The artwork of local youth who participated in art camps in their communities over the summer is on display at all the branches in the Colusa County Free Library system.
Local art instructor Trish Gustafson-Ayala said the summer program served the largest number of children to date, with camps held in Colusa, Grimes, Arbuckle, Williams, Maxwell, Stonyford, and Princeton.
The curriculum for the students included creating a visual art book, learning to use different mediums, creating original works of their own, learning how to write an artist statement, gaining an understanding of art terms that are aligned with state standards in art, and mirroring the work of a master.
Gustafson-Ayala has held the art programs for several years, under the umbrella of another organization, but she took a new approach this year by having the camps at all the libraries.
“It was huge this year,” Gustafson-Ayala said. “We had over 150 kids, and I went to every single branch library once a week for four weeks. It was very well attended and very well received when I got all the donations.”
The program in funded entirely from community support, and has become so popular for youth during the summer that Gustafson-Ayala is in the process of forming a local non-profit organization.
“It’s time to take it to the next level,” she said. “We had wonderful support from our sponsors, and a lot of new sponsors that we had not teamed up with before. We had over 50 sponsors this year. The kids didn’t have to pay for anything.”
Students were provided acrylics, soft and oil pastels, watercolors, canvass, sketch pads, drawing utensils, and instruction materials.
The Arbuckle, Maxwell, Princeton, and Colusa libraries held their art shows last week to launch the artwork. The Grimes show was held Tuesday. Williams Library will host its show from 5-6 PM tonight, and Stonyford Library from 5-6 PM on Thursday.
The artwork on display includes the students’ interpretation of Van Gogh’s sunflowers, as well the study of agriculture through artistic expression, among other projects.
“My long-term goal is to have an “Art in Ag” bus that rolls around through all the communities,” Gustafson-Ayala said. “That has sort of been a life vision of mine.”
At the show in Colusa last Thursday, new resident Scyntha Humbert said her daughters Ellie, 5, and Avery 2, whose father is serving in the U.S. Navy in Bahrain, participated in the art camp over the summer, and were excited to show off their masterpieces at the show.
“They really enjoyed the art camp, and got a lot out of it,” Humbert said.
In addition to the public libraries, artwork is on display in the window at Pearson Reality, one of the camp’s sponsors, in Colusa.
The art will be on display at the libraries for a week or so, before the students can take their work home.
Gustafson-Ayala is in the process of planning a sponsor’s dinner, and several of the youth have donated their artwork to an auction.