By Pat KRAMER
Art lovers and artists came in droves to view a variety of art pieces created by students and teachers of McGroarty Art Center at a special reception held on the evening of March 11. The artworks were done in various media, including watercolor and acrylic paints, photography, beadwork, oil paint and clay with over 50 exhibiting artists. Co-curating the artists show were Dawn Jenkins and Carolyn Young.
Among the artists exhibiting was Guy Hanes, a student whose watercolor on black paper included a piece of driftwood he found and incorporated into his art. Hanes, a former Sunland resident, moved to Castaic six years ago but fondly remembered living in the neighborhood as far back as 1969. He took up art in his retirement five years ago and now takes classes at McGroarty with teacher Sheri Garwood.
Another artist, Jennifer Zapp, was excited to have her artwork in this show. She’s been taking classes with Garwood for seven years since moving to Sunland. Her journey started with figure painting and watercolor although her current work is with acrylics.
Rebecca Mate, a longtime Sunland artist and the creator of International Art Day, also had her work in this show. Her landscape was painted on the top of a ridgeline in the Verdugo Hills after taking an arduous hike to get the “artist’s view.”
Teacher Sheri Garwood is one of McGroarty’s longtime art instructors, having been teaching for the past 16 years. She has taught kids’ ceramics as well as adult classes in watercolor, acrylic painting and portrait drawing. What she likes most about teaching at McGroarty is the supportive nature the artists have for one another as they each discover their passion for artistic expression.
“The students have done an amazing job opening up to their creative spirit,” she said. “Now they take themselves seriously as artists.”
While the adults were enjoying food, wine, art and music by The Artigans downstairs, many also came to view the McGroarty Kids’ Art Show going on upstairs, curated by Joanne Gates, the children’s art teacher. Her classes for children aged 3 to 12 allows them to participate at their own level of expression. Gates is a childhood cancer survivor who discovered the value of art during through that very difficult time.
“Art has proven abilities in healing. There is no right or wrong in self-expression,” she said.
McGroarty Arts Center, located at 7570 McGroarty Terrace in Tujunga, is open Monday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. for the special events.
For more information please visit www.mcgroartyartscenter.org.