Young Artists Society Gallery Reception

Development and Outreach Associate Jennifer Gardiner recalls the success of our current exhibition, Permission to Play

On opening day for the Fall 2012 exhibitions, Laguna Art Museum held a special reception for exhibitors in the Young Artists Society Gallery. There were cookies and juice boxes and adorable smiling children everywhere! The current Young Artists Society exhibition contains works from children who are part of CoachArt, a nonprofit organizations whose mission is to enhance the lives of children with chronic illnesses. The children were inspired by the current ex•pose artist, Macha Suzuki, who attended one of the art making days as well as the opening, and graciously signed posters for the kids. Macha Suzuki has an artwork in the exhibition called Permission to Fail and CoachArt has a program titled “Permission to Play”; ultimately inspiring the exhibition title Permission to Play.

Macha Suzuki posing with the artists, CoachArt, Brushstrokes and Laguna Art Museum staff

All the kids were dressed to impress and ready to smile for the many photo opportunities. They all received awards certificates from Laguna Art Museum and CoachArt, passes to come to the museum during their exhibition, and trophies with their names displayed across the front. Curator of Education Marinta Skupin wrote letters of recommendation for the children to use for their High School applications. CoachArt presented awards to all the volunteers, Marinta, and myself for the dedication and hard work it took to run the art classes. The program was so successful that Brushstrokes (the gallery that donated the space for the art classes) plans to offer the program to Tustin schools, Laguna Art Museum plans to offer the program to local schools, and CoachArt has developed a partnership with Brushstrokes to continue offering classes to their students once a month. I was so inspired by the experience and the overwhelming positive attitude of the children that I will now be volunteering for CoachArt.

The children ready to pose in front of their artwork