Every Child is an Artist

Marinta Skupin

Curator of Education Marinta Skupin enlightens us on the CoachArt program.

For the past month my colleague Jennifer Gardiner and I have spent most Sunday afternoons in a wonderful art studio in Tustin, teaching art classes to a group of students whose work will be featured in our museum’s Young Artists Society Gallery. The students are all part of CoachArt, an organization that improves the quality of life for children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses, as well as for their siblings. Also present at our Sunday classes have been parents and CoachArt staff and volunteers.

Jennifer and I have just been blown away by the creativity and brilliance of these young artists! Each student is creating a papier-mâché sculpture inspired by the work of ex•pose artist Macha Suzuki, which will be on view at Laguna Art Museum at the same time. Students even used tin foil, a material suggested by Macha, to create foundational shapes for their sculptures. The title of the exhibition will be Permission to Play, a perfect name for the joyful and whimsical works that are taking shape. Permission to Play is also a tagline used by CoachArt and a reference to one of Macha Suzuki’s works, called Permission to Fail. And play is exactly what these Sunday classes have felt like – not only for the children, but also for the adults involved. It was Picasso who said: “Every child is an artist; the problem is to remain one once they grow up.”

Students working on their art projects.