Last year, Siskiyou Arts Museum hosted artwork from Dunsmuir and Castella schools in a brilliantly colored spring show.  This year, SAM board member and former elementary school teacher Penny Heilman again curates, with the help of local teachers, an invitational featuring works from Dunsmuir Elementary and High schools, Golden Eagle Charter’s 3rd through 5th grades, and Castle Rock Elementary.  This show ends April 1, 2017.

Curatorial Statement from Penny Heilman:

As a teacher,  I love seeing the light go on in the eyes of a child who has just mastered a new skill. The ultimate goal of today’s education is to increase those experiences. But, how?

Reliable research points to one factor again and again that keeps kids coming to school, wanting to learn, eager to explore new ideas and get better grades.  It’s not more homework, it’s not harder assignments or more days in the classroom; it’s engaging in the arts….music, fine art, theater, dance, photography–creating and building.  Who would have guessed?  Feeling confident in one or more of the arts seems to be the key.  For some kids it’s the only reason to come to school every day.

Unfortunately, for several reasons this is not happening for all students in all educational arenas. Instruction in the arts as a permanent part of the curriculum and extending that learning through performance, presentation, exhibition is what builds that confidence.

Therefore, perhaps, the teaching of the arts ought to be given equal status with so-called “academic” courses.  Yet in times of limited funds these are the first to be cut back.

The Young Artist show at the Siskiyou Arts Museum (SAM), where every child participates, is a good way to convince every child  that they are such valuable artists at their level that a real art gallery is presenting their work among the work of adult artists.  This event is a as important as any other show that will hang at SAM.

After the Young Artist Show in 2016, every participating child declared that, “I AM AN ARTIST!”

Poster by Linda Price.

Poster by Linda Price.