H Club. Adams received funding from the 4-H Council for materials, Lake County Arts Council [LCAC] provided some art supplies, and tables and chairs were supplied by the Scott’s Valley Women’s Club.

imageCharlie Adams, 17, organized the Children’s Art Day for his All-Star 4-H project.

“I was part of a group trying to promote 4-H” said Adams, “and we noticed that most people associate 4-H with agriculture and animals at fairs. I created this event with the intention of showing 4-H in a different light. I chose to promote art.”

Robin Adams, 15, supervised the mosaic table along with her mother Sue. Children hunched over their designs that they had glued onto a sheet of construction paper. Using colored rice and beans they made all sorts of patterns and when finished, they put their mosaics in the sun to dry.

One minute the rock table was empty and the next it was full of kids mixing paint colors and dabbing the colors onto their rocks. Barbara Clark, the executive director of LCAC, said, “We ran out of rocks early and so I had to go on a rock run.” When asked where she got the rocks, she said,  “I went down to a creek bed and got smooth rocks, perfect for painting and now we’re good to go!”

Clark went on to say, “I was really glad when Charlie reached out to us [LCAC] to partner with him in this event. It’s been great watching all the kids do the different crafts and watching our teachers from the Main Street Gallery help teach techniques and procedures. I think we need to do more stuff like this because art is a great way for kids to learn and if they continue on with art in their life it can really help them express emotions constructively.”

Carmon Brittian, an LCAC artist, wore a wild, crazy, colorful pair of earrings that she had bought at a garage sale for 50-cents. She fit right in to the Courthouse Museum art scene. Watching over the Rock Painting she taught the youngsters how to mix colors and paint the rocks. Little 4-year-old Keira Blanton painted the top of her rock turquoise and then flitted off like a butterfly to another table.

At the button making table, Kelsey Robinson asked each button maker to flex their muscles to make sure they could press the button punch. One girl only wanted to show off her muscles and pull the press down. She didn’t want her button so she gave it to a woman in the crowd, who loved it.

imageNicholas (right), 3.5, and mother Melanie Roberts make a Jack-O-Lantern button. imageMarisol Carrando, 12, painted bright-colored leaves at the watercolor table.

Nicholas, 3 and-a-half years old, was one of the youngest children at the event. His mother, Melanie Roberts helped him draw his initial ‘N’ onto the Jack-O-Lantern  paper. Under the shade of trees of the park, the weather was comfortable with a slight breeze. Nicolas, finished with the pumpkin button, ran around, got a drink of water on his own and discovered the park’s fireman statue. “Look a fireman!” he shouted to his mom, who smiled. “It’s nice to have kid-friendly events in the outdoors,” she said.

The Doodle Art table was manned by Charlie Adams. One girl sat down and drew a couple of shapes. “I’m done,” she declared and then ran off to the watercolor table. No amount of coaxing could bring her back to decorate her square and triangle shapes.

At one of the most popular tables, children were busy making Fruit Loop necklaces. Painstakingly they threaded yarn with the colorful cereal. One boy said he was making a snake. The two Luhsinger sisters Clara and Aliana just looked at him and went back to their necklace making. Kaylee Robinson, 6, so focused on her creation didn’t even look up. Ophelia Harry-Rose, 5, walked around eating her necklace, as did most of the kids. When asked what it tasted like, both Ophelia and her mother Shanda Harry, chimed, “Sugar!”

Children at the watercoloring table were given instructions by artist/art instructor Diana Liebe and Richard Schmidt, artist and Lake County Poet Laureate. Liebe conducts beginning watercolor workshops at the Main Street Gallery on Wednesdays at 1P.M. Talking about the children’s art tickled her. She laughed when she said, “I get such a kick out of kids. Their imaginations are unbelievable and they come up with the most interesting ideas and colors and they’re so free. It’s so much fun to work with kids. I love kids.”

Marisol Carrando, 12, painted brilliant-colored leaves she had traced from dried leaves provided by Liebe. After placing her artwork in the sun to dry, she went to several other art tables and then wound back to the watercolor table to do a second painting. Jules Showalter, 12, and her brother Seth, 9, painted the leaves they also had traced. “I like how the colors blend,” said Jules. Liebe showed her how to do the blending, which produced a unique colorful work of art.

When asked what he had hoped to achieve from organizing Children’s Art Day as his All-Star 4-H project, Charlie said, “I wanted people to see that 4-H can be about whatever skill or passion they have and want to share. They can even create a public event for kids! Something they can remember and maybe they might join 4-H, too, and continue the cycle of ‘making the best better’ for our community, our country and our world, which is our 4-H motto and part of our pledge.”