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March 8, 2011 > Emerging Brilliance and Beauty

Emerging Brilliance and Beauty

By Arathi Satish

Art plays an essential and important part in a school's curriculum. Unfortunately, due to budget cuts, schools are cutting down on art programs. Teachers have the responsibility of not only introducing the fascinating world of arts to students, but to also foster their growth by challenging them to either perform as an artist, create their own artworks or respond to the work of others.

Fremont Unified School District's Annual Reception for Visual Art Exhibition showcases how students grow as they progress through elementary, middle and high school art programs. The event includes drama, dance and music performances by high school groups and a special installation inspired by the "Creating Solutions" theme.

"Art is Education" is an annual showcase of youth arts learning in Alameda County in March during the national arts education month. This year's theme, "Creating Solutions for the World We Share," envisions new ways to take care of ourselves, each other and the planet through arts. Fremont Union School District offers Fremont students a great opportunity to showcase their work in the annual visual and performing art exhibit. Student artists have limited venues to showcase their talents. This will help emerging artists to display their talent and hopefully lead them towards a brilliant future.

This year, Fremont District Arts Co-Chairs are Susan Manbeian and Darlene Wilhelm. Susan Manbeian who teaches art classes at Hopkins Jr. High is also the recipient of "Art Educator of the Year" for the State of California from the National California Arts Education Association, was honored in November at the statewide convention and will be honored for the State of California at the National Convention in Seattle. Edie Christensen from Mission San Jose High who was honored with "Outstanding High School Art Teacher of the Year for the State of California" will be honored in Seattle too. Darlene Wilhelm, Walters Junior High art teacher has helped by gathering support of FUSD, PFA and Fremont Flowers. Ray Gutas has been a supporting team member helping with all arrangements.

The goals of the District Arts Team have been to create a plan that would help increase arts awareness in understanding the importance of the arts within the community and school district, to increase the amount of arts taught in the school district especially within the elementary schools and finally, to create interaction among secondary teachers in Fine Arts and Performing Arts within FUSD.

As Susan Manbeian points out, "I have chaired or co-chaired ten of the last twelve art shows at the Fremont Unified School District Office. During that period of time, participation in our annual show by both students and teachers has grown from a few hundred to nearly a thousand in both fine arts and performing arts. Over the past twelve years we have partnered with Alameda County within the Arts. This year their theme is 'Creating Solutions for the World We Share.' Art students learn so much more than just a philosophy or a discipline. They learn to be truly creative. Creativity in arts is all about coming up with workable solutions to solve problems."

The Fremont Cultural Arts Council (FCAC) has been a strong supporter of arts in the schools for many years, primarily through their Cultural Arts in The Schools (CATS) program, supporting arts assemblies in local schools. This program has recently received a generous grant in support of visual arts from the Hal Booth Memorial Fund, and is looking forward to working with the Fremont Unified School District and local PTA/PTOs to employ these funds to good effect. FCAC will be honoring the teachers of the participating schools. Margaret Thornberry, President of FCAC said, "The yearly display of student art at the FUSD offices on Technology Drive is another of Fremont's 'hidden treasures' and well worth a trip to the FUSD offices. I am always gratified by the talent shown in the work of local students, particularly knowing that arts funds are among the first to be trimmed in tough financial times. The FUSD board, art teachers and students themselves are all to be commended for the caliber of work in this show."

The Fremont Unified School District's art show reception on Tuesday, March 8 includes music and theatre apart from visual arts. The show will feature works of art from all FUSD's high schools and junior high schools. Some work from elementary students will also be included. A representative from the office of Scott Haggerty, Alameda County Supervisor, will be there to speak along with Fremont Unified Board of Education Superintendent, Jim Morris. The reception will feature music, theater and fine art demonstrations presented by Irvington High School, Mission San Jose High School, Ardenwood Elementary School, and Walters Junior High.

Emerging Brilliance and Beauty
Opening Reception: Tuesday, March 8
5:30 -8:30 p.m.
The show will run through April 22
Fremont Unified School District Office
4210 Technology Drive, Fremont
(510) 656 3500 ext.38003
www.fremont.k12.ca.us

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