Leaving The Nest

“Every people’s heart explodes with happiness when you do art!’ – Sydney, Age 6

First continuous line drawing of Breyer Model Horses.
Pilot point and watercolor. By Nik, age 13.

What happens when our Portfolio Class leaves the nest?

Jim Hastings and I cry. We sit down and bawl like big fat babies because our family of a dozen young artists are ready to take on the art world without us. These 12 kids, aged 13 turning 14, have mastered many mediums as they created a 20 piece portfolio of carefully executed and finished work. It’s overwhelming – really looking at the finished product from each student as we spread these precious documents of artistic growth out over the short preschool tables – the QUALITY is just so fine.

We take 7th graders in Spring 2012 (starting February 21) for Pre-Portfolio and let them really see if they like making art with direction and consistency, homework and critiques and if they do, they can continue into our Portfolio Class which begins Summer 2012.

This class allows a child to experience college level art education with lots of support. Four Studio Arts classroom hours a week and at least that much homework. I am not sure how any other candidate who tries out for Arts can get this job done without so much support. Gosh our kids work hard.

We sat with Nik and some other students who had their audition the next day. They said things that I will paraphrase as they felt very private: ‘I knew I was talented, but my passion wasn’t ignited – this class gave me the spark to know my path’, said one. Another said: ‘I learned how to create value without the horrible lines that happen between shades’. And another: ‘I couldn’t have done it without you. I can’t believe how much I’ve grown’. Words spoken from children looking you directly in the eye, but really speaking directly heart to heart. When everyone’s eyes fill with saline, it’s a good clue it’s your hearts are talking.

Nik’s self portrait. Ebony pencil.

We see them audition for Arts Magnet (BTWSVPA) over the next two weeks. We know they have every chance because they worked SO hard for this. Jim and I are ever amazed to find such a beautiful way to contribute to our kid’s lives.

Good luck our dearhearts! You don’t need luck though, because you’ve got SKILLS!

Barley and Jim

Postscript: If you know a 7th grader interested in applying to Arts Magnet in 2013, call us ASAP at 214-827-1222. Pre-Portfolio starts February 21. We are happy to accept late joiners, but prefer to start on time.

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