Art Springs into Rockridge
The project began by Jennifer Rogers in the Landmark Education’s Self-Expression and Leadership Program continues to flourish. ‘Kids Paint the Town’, which takes youth art of all varieties and showcases it around Bay Area businesses, both brightens neighborhoods and displays the talents of neighborhood teens and young people, has entered its second season (It began last fall) with its spring showcase, which recently attracted the attention of the Contra Costa Times. The article appears below.
‘Kids Paint the Town’ in Rockridge, Elmwood
By Maya Mirsky, 4/25/08
Artistic schoolchildren are enjoying fame this month in Rockridge and Elmwood as merchants along College Avenue showcase their artwork in shop windows.
Organizer Jennifer Rogers conceived of “Kids Paint the Town” as a way to bring together the established community of businesses and the creative energy of children.
“Local merchants give areas their character and flair, so I’ve always been a big supporter,” Rogers said. “And then kids also have such wonderful energy and creativity, and it just seems to bring those together so perfectly.”
Rogers partnered with the Oakland-based Museum of Children’s Art (MOCHA) and other sponsors to get around 175 pieces of art up in more than 50 shops. The artwork, all on the theme of spring, will stay up until the end of the month.
Rae Holzman, director of museum programs at MOCHA, said she was enthusiastic when she heard Rogers’ plan.
“We thought, what a great partnership. She knows all the vendors, I know all the children and all the teachers,” Holzman said.
Holzman said hanging the art along College Avenue was important because it allowed children to see artistic expression publicly honored and valued.
Baretta Van Dyke, who owns Milk, an upscale children’s boutique in Rockridge, agreed.
“It makes the kids feel good about themselves to see people appreciate their work,” she said.
Van Dyke hung three pieces of art in her window, and even arranged paint brushes in her mannequins’ hands.
Rogers is happy about the reception Kids Paint the Town is getting, not only from kids and merchants, but from local residents.
“People are stopping and looking, and pointing and reading. It’s really very touching to see so many people excited about it,” Rogers said.
Rogers intends to make the program a twice a year event, and Van Dyke already is already planning for the next round.
“Definitely we’re going to do it again in December,” Van Dyke said.
Go to the Contra Costa Times website to the original article, or check out the first article on Kids Paint the Town in Landmark Education News.