‘Faeries in the Garden,’ arts for kids

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For one afternoon, The Water Conservation Garden turned into a mystical land of the faeries. Full of faeries of all ages and styles, nearly everyone that attended bedazzled in their fairy best costumes while learning more about local artists in the community and working with them to create their own piece of art. All for one cause. Funding free art classes of all genres to the public.

For one afternoon, The Water Conservation Garden turned into a mystical land of the faeries. Full of faeries of all ages and styles, nearly everyone that attended bedazzled in their fairy best costumes while learning more about local artists in the community and working with them to create their own piece of art. All for one cause. Funding free art classes of all genres to the public.

With the vision of La Mesa artist Debbie Solan and collaboration with the Arts for Learning San Diego, An Affiliate of Young Audiences Arts for Learning and The Water Conservation Garden, the first “Faeries in the Garden” event proved to be a good beginning in encouraging children and their parents to get involved with the arts.

Creating a festive atmosphere, the Garden’s Ms. Smarty Plants led the Faerie Parade throughout the garden, teaching young and old the many wonders that lie within. A favorite of the parade was wondering through the see, touch and smell garden. Artists throughout the Garden provided art projects geared towards children, but enjoyed by all. During all of this was a stunning performance by Visionary Dance Theatre and those donned in faerie ware joined in the costume competition that recognized most beautiful wings, best original concept, best use of recycled materials, and best steampunk.

Arts For Learning San Diego Executive Director Tara Graviss said she met Solan through mutual friends and went to some of her classes at her La Mesa studio Idea Field/Fusion Glass Co. Solan, beginning this event at her studio, ran out of room, but sought after the idea of continuing to provide free and affordable arts to children in the community decided to expand the project. With such a large event, Solan and silk artist Marjorie Pezolli quickly realized the extensive work behind such a large project and partnered with Arts for Learning San Diego. Solan said the point of this event is to bring real art with real people who work in the arts. She said is important for children to learn at a young age that art can provide enjoyment, brings out their inner creativity and teaches them at a young age that they can make a living as an artist.

Authors, painters, illustrators, musicians and craft makers had plenty of projects for children, many of them geared to sparkle the beginning of a creative nature in the young inner artists. Visionary Dance Theater provided a wonderful repertoire of its last season of dance with some new twists added and also the art of impromptu dance that showed the creative process in choreography. The array of costume designs throughout the garden was incredible. From the tiniest little Tinkerbelle to the fantasy world of steampunk, originality and imagination were the spirits of the day.

Graviss said the goal of this collaboration is to raise enough funds and come back and provide free arts programming at the Water Conservation Garden.

“Arts for Learning is the largest and oldest non-profit arts education provider in San Diego County, celebrating 54 years. We have the largest roster of teaching artists with more than 200 artists on our roster. We do all genres, music, theater, visual arts and dance. We serve about 66,000 children in San Diego County every year. We do residencies in schools, programs and libraries, care community partnerships, free programs at the Kroc Center, military…you name it,” said Graviss. “This is the first event and we are hoping every year to build the momentum so we can continue to offer more arts events to our public.”

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