Friday, May 3, 2013

Studio 222 After School Art Program

"I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way—things I had no words for.”
                         Georgia O’Keeffe

The Studio 222 model now has its one successful middle school program and two elementary ones.  Studio 222 can be scaled up or down, depending upon size of the sponsoring community and its resources.

How special would you feel if your art were published in a book and/or displayed in a gallery along with a reception and sale? (Look online for inexpensive ways to "publish your own books.")

Besides some of the obviously exciting art featured from the author's two visits, the earned self-esteem of the young artists, the exploration through different media and the consistent support of adult volunteers and instructors are priceless. Many students who did minimal, if any art, in school or at home become emboldened to experiment with each medium and artist-in-residence.

 The canvas on the right was created by filling balloons with paint, attaching them above the canvas and throwing darts to burst the balloons. 

Artists-in-residence demonstrate and teach their passions. For example, Nathan Pratt, who became director of Studio 222, taught sculpture in October during our first visit.  Note the papier-mâché Homer Simpson.

At the end-of-year reception, showing and sale of their art, young artists as well as family members beamed with pride in accomplishments.  Some youths expressed what a difference the program was making in their lives and how they had no idea they could joyfully create such work. 
From the website:
Studio 222 is an after school program that engages professional artists from the Oklahoma City area to provide a positive environment where children can develop a strong, healthy self-esteem and resilience against at-risk behaviors.
Studio 222 began in 2004, focusing on middle school youth of Taft Middle School. In 2010, a high school program was added to help students through mentoring, internships, college preparation and life skills. In 2013, Studio 222 is expanding to serve elementary children by creating Studio 222 East and Studio 222 South.
Studio 222 is facilitated by St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, which provides financial and in-kind support through the use of facilities, busses, staff expenses and administration. All programming costs for Studio 222, including art supplies, food and artist stipends, are raised through individual donations, corporate donations, fund-raisers and grants.
  "Studio 222 has given me confidence. Everyone makes me feel special."
- Micah, Three Year Student              

The heart in the center photo is made from painted straws. Like many of the other gallery items, it sold almost immediately.
Tips: Arrive early, select and buy upon sight. Buyer competition precludes all hesitation. One must be really fast--perhaps, if possible, even visiting the studio days prior to the sale to reconnoiter--so much quality and so many patrons! Also look up and all around! A magnificently detailed blue sculpture hung above a sign, and we buying it.

Although the above photo is the only one that shows the amount of glass allowing natural light, the studio also has display lighting.

One particular young photography student, brilliant in composition, takes a long time to find and plan the perfect shot often with amazing juxtaposition of elements and/or unusual close-ups. His art sold quickly also! 
We, falling in love with this breathtaking collection of "bugs," actually acquired it, although it was one of the studio's earliest works, begun by one young woman and then contributed to by the group.

Members of the Oklahoma Afterschool Network met at Studio 222 on October 11, 2012. The directors of various organizations within the network meet at different facilities to learn about the programs. Pictured are Leah Thompson, Nathan Pratt (behind Leah), Julie Robinson, Jasmine Vasileva and Tina Lewis. Julie Robinson is Studio 222's executive director and co-founder. 

At the reception, show and sale on April 18, 2013, are Sonia Johnson, Jasmine Vasileva and Jasmine's daughter, Josephine.
The show and sale was a fun and educational social event replete with artists--professional and amateur, friends, families, patrons, plentiful and beautifully arranged food and drink, upbeat and professional entertainment and inspired conversations. In toto, it was definitely equal to similar adult events.
Applause for Studio 222!


Lisa Phillips, in The Washington Post, discusses the top ten skills children learn from all the arts--visual, performing, dramatic and others.  See the link below for the entire article, or search "what children learn from art" online. ('Not to mention art as therapy for all ages!)                                     

Although Phillips writes to keep art in the school curriculum, this blog's intention is to support and increase after school and weekend art programs by sharing this model.

Phillips mentions in this order: "Creativity, Confidence, Problem Solving, Perseverance, Focus, Non-Verbal Communication, Receiving Constructive Feedback, Collaboration, Dedication and Accountability."
* The source of Georgia O'Keefe's quote and a resource:  Learning in a Visual Age - The Critical Importance of Visual Arts Education  Ret. 5-3-13




1 comment:

  1. this studio is a great studio they try to make a difference in the kids life they try to do everything in there power I should know I went there and it changed my life! They where not just directors they are friends that will try to help you when you feel down and try to help they also do trips for the kids it is a great place to be after school it is the best after schools program ever and they serve food for the kids so they get a meal before they go home and they never rush the student that they are teaching and the first thing they are concerned about is there safety they are the best after school program ever