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July 10, 2012 > Serra Center Art Workshop

Serra Center Art Workshop

Submitted By Judy Anglin
Photos By Jurek Zarzycki

Something wonderful has been going on at the Olive Hyde Art Center in Fremont. Every Tuesday night for the past 13 weeks, fifteen developmentally disabled adults have gathered in the Mission Room for the Serra Center Art Workshop. They arrive at the class by different means; one father brings his daughter in a wheelchair along with her special dog Elmo, others are transported in small groups by various Serra Center staff.

Haroon Ansary, art instructor with the City of Fremont Recreation Department, has taught the art workshop for two years. He states that the experience has been eye opening and believes that the students have taught him more about the value of life than any classroom he has ever been in. "The students are extremely self-motivated, enthusiastic and incredibly brave. I consider them to be quite fearless, due to the fact that some of them have never had experience participating in an art program, and yet they were never shy, afraid, nor did they hold back when it came to learning art. I have never seen them act selfish, jealous, angry or inconsiderate," says Ansary. "I am often left speechless after some classes, when I have a chance to look over and review the beautiful art they are capable of creating. They have been the greatest group of students I have ever taught, and if I were to never teach another art class, I could look back on this class as one of my greatest experiences and perhaps my proudest moment as a teacher."

Serra Center is a non-profit agency providing housing, services, and care for more than 90 developmentally disabled adults in Fremont and other locations around the Bay Area. Funding for the Serra Center Art Workshop is provided by Olive Hyde Art Guild and covers the costs of the painting supplies for each student, rental of the Mission Room, the art instructor, and upcoming art reception. A grant from Niles Fremont Rotary Club will cover framing expenses for the artwork.

An Art Exhibit, Silent Auction and Ice Cream Social will be held Sunday, July 15 to celebrate the artists and showcase their paintings. The exhibit will be judged by Olive Hyde Art Gallery Assistant Curator Gloria Kim, with awards for Best of Show, Second and Third Place, and three Honorable Mentions. The top three paintings will be on display in the art gallery throughout the "In Full View" exhibit from August 3 through September 1. The public is invited to the reception to meet the artists, view and bid on their artwork, and enjoy some ice cream.

To learn more about the Serra Center, call (510) 477-1000 or visit online at For the Olive Hyde Art Center, call (510) 791-4357 or visit

Serra Center Exhibition of Art
Sunday, July 15
2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Olive Hyde Art Center
123 Washington Boulevard, Fremont
(510) 791-4357
(510) 477-1000

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