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September 20, 2011 > An Evening of Art

An Evening of Art

By Julie Grabowski

Enjoy "An Evening of Art" when Sun Gallery hosts their annual fall gala at the Hayward City Hall Rotunda Friday, September 23. Previously held as "Fall Fiesta for Art," the event returns with a new title but the same mission of raising funds to benefit the gallery's children's art programs.

Established in 1975, the Sun Gallery has been offering children's programs for over 20 years in an effort to expose kids to the joys of art and show how it can illuminate and improve their lives. Among the offerings are Saturday Art for Families, a free two-hour class held on the second and fourth Saturdays during the school year where an art educator teaches the whole family elements of art and the principals of drawing, then gets them creating with a mixed media art project.

The school tour program brings elementary kids from 30 to 40 schools into the gallery to see and learn about exhibits and do a project in the studio. "Many parents and past students that revisited Sun Gallery have told me they remember their pleasant experience of coming to a Sun Gallery School Tours," says Gallery Manager Christine Bender. "However, today many Hayward teachers have said that many low income students never get to step into an art gallery and do not know what value art has in their life because they see and do very little art in their young lives. We need more scholarships to give to the Hayward schools as we have lost about 70 percent of those schools for these tours due to lack of money to pay for tours and buses, and no parent drivers willing or able to take the kids."

Their newest program is an after-school class for ages nine to teens which teaches drawing skills in order to create animals, cartoons and manga, as well as lessons on painting. The class is led by Monica Zeigler on Tuesdays from 3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. and runs for eight weeks beginning October 1, and will be repeated in January.

Funds raised from "An Evening of Art" are used to support the availability of these great programs and keep kids in touch with art. The goal is set at $10,000, and while Gallery Director Valerie Caveglia says they've come close to reaching that summit in years past, they have yet to stand on the mountain top. "Hope is always our best friend," she says.

Attendees will enjoy a catered Italian buffet courtesy of Fresh and Natural along with music from jazz vocalist Jennifer Bryce, a string trio of violins and viola, a ballroom dance set from Antonio and Alexia Cardenas, and a performance by the adult lead dancers of Ballet Tlapalli Folklorico.

A silent auction contains 30 items donated from local businesses, such as a dance pack from Arthur Murray, plants and garden supplies from a local hardware store, a caricature portrait by a graphic artist, as well as several body pampering kits and dining opportunities. "All at potential bargain prices," encourages Caveglia.

If you're not convinced that art can make much of a difference in life, consider Eight Reasons Why Art Is Good For Kids, a flyer Bender put together to show parents the value of doing art:
1. Art Teaches Problem Solving. Making art teaches that there is more than one solution to the same problem. Art challenges our beliefs and encourages open-ended thinking that creates an environment of questions rather than answers.

2. Art Prepares Kids for the Future. Creative, open-minded people are highly desired in all career paths. Art and creative education increases the future quality of the local and global community. Being creative is a lifelong skill and can be used in everyday situations.

3. Art Generates a Love of Learning and New Ideas. Art develops a willingness to explore what has not existed before. Art teaches risk taking, learning from one's mistakes, and being open to other possibilities. Kids who are creative are also curious and passionate about knowing more.

4. Art is Big Business. At the core of the multi-billion dollar film and video game industry are artists creating images and stories. Every commercial product is designed by artists from chairs to cars, space stations to iPods. A Van Gogh painting sold for 83 million dollars.

5. Art Develops the Whole Brain. Art strengthens focus and increases attention, develops hand-eye coordination, requires practice and strategic thinking, and involves interacting with the material world through different tools and art mediums.

6. Art Improves Holistic Health. Art builds self-esteem, increases motivation and student attendance, improves grades and communications, nurtures teamwork, and strengthens our relationship with the environment.

7. Art Supports Emotional Intelligence. Art supports the expression of complex feelings that help kids feel better about themselves and helps them understand others by "seeing" what they have expressed and created. Art supports personal meaning in life, discovering joy in one's own self, often being surprised, and then eliciting it in others.

8. Art Builds Community. Art reaches across racial stereotypes, religious barriers, and socio-economical levels and prejudices. Seeing other culture's creative expression allows everyone to be more connected and less isolated - "we see how we are all related." Art creates a sense of belonging.

So get out your dress clothes and put on some grandness and glamour in support of art education, giving kids the opportunity of discovery and expression. Who knows, you just might be helping along the great artists of tomorrow.

Tickets are $35 when purchased in advance or $40 at the door. For more information or to purchase tickets call (510) 581-4050 or visit online at

An Evening of Art
Friday, September 23
5:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Hayward City Hall Rotunda
777 B St., Hayward
(510) 581-4050
Tickets: $35 in advance, $40 at the door

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