All kids are natural artists–and you Rosies probably remember the freedom you felt as a child, hands drenched in finger paints as you swirled designs onto shiny paper. In support of child artists everywhere, Rosies Workwear is proud to sponsor an auction to benefit Art in Action, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing visual arts education to hundreds of schools in the United States and abroad. For this fundraiser, twelve artists were given a pair of white overalls as a “blank canvas” to create an original work of wearable art. On Feb. 1, these one-of-a kind overalls will be displayed at Spirits of Africa gallery in San Luis Obispo, Calif., and placed online for auction at eBay Giving Works.
“Art is so important to kids,” says Rosies founder Sharon Moore, “and all our Rosies are really creative people–they work with their hands and many have art backgrounds, so it’s a perfect fit.”
Sharon asked a diverse selection of artists to participate–from painters to potters to fabric designers–resulting in a whimsical collection of designer overalls. Artist Abbey Onikoyi’s contribution is an explosion of vibrant colors. Onikoyi, who teaches art to children every week in his San Luis Obispo gallery, witnesses first-hand how art brings kids out of their shells.
“There is nothing like children explaining their paintings to you,” says Onikoyi. “You can see their face change and what comes out of their mouth is just amazing.” Art, he says, frees kids to express their individuality without limits. “When they are painting, children are full of joy. They share their art with each other with such excitement, and no criticism.”
Mara Grimes, Development Manager of Art in Action, stresses that art is an essential component of a child’s education, teaching not only creativity but also problem solving and critical thinking. Sadly, with so many art programs cut from school budgets, countless children are losing the opportunity to explore their creativity. Art in Action, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, helps fill that void by providing visual arts curriculum to schools and training teachers and parents to deliver the lessons. The money raised by the Rosies Workwear auction will help more children experience the joys of artistic expression.
“Our mission is to bring the program to as many children as possible,” says Grimes. She recalls one lesson she taught to third graders a few years ago where she was discussing Van Gogh and modeling the day’s lesson: how to draw a self-portrait. One new student, a boy from South America, spoke no English but eagerly proceeded to draw along with the other children, intently focused on his paper. The result was a remarkable self-portrait. “Everybody was shocked because we had had no idea what was getting through to him,” she recalls. “The other kids were awestruck, and the boy had a grin on his face from ear to ear.” Her conclusion was that art helps level the playing field and makes kids feel successful in many different ways.
Dates for live auction: Jan. 28- Feb. 10; 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Feb. 1
Exhibited at Spirits of Africa Gallery, San Luis Obispo, California
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