San Diego Proclaims ArtReach Day

Councilmember Stephen Whitburn of District 3 proclaimed November 1st, 2022 to be “ArtReach Day” in the City of San Diego.

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ArtReach Day // November 1st, 2022

City of San Diego Proclamation

In honor of ArtReach’s 15th birthday, Councilmember Stephen Whitburn of District 3 proclaimed today, November 1st, 2022 to be “ArtReach Day” in the City of San Diego. We want to thank Councilmember Whitburn for his dedication to the community and for his ongoing support of our mission and the youth we work with.

Pictured below is Councilmember Whitburn speaking at the dedication for our collaborative mural with the 1st grade class of the Museum School and staff of St. Paul’s Senior Services this past June. The mural was co-designed by Chloe Moya and Isabel Halpern. We were especially grateful to have Councilmember Whitburn in attendance, speaking about the importance of visual arts education and youth voice in the community.

Click here or the image below to watch the video from today’s City Council meeting in which Councilmember Whitburn spoke on behalf of ArtReach. The proclamation for ArtReach Day was unanimously passed.

Thank you so much to Councilmember Whitburn and the City of San Diego for this huge honor!

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Reaching Out With Art

ArtReach brings artists, community together for pay-what-you-can workshop series to support Title I schools.

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ArtReach brings artists, community together for pay-what-you-can workshop series

Proceeds from the ‘Community. Access. Connection’ workshop series support ArtReach’s free visual arts education programs for Title I schools

EMILY ALVARENGA | THE SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE

OCTOBER 28, 2022 

In an effort to further connect the community with art, ArtReach is hosting art workshops in its new space — for San Diegans of all ages.

Since 2007, the nonprofit has focused on providing free visual art programs to youth across San Diego County, primarily at Title I schools that do not otherwise have funding for art.

“We’re serving all these neighborhoods and all these schools and students, but once we leave the classroom, is there access to art beyond that? We don’t know,” said Yasmine Kasem, the workshop coordinator.

Now, ArtReach is now expanding its programming and hosting art workshops for the community outside of a traditional school classroom in Studio HQ, its new office space in Bankers Hill.

“We wanted to create additional opportunities for people to come in and get some extra art in their lives and focus on serving people of all ages,” Kasem added.

Among those is “Community. Access. Connection,” a pay-what-you-can workshop series that provides accessible art lessons to the community, led by local professional artists who share their unique skills in diverse mediums, from acrylic painting to textile art.

With a suggested donation of $20, proceeds from each event directly support ArtReach’s free visual arts education programs, as well as the workshop series by funding materials and artist stipends.

“There’s not a lot of art funding throughout the county — and that’s why we exist — so even a donation as little as $10 is going to ensure one (child) artist gets art for the year,” said Anna Laroque, community engagement manager at ArtReach.

Each two-hour lesson focuses on a different medium and technique. Workshops can accommodate up to 18 participants and are kid- and family-friendly.

They’re also a way to support local artists — whose material fees are covered and are paid for their participation — and share their skills.

“Just as much as this is a platform to give people access to education, it’s also a platform to elevate artists,” Kasem said. “So it’s really a place to showcase them, uplift them and connect them to their communities.”

During a recent workshop, artist Lulu Yueming Qu taught traditional Chinese painting using Chinese brushes, ink and rice paper.

When Qu immigrated from Beijing in 2018, she brought with her more than 20 years of Chinese painting skills, which she was excited to share with San Diego.

“There’s a lot of people who know about other cultures in San Diego, but they don’t really get to practice them,” Qu said. The workshop is “a very good opportunity for people to learn more about art.”

For Qu, it was special to have the opportunity to instruct participants on traditional materials they’d never used before.

“Traditional Chinese painting is so unique, so different from other types of art, so … I want to introduce people to it,” she added.

For more information on ArtReach’s workshops, visit artreachsandiego.org/events or @artreachsd on social media.

Click here to read the article online.

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ArtReach Turns 15!

Join us for a year of celebrating ArtReach turning 15!

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Join us for a year of celebrating ArtReach turning 15! It all started with two sisters wanting to connect artists with schools that lacked funding for visual art programs. Fifteen years later, ArtReach has ignited the creativity of over 60,000 students. It could not have been possible without your support.

There are many chapters that make up our fifteen-year story. Let’s review, shall we?

15 years of providing visual arts education at K-12 schools across San Diego

14 happy little office plants tended by our talented Teen Mural Artist Apprentice

13 annual student art shows to exhibit art, connect with families, and celebrate youth creativity

12 dedicated board members that share their time and talents while upholding our vision

11 days off for winter break, giving our team of artists time to recharge for the new year

10 mural Artist Partners working with youth to transform their big ideas into reality

9 years of partnership with Knockaround to bring inspiration, free lessons, and sweet shades to our students

8 teaching Artists inspiring students to harness their artistic potential and apply it throughout their lives

7 full-time staff members who collaboratively engage 6,000 youth in visual arts experiences each year

6 new studio office workshops in 2022 led by local artists to provide accessible art lessons to our community

5 charity art auctions with upcycled items transformed into one-of-a-kind works of art by renowned artists

4 years of youth murals at schools and community centers with the ArtReach Mural Program

3 ArtWalk art festivals per year to connect with our community through visual arts

2 co-founders who had a vision that continues to be the core purpose of ArtReach today

1 mission to ignite youth creativity through visual arts expression and community connection

Thank you, thank you for being a part of our story. Stay tuned as we continue to celebrate throughout the year!

Have a favorite ArtReach memory? Share it with us on social media today by tagging @artreachsd and #artreachturns15.

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Rohr Elementary Unveils Art Mural

Over fifty students at Rohr Elementary participated in designing and creating its new ArtReach mural.

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Fred H. Rohr Unveils Art Mural

CHULA VISTA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DISTRICT NEWS

SEPTEMBER 15, 2022 

Over fifty students at Fred H. Rohr Elementary School (Rohr Elementary) participated in designing and creating its new art mural. Students were able to share their ideas and contribute their time to painting the mural for all students and families to enjoy for years to come.

On Friday, Sept. 9, Rohr Elementary hosted a ribbon-cutting event and unveiling of the new mural. “The Chula Vista Elementary School District believes in all of our children and art is one way that support manifest here today,” said Principal Mayra C. Reyes.

The mural features a lion that reflects the school’s mascot and signifies their lion pride. A bright display of plants, flowers, and stars gives a warm welcome to all that enter the school. “I was really excited when I found out I was able to paint the mural,” said 6th-grade student Dahlyla De La Torre. “I felt really lucky that my school was given the grant to paint the mural outside that would be seen for years to come.”

The event was attended by City of Chula Vista representatives, District leadership and students, and staff participating in the mural creation. The City of Chula Vista, Chula Vista Public Library, and ArtReach San Diego made the project possible through the Create Chula Vista Arts Grant. The Create Chula Vista Arts Grant provides opportunities for art projects that provide an enriching and accessible cultural opportunity for the City’s residents and visitors.

Click here to read the article online.

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Local Artists Paint Vans For Charity

An auction will be held soon for a series of custom-painted Vans sneakers to benefit ArtReach.

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An auction will be held soon for a series of custom-painted Vans sneakers to benefit ArtReach. Here’s what to know.

FOX 5 SAN DIEGO

JULY 29, 2022

Click to watch the video online

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ArtReach Charity Art Auction

BID NOW! Our signature upcycled Charity Art Auction is back! Over 100 records transformed into 100 individual works of art

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The Charity Art Auction is live and open for bidding!

Join us for our signature upcycled Charity Art Auction, featuring one-of-a-kind art on vinyl records. This auction includes our largest number of participating artists and art to date!

Online Auction
Bid now through May 1st

Mission Fed ArtWalk
Saturday, April 30th and Sunday, May 1st

All art will be on display in the Piazza della Famiglia in Little Italy

The Charity Art Auction supports free visual arts education for youth at San Diego County schools and community centers. Proceeds from the auction directly benefit our programs for young people that may not otherwise have access to visual arts opportunities.

51 Professional Visual Artists // 103 Vinyl Art Pieces

33 High School Student Artists // 36 Vinyl Art Pieces

Variety of 3D Sculptural + Framed Vinyl Art

3 Playable Art Guitars

Thank you to all of our artists for contributing their beautiful artwork to this charity auction. We are proud to also include artwork by student artists, providing them the opportunity to experience the process of exhibiting and selling their artwork.

Thank you, thank you for your support!

Follow us @artreachsd for updates on the Charity Art Auction.

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A mural two years in the making

"The Brightest View" mural is a symbol of hope and resilience for Pacific View Leadership Elementary and the ArtReach Mural Program.

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The Brightest View

A Symbol of Hope and Resilience

Our newest mural, titled “The Brightest View,” lives on the school campus of Pacific View Leadership Elementary in Paradise Hills. ArtReach Mural Teaching Artist Hanna Gundrum worked closely with a passionate group of 5th-graders to dream up a welcoming, joyful mural to gift to their fellow students, families, and community members. 

The mural was initially planned for March 2020, but was halted mid-program due to COVID-19. The outlines were drawn onto the wall and ready to be filled in with bright paint, but then school was shut down, and the mural was sadly put on hold.

“Our class met every Wednesday at 1 p.m., and they told me it gave them something to look forward to all week. Art is really great for quality alone time, but it is also a good way to build community with your peers and to share ideas. And now, these kids can walk by the mural with their families and say, ‘I helped make that.'” -Hanna Gundrum, ArtReach Mural Teaching Artist

Creating Together Virtually

When school shifted to virtual learning, the students that designed the mural advocated for a new way to connect and create from home. With the help of Hanna, teacher Cindy Trunzo, and generous donations from supporters, a Distance Mural project was created.

The class met over Zoom and brainstormed ideas for a new design based on the prompt “what uplifts you?” Hanna turned their ideas into a three by five-foot wooden mural and cut it into smaller pieces for painting at home. Each piece, each square, was painted through live virtual art classes.

The collaborative design was mounted on the chain-link fence at the school, facing out into the community. The Distance Mural brought a hopeful and uplifting feeling during a challenging time.

“Painting it made me feel calmer, and it gave me a little time for myself. It makes me feel like even though it’s a hard time, we can make things better.” -ArtReach Student Mural Artist

Painting Together Again

Now, two years later, ArtReach teamed up with Hanna and Cindy to bring the new class of 5th graders to finish what was started. With only a few minor updates from the previous design, students and community members (including one of the original student artists from 2020) finally had the chance to bring this mural to life. “The Brightest View” acts as a symbol of hope and resilience for all involved and will leave a lasting mark on the campus for future students, families, and staff.

“Thank you for letting us 5th graders help paint the mural. I’m glad that I could leave a piece of me at this school. I think the mural will lighten up the school. It will be a staple of this school for a very, very, very long time.” -ArtReach Student Mural Artist

“Thank you for taking the time to make this mural and for making our school a little more joyful. When I see the mural it makes me happy. I love seeing it and walking past it. Painting on the mural made me like drawing again. I really enjoyed painting and a little part of us will stay here on the wall.” -ArtReach Student Mural Artist

“Today we dedicate ‘The Brightest View’ to stand as a testament to perseverance and resilience. This project is a result of the partnerships that ArtReach San Diego builds with young people across the county. Their unwavering dedication to equity in visual arts education is the hallmark of their program and their relationships. We are so fortunate to be recipients of this beautiful gift and are honored to have contributed our ideas and labor to its completion.” -Cindy Trunzo, 5th-grade teacher, Pacific View Leadership Elementary

Thank you to everyone that helped make this mural happen. This project was two emotional years in the making, and we are genuinely so happy it finally came together. The mural was special right from the beginning, and it will forever be a symbol of hope and resilience for Pacific View and the ArtReach Mural Program.

Thank you to Gensler San Diego for sponsoring the lift rental from Sunbelt Rentals and for sending an incredible team of volunteers to help paint!

This mural was funded in part by the TahDah Foundation.

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Poway 5th Graders Paint 100′ Mural

A colorful mural painted by ArtReach and a group of fifth-graders was unveiled at a Poway elementary school.

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Poway 5th Graders Paint 100-Foot Tribute to Kumeyaay People // The artists included imagery that depicts the school’s values — growth, sunshine, connection and heart — as well as the rich culture of the Kumeyaay people

AUDRA STAFFORD | NBC 7 SAN DIEGO

DECEMBER 2, 2021 

A colorful mural painted by a group of fifth-graders was unveiled at a Poway elementary school on Thursday to pay tribute to the history of the Kumeyaay People.

Scrawled across the 100-foot mural were the words “Hola,” “Haawka” and “Hello,” to celebrate the connection between the native people and the bilingual Valley Elementary school, which sits on what used to be Kumeyaay land.

Students helped cut the ribbon unveiling the mural, which was designed and painted by the entire fifth-grade class through a non-profit arts education program called ArtReach.

The artists included imagery that depicts the school’s values — growth, sunshine, connection and heart, as well as the rich culture of the Kumeyaay people, including native plants like agave and the prickly pear cactus.

A large anatomical heart is meant to remind everyone to treat people with heart and kindness, the artists say.

Valley Elementary principal Ricardo Ceceña is proud the mural will be enjoyed by people outside of just the school.

“What’s very special about the location that we chose is that it is part of our campus but it is also a shared space,” Ceceña said. “The city of Poway uses our field for after school sporting activities and also weekend activites, so it’s not only going to be enjoyed and inspiring our students but also the community.”

Students were able to keep a print of the mural they helped create along with a new paintbrush.

Click to watch the video online

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ArtReach Unveils Poway Mural

ArtReach unveils its latest mural at Valley Elementary in Poway created in collaboration with over 100 5th grade students.

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ArtReach Unveils Over 100ft-Long Mural At Valley Elementary // The mural was created by ArtReach artists and over 100 students and depicts shared values of the school

THERESANDIEGO

NOVEMBER 19, 2021

ArtReach, a nonprofit arts education program, unveils its latest mural at Valley Elementary in Poway created in collaboration with ArtReach teaching artists and over 100 5th grade students with a ceremonial ribbon cutting on December 2 at 8:30AM.

The mural was created through Art Reach’s Mural Program that works directly with youth at schools and community centers to provide an opportunity for people to work together while creating something transformative and lasting for their site and that represents their vision.

The Valley Elementary Mural is 935 square feet and over 100 feet in length, stretching along the entire back of the campus. The design was created using words, drawings and ideas from students as well as school staff. Every 5th grader at Valley Elementary participated in the process.This massive two-wall mural brightens the campus and brings meaning through themes created by the students.

Movement, play, growth, sunshine, connection, and heart.

Designed by artist, Isabel Halpern, these are the main themes that can be seen. These themes not only have special meaning for the school, but they connect to the Poway community in a tangible way.

While looking at the mural design, one can read “Hola”, “Haawka” and “Hello” which speaks to the importance and uniqueness of Valley being the only dual-language immersion school in Poway Unified. Additionally, it greets all, as this is a community park, with simple and welcoming greetings. Haawka means Hello in Kumeyaay, the original people on the land occupied by Valley Elementary. The imagery acknowledges the rich history of the Kumeyaay as well as some of the native plants in this area- yucca, agave, and the prickly pear cactus.

“This mural tells such a story of a school community pouring such love and pride into a campus that was craving inspiration and renewal,” said Valley Elementary parent to participating students, Nila Boquin.

A large anatomical heart is nestled in student-drawn flowers. The heart is the centerpiece of the mural as the “threads of kindness” emerge and flow throughout — uniting and connecting all elements in the design. The connecting thread also serves as a “finish line” for the figures running on the left building. Not only does Valley have a running club, but this element also celebrates achievement, movement, goal setting, and going after our dreams. Many students drew rolling hills of Poway and twinkling stars.

“Valley Elementary was a wonderful school to paint a collaborative, youth-driven community mural,” said Isabel Halpern, ArtReach Mural Program Manager. “In addition to the entire 5th grade class, we had over 20 parent volunteers who dedicated their time to help paint and make this big undertaking possible.  I hope participating students remember that nothing can replace treating others with kindness.”

“There is a certain kindness that grows out of learning and communicating to others in another language,” said Ricardo Cecena, Valley Elementary Principal.

Notable partners include Tah Dah Foundation, who helped fund part of the mural, Colorama Paint and Supply, who donated all of the paint and new paint brushes for students to keep, and Knockaround, who donated a new pair of sunglasses for every 5th grade artist to keep.

Click here to read the article online.

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ArtReach Partners With Words Alive

ArtReach partnered with Words Alive for Art & Lit 2021, a program using books and art to help local students celebrate their true selves.

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How art and books helped San Diego kids survive a weird year

KARLA PETERSON | THE SAN DIEGO UNION TRIBUNE 

OCTOBER 7, 2021

The “Art & Lit 2021” exhibit from Words Alive and ArtReach San Diego highlights student art inspired by books tackling themes of self-discovery and identity. The art projects are “identity circles,” which feature answers to literary prompts and designs made from the artists’ fingerprints. The exhibit is on display at the Mission Valley Library through Oct. 16. (Kristian Carreon/For The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Meet Red. He is a crayon whose inner self is not reflected in the label he came with. His outside says “Red,” but inside, he knows he is really blue. And when a new friend helps him find the courage to be his true blue self, Red gets to scribble his way to happiness.

Red is the main character of “Red: A Crayon’s Story,” an award-winning picture book by Michael Hall. Red is also one of the literary heroes of “Art & Lit 2021,” a program that used books and art to help local students celebrate their true selves in a time when no one has felt like celebrating much of anything.

“We were trying to discover ways we could help during the pandemic. We asked a lot of our partners, ‘What are you seeing? How can stories connect us and help us help each other right now?’” said Amanda Bonds, program director for the local literacy organization Words Alive, which paired with fellow nonprofit ArtReach San Diego to bring “Art & Lit 2021″ to local students and their families.

“What we heard was that young people are isolated and lonely. They are feeling out of sorts, and it’s not their fault. None of this was their doing. We were after something to support the mental health of young people during this extraordinary time.”

In pre-pandemic times, Words Alive’s “Art & Lit” program brought guest artists into participating schools and organizations to work with students on projects inspired by the selected books. Since the project started in 2014, students have interpreted literary themes through mediums that included ink-and-paper art, sculpting, stop-animation and print-making.

But 2021 was not a traditional year.

With most schools still holding classes online, Words Alive had to find a new way to keep the “Art & Lit” flame burning. The organization partnered with ArtReach, a 14-year-old nonprofit that inspires young people through visual arts and community connections.

When San Diego’s schools shut down in March 2020, ArtReach pivoted to online classes, as the staff and volunteers found ways to get art supplies to students for projects that provided engagement and comfort. Once Words Alive chose the 2021 “Art & Lit” book list, the ArtReach staff came up with a companion art project featuring materials that were inexpensive and easy to deliver to participants. Kits that included selected books from the list and art materials went to 1,200 participants in San Diego.

For the literary part of the “Art & Lit 2021″ project, the book-lovers at Words Alive looked at the challenges facing young people in the time of Zoom classes and chose five books for different grade levels, each of them dealing with the themes of identity, resilience and courage.

In addition to “Red: A Crayon’s Story,” the “Art & Lit 2021″ selections included the story of a girl who discovers that a simple dot can be the start of something big (“The Dot”); the tale of an artist gorilla and the baby elephant who makes his life (and his art) better (“The One and Only Ivan”); and a young-adult novel about two loners who end up sharing a life-changing bond (“Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe”).

For the art portion of the program, ArtReach chose identity circles. Inspired by the work of pioneering Black artist and teacher Alma Thomas, the identity-circle art project let participants create two identity circles. One featured answers to Words Alive prompts based on the books, which they wrote in a concentric pattern around the paper circle. The other featured designs made by their own fingerprints.

“When we read the books, what we really realized is that they all had the themes of self-discovery and identity. And there is nothing more individual than your finger print,” said ArtReach executive director Sarah Holbach.

“And what is really cool about writing in circular patterns is that it allowed their words to become the design. It let people loosen up and say more than if they were just writing a paragraph on a flat piece of paper. It was a great way for students to be honest and talk about their struggles during this time of being apart.”

The 2021 version of the “Art & Lit” launched early this year, with materials going out to the Words Alive and ArtReach partner schools and communities. Both organizations also posted instructions online, opening up this meditative project to anyone who wanted to grab a marker and take the plunge.

More than 200 pieces of art were returned to Words Alive and ArtReach, and many of them were incorporated into “Art & Lit 2021,” which is on display at the Mission Valley Library through Oct. 16. Words Alive will present a virtual version of the exhibit once it comes down.

Like the participants themselves, each identity circle is a one-of-a-kind project. But they all speak to the human need to reach beyond our screens and our pandemic pods to make our mark.

“I hope people will see the exhibit and be inspired to read the text and practice expressing themselves through art in one way or another,” said ArtReach community engagement manager Anna Laroque.

“It’s not just for kids. What we came up with definitely translated to all ages. We just want people to keep creating, no matter what the form is.”

Click here to read the article online.

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Taking a closer look at the ‘A’ in STEAM

CBS Innovate 8 visits Pride Academy in Santee to learn more about the art in STEAM and how they are inspiring kids through the ArtReach Mural Program.

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Stella and Eric recently went to “Pride Academy” in Santee to learn more about the art in STEAM and how they are inspiring kids.

CBS INNOVATE 8

SEPTEMBER 27, 2021

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When the San Diego Unified School District shut down all of its schools on March 16 to prevent the spread of coronavirus, nothing about the mural planned for a wall on the campus of the Pacific View Leadership Elementary School in Paradise Hills happened the way it was supposed to. 

Read more

Guitar World Featuring ArtReach

Tom DeLonge and Jason Mraz creations head up ArtReach’s 32-model art auction of one-off custom guitars

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Tom DeLonge and Jason Mraz creations head up ArtReach’s 32-model art auction of one-off custom guitars

MATT OWEN | GUITAR WORLD

SEPTEMBER 3, 2021

Proceeds from the auction will go towards supporting ArtReach’s mission to provide young people with free and low-cost art programs

ArtReach has announced its upcoming Guitar Art auction – an event that will see the sale of 32 wild electric guitarsacoustic guitars and bass guitars custom-crafted by an array of renowned musicians and artists.

Comprising a number of familiar models –  including Fender Stratocasters, Jazzmasters and Telecasters, as well as Jackson and Gretsch guitars – the lineup boasts an assortment of one-of-a-kind axes that will be auctioned off in aid of the ArtReach’s mission to promote art education.

Tom DeLonge and Jason Mraz spearhead the musicians department, with the Blink-182 six-stringer treating his “To the Stars” Gretsch Electromatic Rat Rod to an off-the-chains body art, featuring hand-drawn sketches and scrawls.

Mraz, on the other, hand opted for a more cosmic theme, with his “Use Your Super Powers For Good” Fender CD-60 Dreadnought sporting an out-of-this-world constellation-inspired pattern and emphatic, motivational text.

Click here to read the full article online.

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ArtReach collaborates with students of Pacific View Leadership Elementary to create a distance mural where students painted virtually via Zoom.

Distance Mural Unveiling

When the San Diego Unified School District shut down all of its schools on March 16 to prevent the spread of coronavirus, nothing about the mural planned for a wall on the campus of the Pacific View Leadership Elementary School in Paradise Hills happened the way it was supposed to. 

Read more

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Back to News + Updates

30 stunning custom-painted EVH Wolfgang guitars are up for auction – and you might just be able to afford them and Jason Mraz creations head up ArtReach’s 32-model art auction of one-off custom guitars

Bidding starts at $600 for the one-off guitars, which benefit nonprofit ArtReach San Diego

RICHARD BIENSTOCK | GUITAR WORLD

NOVEMBER 4, 2020

More than 30 custom-painted EVH Wolfgang electric guitars are up for auction as part of ArtWalk @ Liberty Station, San Diego’s annual fine arts exhibition.

The guitars were designed by several well-known local San Diego artists, including Bronle Crosby, Jeremy Sicile-Kira, Ellen Dieter, Grant Pecoff and Cheryl Sorg, as well as musician Michael Franti.

The art guitar auction benefits ArtReach San Diego, a nonprofit organization aimed at increasing equity in visual arts education in K-8 schools throughout San Diego County by delivering free or low cost workshops to schools that have no other resources for art.

Bidding is open through November 8, and bids start at just $600 for each guitar.

You can view a selection of the 30 models below – work began on the artwork in December of 2019, but the guitars have taken on a new poignancy in the wake of Eddie Van Halen’s death last month.

Now in its 15th year, ArtWalk @ Liberty Station takes place on November 7 and 8 and will feature artwork from over 150 local, national and international artists.

“This year we are bringing some much-needed color and art into people’s lives with a brand-new layout to allow for proper physical distancing,” said Sandi Cottrell, Director of ArtWalk San Diego.

“As we ring in our 15th year, ArtWalk @ Liberty Station serves as a beacon of light for the art community and will showcase our most diverse range of artists from across all mediums of art, traveling from the US, Mexico and beyond.”

Tickets are $5, and admission is free for anyone under 18. More information can be found at ArtWalk San Diego(opens in new tab).

Bidding on the custom Wolfgangs is open now(opens in new tab), and ends on November 8.

Click here to read the full article online.

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Distance Mural Unveiling

When the San Diego Unified School District shut down all of its schools on March 16 to prevent the spread of coronavirus, nothing about the mural planned for a wall on the campus of the Pacific View Leadership Elementary School in Paradise Hills happened the way it was supposed to. 

Read more

Distance Mural Unveiling

When the San Diego Unified School District shut down all of its schools on March 16 to prevent the spread of coronavirus, nothing about the mural planned for a wall on the campus of the Pacific View Leadership Elementary School in Paradise Hills happened the way it was supposed to. 

Read more

Back to News + Updates

How art kept students’ hearts open while their school was shut down

KARLA PETERSON | THE SAN DIEGO UNION TRIBUNE

JUNE 3, 2020

Gizele Campos, a fifth-grader at Pacific View Leadership Elementary School in Paradise Hills, cuts the red ribbon during the recent unveiling of the mural she and some of her classmates created during Zoom video sessions as part of the ArtReach Mural Program. ArtReach mural program manager Izzy Halpern (left) and teaching artist Hanna Gundrum were on hand to help. (Nelvin C. Cepeda / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

The mural was a lot smaller than the creators planned, a modest 3 feet by 5 feet instead of a whopping two stories. The big outdoor painting experience became an in-home affair, as the young artists fended off nosy siblings and interfering pets so they could make their new deadline. The big dedication ceremony was downsized in a major way.

When the San Diego Unified School District shut down all of its schools on March 16 to prevent the spread of coronavirus, nothing about the mural planned for a wall on the campus of the Pacific View Leadership Elementary School in Paradise Hills happened the way it was supposed to. 

It happened the way it needed to.

“It was like, ‘OK, so things didn’t go the way we planned. But we grew something beautiful out of it,’” said teacher Cindy Trunzo, whose fifth-grade students were supposed to start painting the mural on March 16.

“It showed me and it showed the kids that we don’t have to dwell on how negative things are. If we are willing to be flexible and throw ourselves into a new experience, we can trust that we will end up with something special.”

Like the school’s original mural plans, the coronavirus-related revision was a product of ArtReach San Diego, a 13-year-old nonprofit that provides free- or low-cost visual arts classes and projects to eligible schools that have little or no arts-education resources. 

One of ArtReach’s newest offerings is the 2-year-old Mural Program, which gives students the chance to liven up their schools and neighborhoods with murals that they plan and paint themselves. With the help of an ArtReach teaching artist, the students work together to come up with a theme, sketch out a plan and then paint the final product using techniques they learn in their mural classes. 

And when the murals are finished, they are unveiled at a ribbon-cutting party attended by the school’s students and faculty, along with parents, grandparents and members of the community.

That is the usual plan, anyway. But when the schools were shut down, the Pacific View mural looked like it might be over, too. 

Instead, ArtReach went to Plan P. 

That is “P” for “Pivot.” Instead of scratching the mural, the ArtReach team figured out a way to re-imagine it. Instead of painting a two-story mural on the wall of the multipurpose room/library, what if they went with a smaller mural made up of individual panels that the 11 participating students could paint at home? 

Teaching artist Hanna Gundrum loved the idea. Trunzo loved the idea. And Trunzo’s students loved the idea so much, they offered up their allowances and piggy-bank funds to pay for the art supplies they would need to paint from home. The ArtReach staff did not love that idea.

“Cindy reached out and said, ‘This is how much this means to them. They are wanting to give up their life savings for art,’” ArtReach executive director Sarah Holbach remembered. “We just thought, ‘This is too important. It is our responsibility to show up for these kids and make it happen.’”

So Gundrum created a quick fundraising campaign featuring some handmade stickers she whipped up, and ArtReach asked for donations on its website. The money raised paid for individual Mural Artist Kits that included all of the supplies the students needed to paint the individual panels that would make up their social-distancing mural, along with supplies for the projects they would be making with Gundrum after the mural was finished. 

Their art classes with Gundrum would happen on the Zoom video-conferencing platform, and their art studios could be anything from the floor of the bedrooms they share with their siblings to a couple of cardboard boxes piled up on the patio. 

The projects were smaller, but the payoffs were huge.

“Our class met every Wednesday at 1 p.m., and they told me it gave them something to look forward to all week,” Gundrum said. “Art is really great for quality alone time, but it is also a good way to build community with your peers and to share ideas. And now, these kids can walk by the mural with their families and say, ‘I helped make that.’”

On May 28, a small group of masked Pacific View students and their masked parents gathered at a stretch of chain-link fence just outside the school’s playground for the mural’s installation and ribbon-cutting ceremony. The finished product features a butterfly, a gold and yellow rose and and two jaunty cacti, along with two short messages that say everything the students and their community need to hear right now.

“You are made of magic,” it says. “Keep going.”

After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, 11-year-old Milee Garcia stepped back to check out the final results of her class’ group effort. She likes how it looks, but she loves how it feels.

“Painting it made me feel calmer, and it gave me a little time for myself,” said Milee, who painted her panel in the garage while her two siblings did their distance-learning in the house. “It makes me feel like even though it’s a hard time, we can make things better.”

Click here to read the article online.

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Paradise Hills students paint mural virtually // Here’s a new idea: a distance mural where students painted virtually via Zoom.

TERESA SARDINA | CBS Innovate 8

MAY 29, 2020

News 8 is partnered with the San Diego Office of Education to show students are still working together virtually.

In March, schools closed due the COVID-19 pandemic. 5th grade students at Pacific View Leadership Elementary School in Paradise Hills were set to paint a large mural with the ArtReach Mural Program and mural artist Hanna Gundrum on their library building. ArtReach is a non-profit bringing art education into schools.

With the closure, the art project was put on hold. ArtReach had an alternative plan: a distance mural where students painted virtually via Zoom. Students gave their design ideas through words and their own drawings.

Educators and supporters came together and through fundraising, were able to provide virtual art classes and new art material kits for this group of students for the rest of the school year. The mural was installed on Thursday, May 28 on the school gate. The mural reads, “You are Made of Magic… Keep Going.”

Click to watch the video online

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Area Non-Profit Still Finding Ways to Bring the Love of Art to Kids // With stay-at-home orders still well under way, one local art program is finding ways for its students to continue their lessons.

ASHLEY MATTHEWS | NBC 7 SAN DIEGO

APRIL 29, 2020

It’s no surprise, many businesses have been struggling during this COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the hardest-hit organizations have been non-profits who rely heavily on donations.

ArtReach San Diego is a local non-profit that brings free arts programming and projects to area schools.

They bring art lessons into classrooms, host after school activities and even organize events where kids can help paint murals on their schools. But they can’t go to schools or meet in groups right now, so they’re getting creative with how they can still help.

The organization is putting together artist kits that volunteers deliver to the doors of kids they’re working with. Then, they hold virtual lessons online.

ArtReach was formed in 2008, mainly as a response to school budget cuts and slashing art programs. It serves students in elementary, middle and high school as well as young adults.

Different teachers with ArtReach bring their skills into the classroom to teach students about art, from ceramics to painting. They’re finding ways to continue reaching as many kids as possible.

“One of the main ways we’ve been doing that is through pre-recorded art lessons on video and this is great for students and teachers to use from home. All of our projects are used with simple materials that they have readily available to them,” said Isabel Halpern, Mural Program Manager with ArtReach.

Click to watch the video online

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An Artful Evening in Del Mar Benefiting the ArtReach Access to Art Program

September 25, 2016

On Sunday, September 25, 2016, 4 to 7 PM, ArtReach will host Party ARTy in a stunning Del Mar home. Now in year four, Party ARTy for ArtReach celebrates connecting students at schools throughout San Diego County with artists and visual arts instruction.

Proceeds from the event benefit the ArtReach Access to Art Program that is the centerpiece of the ArtReach mission:  to take artist-led free or very low cost visual arts education programs into K-6 schools that would otherwise have none.

Since 2008, the ArtReach program has motivated over 15,000 students in 96 schools to create over 60,000 pieces of original work. ArtReach takes everything needed to each campus, including teaching artists, art materials, and standards-based lesson plans. No buses required. In 2015/16 alone the ArtReach team worked in 14 schools spanning the county via the free/low cost program and in six more schools with fee-based work. Grants, sponsorships, individual donors and events like Party ARTy support this program that helps bring the joy of making original art to cash-strapped elementary schools that would otherwise have no visual arts instruction.

“ArtReach helps fill the art gap in schools with limited resources across the county,” says Chris Austin Mittleman, Party ARTy Co-Chair, local artist and Solana Beach resident. “ArtReach teachers are practicing artists from the community. It is such a great way to help kids learn art making skills and to practice creative thinking – a skill that helps prepare young people for the workforce.”  Chris and fellow Co-Chair and artist Becky Chamberlain (also a Solana Beach resident) are crafting an evening that, though a fundraiser, will feel like a celebration of art and creativity with friends. Susan Taylor, Director of External Affairs at Scripps Health and former NBC news anchor, will orchestrate the fun as Master of Ceremonies.

Event guests are also in for an epicurean treat. Urban Solace makes its catering debut with Party ARTy. Executive Chef/Owner, Matt Gordon and part-owner Lisa Richards have planned a mouth-watering comfort food feast.

Local artists provide the treats for the eyes. Catherine Dzialo-Haller and Deron Cohen (both ArtReach teaching artists) will complete paintings on the spot. Meanwhile, sculptor Jon Koehler will shape metal into a work of beauty. All three pieces will be auctioned live, and three fortunate bidders will take home an original. Speaking of originals, twenty seascapes, created especially for Party ARTy by Jefferson Elementary fourth and fifth graders, will also find new homes with some lucky donors. In fact, brothers Captain and Carter from Jefferson Elementary will be on hand, creating paintings along with the featured artists.

The Boxsets, a local band, will set the musical mood. Each guest will receive a pair of Knockaround Sunglasses, and wine lovers will have the opportunity to win a bottle of fine wine at the toss of a ring. The silent auction features many temptations including a luxury sailboat day cruise, getaways to Rancho Mirage Sonoma, and Disneyland, a Stag’s Leap wine flight, Paella party, and much more.

ArtReach promises a delightful evening filled with art, artists, music, fine food and wine, and fun. To purchase tickets for Party ARTy for ArtReach visit artreachsandiego.org. For information, call 619-940-7278.

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