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Art 4 Joy: Fun Arts Program Opens in Central Point
Create Fun Art!
Central Point, November 18, 2015: “Sip and Paint” classes have been spreading across the U.S. like wild fire, but more often than not these venues are limited to availability in larger cities. “Sip and Paint” classes are a new social scene for adults who enjoy painting in a social atmosphere often served up with alcoholic (and non-alcoholic) beverages while guests are guided through a pre-determined painting project from start to finish in about 2 hours. At these events all supplies are included for the project and guests go home with their finished “masterpieces”.
Kim Samitore, Art Director/Owner of Art 4 Joy, located in Central Point has brought big city fun to small town America in the heart of downtown Central Point! Art 4 Joy, which offers not only “sip and paint” style classes but a full schedule of youth programs, quietly opened their doors Oct. 12, 2015, at 63 S. 4th Street in Central Point. Samitore chose to start her company as a grassroots project,rather than buying into the popular franchises offering similar services so that she could bring arts and crafts to children and adults of all ages within the Rogue Valley with her own unique program plan!
In late November 2015, Samitore moved her business to a larger location just around the corner at 425 Oak Street in Central Point (still located in 4 Oaks Centre) to accommodate for the community’s growing desire of different class offerings. Art 4 Joy has classes for children 5 years old and under that focus on tactile and motor skill development through creative art play, as well as weekly youth painting classes for first grade on up. Other classes offered include classes for Seniors 55+, some of which have never painted before, but are very excited to learn! Jim DeKorte (73), Samitore’s father, has Parkinson’s Disease and enjoys his art classes as his tremors subside and his cognition increases during art class. Other Seniors attend for increased social activity, for relaxation or mood elevation, etc. “Art is very therapeutic for mind, body and spirit,” says Samitore. She feels strongly that art classes can be an important part of a healthy lifestyle no matter what age or experience level you have. “Studies have shown that art is a valuable therapy for stress, anxiety, depression and more. Our classes are very social and always educational in a fun way, so whether a guest is young or young at heart, they leave with very positive feelings,” says Samitore.
Samitore has been fielding calls and emails for work parties, birthday parties, potential partnerships with local schools and non-profits who provide services to foster care children and more. Her goal is the bring art back to the community due to reduced art activities within the schools and to inspire adults to take a night out for social time in a new and fun way that is different and healthy for body, mind and spirit. She wants to help people feel good about themselves through creativity.
Art 4 Joy is currently working with the City of Central Point’s Recreation Department to expand their arts and crafts offerings during Community Christmas, scheduled for Dec. 5th, 2015. Art 4 Joy will be open to the public for free arts and crafts to all kiddos who attend Community Christmas, just 1 block east of City Hall so that families can enjoy the celebration a little longer where they can get out of the cold.
Samitore recently retired from teaching horse back riding lessons at Samitore Stables, also of Central Point, to children and adults with and without disabilities/learning/behavior disorders since 2005, to pursue her other love in life – CREATIVITY! She hopes to keep working with special needs children and adults as well as those without them. “What’s neat about this new learning opportunity is that no level of physical fitness, or experience is required and fees are lower (than horse back riding) so I can work with a larger population within our community,” says Samitore. She loves teaching and sharing the joy of expanding one’s horizons of what’s possible when you give something new a try!
Samitore is planning a Grand Opening/Christmas Open House in December (TBD), as well as a ribbon cutting ceremony (still to be scheduled) with the Central Point Chamber of Commerce.
Photo Opportunity: Saturday, November 21, 2015, 4:30-6:30pm, a promotional free class will be held at Art 4 Joy to introduce the community to our Taste and Create classes.
The Arts Alliance of Southern Oregon Fall 2015 Community Meeting
held last week in Medford was informative and fun- thank you to all who attended.
It was a great opportunity to strengthen our arts community, we shared the new logo design and tag line “The Artist Network” and unveiled the new rack cards.
From now through the end of 2015, Arts Alliance of Southern Oregon will continue to build membership (only $20 for 2015!) Please spread the word- we are now up to 60 members and growing strong!
Our new rack card is hot off the presses! All Charter Members, please contact us to get your stack of 50 (or more!) 10,000 rack cards have been printed and are available-anyone willing is encouraged to help distribute them. They turned out beautifully and feature artwork and logos from Charter Members. Please email us when you place them in certain locations so we can track and organize our outreach efforts.
ARTS ALLIANCE OF SOUTHERN OREGON MEMBERS RECEIVE DISCOUNTED RATE! SIGN UP FOR KEVIN OR GREGG’S WORKSHOP AND RECEIVE A COMPLIMENTARY TICKET TO THE YOU ARE A WORK OF ART PANEL/DISCUSSION ON FRIDAY NIGHT. More details below…
Don’t forget to share your events, call to artists, inspiration, and more, keeping Arts Alliance of Southern Oregon: The Artist Network active and robust. Together, we are helping our arts community thrive!
On July 28th, Hillary Clinton expressed her support for arts education at a town hall meeting in Nashua, New Hampshire. The presidential candidate responded to a question about education with an answer that featured great enthusiasm for the arts.
She remarked how valuable it was that she had an opportunity to sing in a chorus and participate in drama and visual arts classes in school. “But the point is when you remove the arts you really hurt kids who learn that way!”
Watch the portion of the town hall meeting where she speaks about arts education below and then continue the conversation on social media using this sample tweet:
Infoparrot is glad to announce that it has launched its scholarship program for 2015. The winners of the scholarship will receive $1,250 for their educational expenses for the academic year. As Infoparrot believes in sharing resources, it has a strong focus on giving back to the community.
If you would like to apply for the Infoparrot 2015 scholarship, please complete the following steps –
3. Submit your application by 11:59PM EST, December 31, 2015.
Title: The infoparrot Scholarship of Academic Excellence Deadline: 11:59PM EST, December 31, 2015. Website: http://www.infoparrot.com/the-infoparrot-scholarship/ Amount: $1250, Renewable/one-time: 3 winners every year but a student can only win once. Population (UG, GR, HS Senior): Undergraduate, Graduate and High School Seniors with an acceptance letter from a University Requirements: Write an essay (see our site for full description of essay requirements)
Which nationalities can apply for this: We currently accept all nationalities
Note that your university must be an accredited institution recognized by the highest academic authorities in your country.
Essay Requirements 2015
Write 1000-1600 words about the following:
The internet has allowed people from all over the world to develop and create businesses like never before. A person from India can offer services across the globe and take advantage of the globalization. Trading across borders has never been easier and this trend is stirring up the global economy. Jobs are pouring out of the western world and they are increasingly being outsourced to countries with cheaper labor. Discuss how the western countries should tackle this increasing trend of trading across borders. How can western countries benefit from this new “horizontal exchange of services”? Should the market regulate itself or should the government interfere? Finally, express your own opinion about the internet’s impact on the global economy.
Before submitting the application, make sure that you have provided all the relevant information. Any incomplete application and/or essays with punctuation, grammatical or structural errors will be disqualified from the scholarship project.
A student can apply only once per year for this scholarship. If double applications are found from a single applicant, the application will be disqualified.
If your provided information is correct, you will receive a confirmation e-mail within 7 business days. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered for the scholarship.
The Infoparrot scholarship will be paid to 3 winners annually. The selected applicant will receive a one-off payment of $1,250 only.
The winners of the 2015 scholarship will be announced on January 29, 2016.
The payment will be processed by March 31, 2016. The payment will be released to the college’s financial aid office, which will transfer the scholarship to the student’s account.
In order to be considered for the scholarship, the student has to meet the following criteria: 1. Currently enrolled as a full-time student in an educational institution or being able to show letter of acceptance from a university. 2. Has an identification number or identity card or any other legal document provided by the institution. 3. The final decision will be made by Infoparrot only. The decision is not open to appeal. 4. Before making the payment, the applicant’s information will be verified thoroughly. If any false or incorrect information is found in the application, the applicant will be disqualified without any notification. 5. A student can apply only once a year.
Great news! Today, the U.S. Senate voted to approve the Every Child Achieves Act (S.1177) by a vote of 81-17 which is a remarkable finish, especially considering the nearly 200 amendments that were filed that could have sunk the bill.
Senate Education Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander delivers final speech on the Senate floor before the vote on the Every Child Achieves Act
The current law, No Child Left Behind, expired in 2007. The Senate has not considered K-12 education legislation on the Senate floor since 2001, which gives a sense of the momentous significance to this vote.
In a statement, Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts said, “Arts education leaders across the country are looking for federal leadership, certainty, and support to ensure access to the arts for all students, in school and out of school. Today, we all can take pride in seeing a huge step toward achieving this goal with the Senate’s action. There is hope for an end to the current patchwork of state waivers, and to advance policy to enable every child to receive a complete education that includes the arts.”
Thanks, in part, to the work done by dozens of national arts and arts education organizations and tens of thousands of advocates, like yourself, who have weighed in year after year as part of the national Arts Advocacy Day event on Capitol Hill, hosted by Americans for the Arts, the Senate bill contains 11 arts-friendly provisions, and retains the arts as a core academic subject —a priority for Americans for the Arts and the arts education field.
Today’s vote clears the way for the House and Senate to begin a final bill that can be signed into law. Americans for the Arts will work with advocates to build an unprecedented coalition to strengthen arts education in the final legislation.
It’s been a fast-paced appropriations season so far! On June 16, the U.S. Senate approved legislation (for the first time in six years!) in subcommittee to level fund the National Endowment for the Arts.The U.S. House also kept its pace for rapid consideration, approving its NEA funding bill in full committee today as well. Tomorrow, the bill that funds the federal museum agency and arts education is on tap for consideration (first time in three years!) in another House subcommittee. And on Thursday, the Senate returns to consider its bill to fund the NEA in full committee.Despite the substantial effort in Congress to advance bills in a timely way, the Administration last night issued a veto threat to the bill because of its numerous policy riders, thwarting any expected advancement.
What you need to know
Last week, the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee approved a bill providing sustained funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. All the cultural institutions, like the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Smithsonian Institution, also were proposed at level funding.
June 16, the full committee reported out this legislation on a 30-21 vote, enabling it to next be considered on the House floor.
Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) offers amendment to increase funding for NEA by $2 million to full committee
During full committee consideration, Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) offered an amendment to boost funding for both the NEA and the NEH to the President’s request.This is roughly a $2 million increase to $148 million. Although his amendment did not receive a vote, Reps. Chellie Pingree (D-ME), David Price (D-NC), and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) all spoke favorably on his amendment. Rep. Pingree noted the work of the Maine Humanities Council in her district; Rep. Israel spoke about Operation Homecoming: Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Home Front in the Words of U.S. Troops and Their Families, a publication of the NEA. A writer himself, Rep. Israel shared his interest to scale up healing arts therapy work with veterans going forward and in more areas across the country. Rep. Price shared with his colleagues another publication, the Heart of the Matter, tucking it in also as recommended reading. Rep. Price also shared with all appropriators that NEA and NEH are fundedwell below their historical levels. He compared funds to 1992 and said with just inflation, we’d be investing nearly double had we just retained those levels. You can watch the June 16 proceedings at this webcast link, in which Rep. Israel’s amendment can be found at the 2:57 timestamp.
The Senate subcommittee also considered their version on June 16. Both NEA and NEH are also proposed for level funding. The subcommittee’s statement can be found here. The full committee considered the bill June 16.
House floor votes could occur as soon as the last week in June, prior to the 4th of July congressional recess. As the process moves forward, the NEA and other cultural agencies may be prime targets for proposed cuts, if history is any lesson. We will keep you posted on any harmful amendments as the bills head toward the House or Senate floor.
Editor’s Note: Yesterday we sent a message to Oregon House Representative Greg Walden via an ArtsUSA petition. It began with the petition text written by ArtsUSA advocates, but we wanted to add more. We hope you will also send your own message to our representatives about why level or increased funding for NEA programs—which fund Oregon state arts programs—before Congress votes on the proposed budget next week. Feel free to copy ours (below) if it resonates with you. We received a message back from Rep. Walden this morning indicating that he will keep our priorities in mind throughout the budget and appropriations process, but if he needs to hear from more of us. In his words, “At the end of the day, it’s your money that we’re talking about—you ought to have a say in how it’s being spent.” If hears from many, many more of us, we may actually get a $2 million increase in funding as proposed by Rep. Steve Israel of New York last week, but you need to know that continued efforts to cut funding to the National Endowment completely are still threatening this agency so vital to arts funding across the country and in our own home state. “As your constituent, I urge you to increase or support a budget of $146 million for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in the FY 2016 Interior Appropriations bill to preserve citizen access to the cultural, educational, and economic benefits of the arts and to advance creativity and innovation here at home.
The arts mean jobs for our district! The nonprofit arts industry generates $135.2 billion annually in economic activity, supports 4.13 million full-time equivalent jobs in the arts and related industries, and returns $9.59 billion in federal income taxes.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the NEA announced the latest figures on the arts and cultural sector’s contributions to U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), proving that the arts are a significant part of the GDP. Arts and culture activity produced $698.7 billion in goods and services annually or 4.32% of GDP – more than both the construction or transportation sectors.
Grants through the NEA are widely distributed to strengthen arts infrastructures and to ensure broad access to the arts. The NEA makes grants in every congressional district. Furthermore, the NEA distributes 40 percent of its program dollars to state arts agencies, on the condition that each state devotes its own appropriated funds as well. In partnership with the NEA, state arts agencies have awarded 22,000 grants to more than 18,300 organizations, schools, and artists in nearly 4,800 communities across the United States.
With funding for the arts having been cut from most of our schools, I am very concerned that our children are not getting enough exposure to the arts to help them achieve their goals and become productive member of society. I heard a parent recently tell me that her son, who is studying a pre-med curriculum in high school, was having trouble getting decent grades in biology classes because he couldn’t draw an accurate line drawing of an anatomical feature! That’s of grave concern, and this example makes a case for supporting availability and access to the arts outside of the school system. The NEA improves access to the arts, supports artistic excellence and fosters lifelong learning through grants, partnerships, research and national initiatives. The current level funding of $146 million amounts to just 45 cents per capita, as compared to 70 cents per capita in 1992. I am counting on you as my Representative to support at least level funding of $146 million for the NEA.
On a side note, I urge you to support the NEA’s STEAM educational model for our schools. This would add steam to the STEM program and improve student’s ability to learn, retain, and effectively apply information in a broad range of subjects by incorporating the arts into the curriculum. A society that does not value the arts beyond pretty pictures on the walls is NOT a world I want to live in! Numerous studies have proven that including the arts in education does far more than teach kids how to draw or paint or play the piano, but results in important enhancements to executive function and neurological development during a child’s formative and educational years, not to mention creative/collaborative problem solving (and oh do we need more people with those abilities active in our society!), and the fact that high school students with four years of art classes average 100 points higher on their SAT scores than those whose studies included one semester or less of art. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of the many ways art can contribute tangibly to our lives. We should respect the truth these studies have discovered and give our kids every opportunity possible to excel in school and in their professional lives after school by reintroducing funding for the arts in education. It is deeply troubling, embarrassing and a poor reflection on the priorities of our society that they were ever cut to begin with.
Approving level funding for the NEA right now is a healthy start. Please commit to continuing funding for the NEA right now, and make it a part of your fight for preserving the quality of life in our country and our ability to complete on the global stage with creative innovations and solutions that only come when kids learn how to think creatively and effectively express their ideas by increasing the NEA’s funding from flat to being up-to-date with the increases in inflation and on par with historical levels at a minimum, and restoring funding for the arts in our schools.”
Main Gallery exhibit: Artist Teen Mentoring Project
Community and Members’ Gallery: Best of the Best High School Art
April 17 – April 30, 2015, Reception: Friday, April 17, 4-8pm
Main Gallery: Artist Teen Mentoring Project
This exhibition is a culmination of the Rogue Gallery & Art Center’s annual program the Artist Teen Mentoring Project. On display is the creative work of both teens and mentoring artists. This program pairs professional Rogue Valley artists with local high school students for intensive study and interaction. Through the program, the students learn new techniques to use in their work, how to present their work in an exhibit, and gain insight to the life of a professional artist. On display are a variety of materials and styles including painting, printmaking, photography, comic art, and sculpture.
Seven aspiring teenaged artists had the opportunity to work with one of five established artists to create art in a variety of media. Teens went through an application process last fall that included a portfolio review, a written essay, letters of recommendation, and an interview. Selected teens selected for the program spent over 20 hours with their mentors, learning and practicing techniques and preparing their work for display.
Community and Members’ Gallery: Best of the Best High School Art
On display is over 100 works of art by local high school students. Artwork from 14 local high schools was submitted for in-district screening, and then presented for jurying by professional artists. The artwork includes paintings, drawings, collage, illustrations, sculpture, photography, prints, and ceramics. Best of the Best was started in 1985 by members of the Southern Oregon Research and Development Committee to showcase and encourage artistically gifted high school students throughout the Rogue Valley. This idea has grown and now far exceeds original expectations, as it has become an annual enriching and exciting event each spring for Rogue Valley high school students, parents, and teachers.
Refreshments will be served at the reception on April 17, from 4:00 – 8:00 pm.
The Rogue Gallery & Art Center is a non-profit community art center, founded in 1960 to promote and support the arts in the Rogue Valley. The center exhibits a wide range of artistic styles and mediums from local and national artists. Programming includes art educational opportunities for children and adults. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call (541)772-8118 for more info or visit www.roguegallery.org.
The 2015 Clatsop Community College Art Student Exhibit will be on display at the CCC Art Center Gallery, 1799 Lexington Avenue, Astoria, from Thursday, April 9 through Thursday, April 30. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, April 9 beginning at 6:00 p.m.
During the reception, cash prizes and award winners will be announced. This year’s juror, Eleanor H. Erskine, will be present at the reception to give a juror’s talk. Clatsop Community College thanks the Astoria Coffeehouse and Bistro for its generous support for this year’s student awards.
The CCC Art Center Gallery is ADA accessible, free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and weekends by appointment.
The Annual Art Student Exhibit is a juried event that showcases the talents and creativity of the college’s art students. Art students are invited to submit up to three pieces of work created in the art classes in which they have been enrolled during the past year. The show will feature a range of disciplines taught at Clatsop Community College, including graphic arts, basic design, drawing, painting, ceramics, photography and printmaking.
Juror Eleanor H. Erskine attended the Chicago Art Institute, received a BFA in Painting/Printmaking from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1981, and earned her MFA in Printmaking, with a special focus in Sculpture from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1988. She has taught at the Maine College of Art; the Kansas City Art Institute; The Chautauqua Institution; Penland School of Crafts; and Portland State University. Her works have been exhibited at the Mark Woolley Gallery; Museum of Contemporary Art in Washington D.C; Nelson Atkins Museum; Portland Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA); and the Marylhurst Art Gym. Erskine is recognized locally, nationally and internationally. Her work is held in major private and public collections including the California State University Museum; Portland Art Museum; Spencer Museum of Art; Hallmark Corporation; New York Public Library; Downey Museum of Art; University of Iowa Museum of Art; and in various collections in Canada, Africa, Japan and South Korea.
The art exhibit on display at South Stage Cellars right now is a truly special one. Every year the Cellar’s “Rising Stars” music competition benefits a local nonprofit, and this year they chose LIFE Art, a Medford-based program helping Rogue Valley youth overcome a wide range of difficulties by learning to paint with guidance from artist mentors. I had the opportunity to meet Phil Ortega, founder of LIFE Art, when he and several of the program’s mentors and students were hanging their show. I was deeply moved by the story of LIFE Art and impressed not only by the caring and generous heart of this compassionate man, but the overall quality, ingenuity and expression in the youths’ paintings.
In the spring of 2010, Mr. Ortega was working late at night in the shop where he fixes old cars as a hobby when he heard a sound behind the building. Stepping outside, he discovered a group of teens tagging abandoned rail cars. He asked what they were doing, and they told him they were painting the tag name of a youth who committed suicide in 2009. Among the taggers were the late youth’s brother and cousin. Recognizing their genuine need to create a memorial for their deceased relative and friend, as well as some real artistic talent, Mr. Ortega bought the boys blank canvases, brushes and paint that very day to help them channel the memory of their loved one onto something permanent. He then began thinking about how he could develop a program to support kids like these.
Painting by Nicole Paradis
The LIFE Art program uses visual and creative arts as a means for youth to express their feelings and communicate with others about their experiences. Art projects address the multiplicity of the issues young people are involved in. Factors including difficult family relationships and school experiences, substance use, community risk factors (i.e., gangs, criminality) and cultural pressures are all addressed through guided discussions with caring adults and LIFE Art Mentors.
South Stage Cellars Rising Stars has chosen to donate all the profits from the 2015 music competition to this amazing local nonprofit. We hope you plan to come to Jacksonville on February 7, 2015 to enjoy our Chinese New Year parade and celebration. There will be additional arts and cultural opportunities, including an authentic Origami class at Art Presence Art Center, next to the historic Courthouse. But whatever you do, come to South Stage Cellars at 125 S. Third Street from 6–7:30pm for a reception for the LIFE Art youth artists! Join the teens, mentors and director of LIFE Art, enjoy their work along with live music and complimentary appetizers, and consider helping to empower one of their young artists with a purchase—If there are any left to buy! Paintings were selling as they were placed on the walls. Ortega looks forward to the event, and to highlighting the art and mentorships LIFE Art encourages. “We might even have some poetry or a short story reading by a teen if we can,” he added. The LIFE Art exhibition will continue through the end of March at South Stage Cellars Tasting Room.
YMCA Mural Work, Jose and EMA
SSC Rising Stars, now in its 4th year, was the brainchild of Porscha Schiller, Tasting Room and Marketing Events Manager of South Stage Cellars. The competition has grown every year until it outgrew the tasting room altogether. It will now be held across the street, upstairs in historic Redmen’s Hall. Schiller was quoted in the Jacksonville Review as saying, “Everyone involved in the music competition and LIFE Art is extremely proud of the work these kids are doing and so very grateful to the community for the amazing support this life-changing nonprofit group is getting!”
Tickets for the 4th-annual South Stage Cellars Rising Stars Competition are on sale now at South Stage Cellars in Jacksonville, the Music Coop in Ashland and online at www.southstagecellars.com. For more information, call 541-899-9120.
Mello Saldivar Anaya Working on Mural
More About LIFE Art
Mr. Ortega wrote us, saying, “We started with the support of the Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention Grant and Jackson County Suicide Prevention Coordinator Michelle Morales. Their guidance was instrumental in creating something unique. We started with a few kids and have grown to serving over 200 local kids every month. We help kids cope with a multitude of stresses. Suicide prevention was our starting focus, but we have grown to include any kid with the idea that group art projects create a certain climate so that the kids are not identified as fragile, but as artists.”
The Garrett Lee Smith (GLS) Memorial grant was awarded to several counties in the state of Oregon from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in 2010. The grants became available through the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act of 2004, the first federal suicide prevention program targeted towards youth. The Act is named after the son of former Oregon senator Gordon H. Smith, who took his own life in 2003.
Front (l-r): LIFE Art student Adrian Chavez, student Karla Lopez, mentor Aaron Dykstra, student Mello Saldivar-Anaya. Back (l-r): LIFE Art founder Phil Ortega, mentor Caroline Wasick, mentor Nicole Paradis, student Luis Rodriguez. Photo by Ezra Marcos.
“I manage LIFE Art so that kids can learn coping skills through art and guided mentorships. I believe that art tells a story, and when kids can demonstrate their voice through art, it relives a sense of hurt for some, joy for most…but when people admire the art they have created, it Validates Their Feelings! That is the LIFE Art mission in a nutshell.” ~Phil Ortega
LIFE Art Today
Thanks to a grant from The Providence Health Plan Community Benefit Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation, LIFE Art in partnership with On Track opened the LIFE Track Youth Center & Art Gallery at 106 S. Grape Street in Medford. This project gives youth a space to express themselves creatively, as well as having a place where they can drop in and find the support of caring mentors. In addition, the center offers FREE art classes every Saturday for youth 10-22 years old. “It’s a cool project, but it is coming to an end this year. LIFE Art is looking for a new place to call home starting this summer. My house served as a place for the kids for a few years, but we are way too big for that anymore!” says Ortega, “Hopefully we will find a place where we can partner with other artists for various art projects and a sharing of experiences and skills can take place. Maybe one of your readers has a space in mind we could lease.”
LIFE Art student Adrian Chavez, mentor Aaron Dykstra and student Luis Rodriguez. Photo by Ezra Marcos.
Ortega tells us that new LIFE Art mural projects are underway, in partnership with the Gang Task Force, which is comprised of many Jackson County agencies working to help connect teens to programs that encourage better lifestyle choices. The murals, painted on large scale canvases, will be displayed around our community starting with Central Art Supply in Medford. They will help us display the art on the exterior of their building as a way to encourage teens to create more ART ON Canvas. The art will also be used as the backstage art to SSC Rising Star Events.
“We believe that when artists (teens) see their art displayed in our community they will feel validated and accepted. More artists will seek programs like LIFE Art to join. It is up to the adults in our community to create a caring environment for our youth to connect with and it starts with setting a positive example. We believe the art will stimulate conversation and empower our youth,” Mr. Ortega says.
The funding for these murals are through the YDC and the KEY ( Keep Encouraging Youth) Project in partnership with LIFE Art, Spartan Boxing, Juvenile Justice and Kids Unlimited.
“Bubbles,” by Alondra Flores
Funding ends October 15, 2015 for LIFE Art’s other programs:
G.E.M.S. (Girls Expressing Many Strengths) is an after school program geared toward helping young teens learn to cope with life stressors through artistic expression and group support. The program is in partnership with Eagle Point School District and Medford School District.
One–2–One Mentorship Program
One-2-One Mentorship is designed to connect with students who need attention beyond group activities. Many of our participants are dealing with real life issues and struggles around poverty, relationships, family, substance abuse, and education. Connecting with certain students on a regular basis establishes a dependable connection with a caring adult role model.
LIFE Art New Logo
Art With A Purpose
The Art with a Purpose sessions are about creating art that is focused on social issues that students face daily. Suicide prevention, self-image, anti-bullying campaigns, gang prevention and promoting civility are all topics that can be better addressed by our model: “Marketing for Kids Created by Kids.”
Now five years old, the LIFE Art program is in partnership with United Way, Jackson County Health and Human Services, Una Voz, Eastburn Photography LLC, Lenart Art Education Foundation and Oregon Community Foundation (Latino Partnership Project). Mr. Ortega and the LIFE Art staff and mentors thank Jackson County School District 9 Leadership and Staff for making it possible to offer their services within our schools and for the partnerships that support our students.
Come to the reception ~ meet Phil Ortega and the LIFE Art youth artists and mentors in person to learn more! You can help…come to the Rising Stars music competition nights, from which 100% of the profits will benefit LIFE Art!
When presenting the 2013 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities in July, President Obama remarked: “The arts and humanities aren’t there to be consumed when we have a free moment. We need them like medicine. They help us live.” We couldn’t agree more!