Second Annual KidzArtz Takes Place on Saturday
There’s no shortage of local art events in Columbus. Every week there are dozens of shows, exhibits, workshops, and classes to choose from. Many of these events are kid-friendly, but this weekend is the one time of year you can find something that is more than kid-friendly. KidzArtz is an annual art event taking place at Junctionview Studios on Saturday that features a variety of art created completely by local kids of all ages. We recently spoke with Amy Phillips-Gary to find out more about this upcoming event.
Q) Can you give us a bit of background on how the event got started?
A) This is the second year for KidzArtz, sponsored by local organization Mother Artists at Work (MAW). As a group and individually we’ve had the opportunity to show our art in galleries and other venues around Columbus. We wanted to extend this experience to the many young artists in our city – including our own children.
Having a base of sorts at Junctionview Studios, we were and are definitely inspired by the wonderful shows held at Junctionview and particularly the organizing and artistic work of the Couchfire Collective, our co-sponsor. We like to think of KidzArtz as a sort of Agora for kids!
Q) So how did last year’s event go?
A) We were so proud and pleased with last year’s first KidzArtz show. Around 200 visitors had the opportunity to view, listen to and purchase the arts, performances and crafts of kid participants. There were just under 100 kid artists involved. And we were able to donate the equivalent of 173 meals to the Mid-Ohio Food Bank from our raffle and other donations last year which felt great to us.
I vividly remember the wonderful circus group that entertained and wow’d the audience at last year’s KidzArtz. The looks on the faces of the younger kids gazing up at those stilt walkers was priceless! It was also so great to watch kids excitedly shopping and buying art made by their peers. That day they were able to feel like “real artists.” We hope that feeling has sustained for them.
Q) How is the quality of the art this year from the kids?
A) Drop off for visual art for the show is not until Thursday so I haven’t had a look yet at this year’s art. However, I anticipate it being even better and more varied than last year. We anticipate the same mix of paintings, drawings, sculpture, mixed media, and who knows what else for this year’s visual arts.
The handmade crafts that were sold at the kid vendor tables last year were impressive. There was a great variety of plushies, homemade lip gloss, surreal toy creations, and even clothing and I anticipate a similar mix to this year.
Q) Can you tell us a bit more about some of the other entertainment lined up for the event?
A) I’m really looking forward to the performers this year. There will be piano and violin musical artists performing. We also will have a wonderful sampling of dance: Irish Step, Hula and breakdancing. Other performances will be movie shorts and poetry readings. And we are happy that the circus group will be back to amaze us yet again.
Our kids’ art activity area will return again this year. This time kids will help create cooperative art projects using natural, found and recycled materials. Free face painting will also be available and Groovy Doodle will be taking photos.
And with all of this creativity going on, people are bound to get hungry. Rad Dog will be vending at KidzArtz again this year. There will also be a few kid vendors selling snacks.
Did I mention that we will be raffling off some fabulous prizes? Memberships to the Columbus Museum of Art and products or gift certificates from local shops will be raffled off: Amy D, Blick Art, Moogan Creations, Rad Dog, Red Rover, What the Rock, and Wholly Craft. Raffle proceeds will all go to ArtSafe.
Q) Do you have any other advice for parents looking to immerse their children in the local art scene year round?
A) Living in a city like Columbus, there are many opportunities for parents to involve their kids in art. The Columbus Museum of Art, the Columbus College of Art and Design and the Wexner Center all offer regular programs and classes for kid artists. Our city recreation centers also offer quality art classes ranging from crafts to ceramics and more.
Parents might also provide inspiration to their young artists by taking them to gallery hop nights. These are held in the Short North as well as Westerville and Grandview. They might also consider attending art shows held at place like Junctionview – you can read more about these shows online to make sure they are kid-friendly.
Q) Is it too late to get involved and volunteer for KidzArtz this weekend?
A) Our registration for KidzArtz participants is now closed. But it is certainly not too late to volunteer to help out. E-mail us at [email protected] to sign up. Each volunteer will receive 2 free raffle tickets.
Even if you don’t choose to volunteer, be sure to come and check out the talented works at KidzArtz which is this Saturday April 25th from 3-7pm at Junctionview Studios, 889 Williams Ave. You never know who these kids will grow up to become… the next Andy Warhol, Aminah Robinson or Moby!
More information can be found online at KidzArtzColumbus.com.