Arts4All Blog

Explore Identity Through Art

Posted February 4th, 2019  |  By A4A.admin

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CSMA presents the annual City Show from February 1-28 at Mountain View City Hall.  The show is generously sponsored by the City of Mountain View, which lends its beautiful rotunda space to this exhibition annually.  Join us for an opening reception with artists on Friday, February 8, from 3-6pm.  There will be a performance by the Huff School Honor Choir led by CSMA music teacher Christina Christiansen-Hedge at 4pm.

This public art exhibition features work from the faculty and students in CSMA’s Art4Schools program. On display will be 360 pieces of art by students in grades K-8 and their art teachers, from over 14 local schools. This year’s theme is Explore Identity Through Art.

To learn more about what goes into putting the City Show together, we went behind the scenes with Art4Schools teacher Lejoi Reese. She told us about the work from her fifth graders at Stevenson Elementary School in Mountain View.

Tell us about the lesson you did with your students for Explore Identity Through Art.

Though our professions do not completely define our identities, our talents and interests help to form our self-perceptions, values and purposes in life. Students cut, pasted and painted with watercolor compositions that illustrated their aspirations for the future focusing on what they will be when they grow up.

Tell us about your own piece of work that you created for the show.

Being trained as a textile designer for most of my professional career, which has contributed to my self-identity, I am presenting an example of the woven fabric design process: concept to digital design to physical textile.

How did you pick which student works to include?

I selected the pieces that were most successful in visually expressing the intended professions. Then I narrowed the selection to the most complex in detail, execution and effort.

What do you think it means for your students to have their work displayed in a public art show?

I presented the opportunity for inclusion in the City Show to my 5th graders because these particular students have elected to participate in CSMA art. I felt these students would feel exceptionally proud of their hard work if their art were selected to show publicly.

Did you have access to arts education in school?

Yes, I was privileged to attend a preparatory school in the Los Angeles area.

Tell us about a great art teacher that you had.

The art teacher that took me under his wing was Jim Barry. He taught me color theory and composition via textile batik art. Learning the ancient techniques of batik was extremely rewarding and fulfilling. This fulfillment inspired and confirmed my decision to attend art college.

What advice do you have for young, aspiring artists?

Never allow society – your family and friends – to discourage you from following your heart. Be authentically YOU.

Anything else you’d like us to know?

Most people have not been encouraged and taught how to cultivate their creativity in our society. This begins at a young age. Children are encouraged to paint, craft and express via visual means – but as they proceed in their education more importance is put on traditional academics. Therefore, artistic expression and articulation becomes stunted at an elementary level. My goal is to instill in children (and adults) the value of art education to becoming a well-rounded, fulfilled human being. My desire is for people to realize everyone has a beautiful creative voice within them that just requires cultivation to experience and share with the world.

Read what a few of our other Art4Schools teachers have to say about the upcoming exhibition:

The City Show is a great place for our students and families to come together and see the range of art mediums and projects we do with our students during the year. It’s also an amazing opportunity to experience CSMA’s music and art program at the same time, as there are performances alongside of the artwork on display. - Lindsay Montgomery

The City Show is a much anticipated exhibition for our young artists as it showcases their continuous focus on creating vibrant artwork to be shared with the community. - Christina Velazquez

The theme Explore Identity Through Art investigates the many avenues through which the students form and express their identity. The Art4Schools teachers work with their students to discuss key artistic concepts such as line, form, and texture through the lens of self expression. The students communicate their interpretation of identity through artwork using ceramics, printmaking, painting, drawing and collage. This exhibition encourages everyone to see themselves in the world around them! - Jennifer Mineer

Explore Identity Through Art
February 1-28
Opening Reception: Friday, February 8, 3-6pm
Mountain View City Hall
500 Castro Street, Mountain View
Viewing hours are Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm


Tags: art-schoolevents