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'Youth Engaged in Art' gives kids creative outlet
ARLINGTON — In the midst of the Arlington Street Fair's hustle and bustle, the Arlington Arts Council offered younger attendees a chance to cool down and exercise their creativity during their "Youth Engaged in Art" activities under tents in the City Hall Plaza July 11-12.
"Think about how you can show your feelings through abstract expressionist painting," AAC President Sarah Arney told a quartet of teenage girls. "Think about how you feel, sitting out here in the hot summer sun," she laughed.
Arney estimated that attendees stopped by, mostly in groups of four or five, throughout the Arts Council's two days in the plaza, adding up to about 100-150 attendees per day.
"We invited kids and their parents too, but the parents never seem to want to join in," Arney said. "Sarah Lopez dug up the clay for our sculpting portion from her own backyard, and professional sculptor Persis Gayle knew how much water to add to make the clay workable."
Arney also credited Steve and Priscilla Baker with supervising kids as they painted rocks, while she helped young painters find their muse on canvases of cardboard.
"Our bookmark-making and face-painting were also pretty popular, especially since they were free," Arney said. "Our mission is to provide all sorts of art opportunities to all ages, from art classes for kids throughout the year, to donations of art supplies to the Food Bank and Cocoon House.
"If we can interest them in a constructive outlet like art, then we can help improve the community as a whole," she added.