Lots of parents think the art they have pinned to the refrigerator means their kid is a budding Picasso. The Carnegie Arts Center hopes to encourage them to keep dreaming big.
The downtown Turlock arts gallery is holding its third annual Youth Art Exhibition: Ready, Set, Show! starting Friday, June 9. The free exhibition will run through the month of July.
The show is open to children in grades kindergarten through 12th grade. It was started in 2015 through the Marian Ciriscioli Youth Arts Fund, created in honor of a late administrator for the Turlock Arts Commission, which funds youth arts initiatives at the Carnegie Arts Center.
Carnegie Arts Director Lisa McDermott said the exhibit, which was expanded for the first time to include area high school students, has shown about 100 pieces each year.
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“Encouraging young people to be creative will build our audience in the future,” she said. “I am looking 20 years down the road where kids who exhibit here are getting their art degree or bringing their kids to the gallery.”
The youth artwork will be displayed in the Carnegie’s Ferrari Gallery, the same space that has seen exhibits by masters like painter Edgar Degas, photographer Ansel Adams and — yes — even ceramic works by Pablo Picasso himself.
The exhibit will also include hands-on stations meant to give young artists a chance to make their own masterpieces. Materials and tables will be open for kids to get creative and a bulletin board on one of the walls will be dedicated to the impromptu works.
The exhibit is one of several by regional arts groups that highlight youth. The Central California Art Association holds a Young at Art exhibit each March at the Mistlin Gallery and the Turlock Regional High School Art Show is held each spring at California State University, Stanislaus.
McDermott said what helps distinguish the Carnegie show is the gallery’s focus on both local and internationally known artists, instead of just one or the other. She said the youth art show is another way to reach as diverse a fine arts audience as possible.
“We get the people who want to see Picasso to the people who want to see their granddaughter’s work,” she said. “We want to welcome people on all those levels.”
The opening reception for Ready, Set, Show! will be combined with the regular Family Friday series event on Friday. Artists and their families can gather for refreshments and activities at the free event.
The final installment of this season’s free Sunday Lecture Series will also tie into the youth exhibit. The event co-sponsored by the north-central California chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, will feature a panel of middle-grade and young-adult authors. Participating will be authors Katie A. Nelson, Jennifer Torres and Jenny Lundquist. Talk begins at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 11, and tickets are $5 general, free for Carnegie members.