CCA students ready to be creative at Art-In benefit
Canyon Crest Academy’s Digital and Fine Arts Envision Conservatory students will take part in the third annual Art-In at the school March 26-27 to raise awareness of the program, along with much-needed funds.
“We create works of art that are auctioned off to the public to raise money for our art supplies,” said Jesse Clark, a junior, who took part in last year’s Art-In.
The funds also enable the school to bring in professional artists who conduct hands-on workshops with the students. Conservatory classes are taken after school as a fifth period, and students must apply to be admitted to the program where they earn extra credits towards graduation.
The approximately 35 digital- and fine-art students who take part in the Art-In event pursue their creative endeavors over the period from 3:30 p.m. Friday, March 26 through noon Saturday, March 27. Being at school after hours in the art studio surrounded with materials, blank canvases and more than 30 of their closest friends is a rare treat for participants.
“It’s a very fun experience,” said Sage Serrano, a junior, who was also present at last year’s Art-In. “I loved it. It was fantastic to stay up all night with my friends on campus. It was definitely a bonding experience. We each got to see how we are after hours, bleary-eyed and half-awake.”
Conservatory art teacher Jessica Matthes gives the students only one directive with which to work, and that is a general theme to get them started. The students are given the theme at the beginning of the event and must work quickly to produce a completed piece of artwork by the following day’s deadline.
Last year, the broad theme of “organization” prompted Sage to produce a stylized design on canvas that incorporated vivid color with tree motifs. It now hangs in the school administrative office. Jesse began with enthusiasm on a large-scale piece and then scrapped that idea at 3 a.m. when he switched gears and created five small pieces in five hours.
“I used inks and gold leaf for one piece, acrylic paints for another, and, for one, I sewed thread into my design,” Jesse said. He also incorporated stylized figures, geometric shapes and delicate detail into his work.
Teachers and parent volunteers facilitate the event by serving as chaperones, working in shifts throughout the entire period. Food, snacks and lots of coffee are on hand to help nourish the students, but also to keep them awake. “I fell asleep for a few hours,” Sage said, “But this year I’m determined to stay awake the entire time.”
Canyon Crest Academy places great importance on the arts in education, Matthes said. “The arts classes enable our students to learn in a completely different way than in many other typical classes. They embark on project-based learning. Skill sets such as problem solving and utilizing creative solutions are the norm, rather than the exception in such classes,” she said.
Students learn how to reason, then come up with their own solutions instead of merely reiterating material. “This, in turn, makes the students stronger in all of their classes, as well as encouraging a life-long appreciation for the arts,” Matthes said.
If you go
What: Art-In fund-raiser from Canyon Crest Academy’s Digital and Fine Arts Envision Conservatory students.
Where: On view to parents and friends post event, 3 p.m. March 27 at the school, 5951 Village Center Loop Road, Carmel Valley; then on public view with a silent auction, 1:30-3:30 p.m. May 1 at Art ‘n’ Soul gallery, 633 North Coast Hwy., Encinitas.
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