Children’s art framed at Blak Sage Gallery downtown

Preschool students learn about patterns in art at the Blak Sage Gallery during a preschool art education program that launched in 2012.

Collaborative artwork from six local preschools will be on display at the Blak Sage Gallery for one week, with an opening reception and silent auction Dec. 7, from 5 to 7 p.m., at 727 San Benito St.

The art show is part of an effort in recent months by the San Benito Arts Council to reach out to members of the community who have not been as involved with the arts.

“We thought it would be cool to see kids’ art in a professional fine art gallery,” said Jennifer Laine, the executive director, of the show sponsored by the Community Foundation for San Benito County, the California Arts Council and the Hollister Rotary Club. “We can see it on a nice, white wall in a contemporary gallery and it makes it extra special for the kids. It is a way we can demonstrate the value of art and creative learning to kids and parents.”

During the opening reception, family members will be able to bid on a variety of artwork created by the children during the silent auction. Proceeds go back into the preschool art program. Each of the six schools that participated – Little Baler, Hollister Montessori, Meadowlark Preschool, Methodist Preschool, Paddington and the Presbyterian Co-op – will have a space in the gallery dedicated to the large canvass art they created. The San Benito Arts Council supplied a large sheet of canvas and allowed the schools to decide what materials they wanted to use. The schools were also asked to come up with a theme for their project.

Amanda Chiado, the gallery assistant, has also launched a preschool program at the gallery that started in November. For the first installment 40 preschool students spent a morning at the gallery where they learned about patterns.

“They had some books read to them and they did a stamp pattern project on the floor with paper and stamps and ink,” Laine said. “They sang some songs and they put a painting in front of them and asked them to talk about it.”

The gallery hosted a “Mommy and Me Tea” in November with arts projects for kids, cookies and cocoa. Laine said the first event was successful and they have decided to offer some reiteration of it once a month. They will host a “Daddy and Me” event Dec. 8, from noon to 5 p.m., with cocoa, cookies and a Christmas tree art project. Laine said the events are open to the children with any parent and older siblings are welcome.

“We saw some new faces in the gallery and that is always a good thing,” Laine said. “We wanted to dispel the preconceived notion about galleries being intimidating places to be. We are trying to get them into the gallery to make it a friendly, open and family-oriented kind of place.”

Details: 831-636-2787 or email [email protected]

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