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April 8, 2009 > Favorite things art show

Favorite things art show

By Meenu Gupta
Photos By Courtesy of Toby Librande

April is the "Month of the Young Child." It focuses on the need for quality early childhood education and safe environments for all children. Children's early years are the foundation for growth and development. Their art reflects the different aspects of their development - physical, cognitive, social, emotional and creative.

In conjunction with that the City of Milpitas, together with the Library Advisory Commission, sponsor the fifth annual Children's Developmental Art Exhibit, a gallery showcasing the talent of children, at the Milpitas Library during the entire month.

The show focuses on the developmental changes in children's representations of their favorite things during the first 12 years of life. "This developmental art show features works by local artists, ages infant through twelve years, and demonstrates how children's artistic skills, understanding and expression develop in the first years of life" said Toby Librande, City of Milpitas Child Care Coordinator.

Twenty programs, including childcare centers, family childcare homes and after school programs, are participating this year. "A total of 431 pieces of art were submitted and 55 are being shown," said Librande.

Members of the Library Advisory Commission Sonny Wang, Yu-Lan Chou, together with City Staff selected the art. While making the selection judges look for the artist's statement, title and whether the statement or title add to the understanding of the work. The piece is judged according to age, whether it is representative of the developmental age and whether or not the child was intentional in his/her mark making. "Our goal is to select pieces that help educate and inspire the viewers while demonstrating the development of artistic skills and concepts" said Librande.

Milpitas preschools, after school programs and family child care providers receive information about entering art into the show in February. A flyer then outlines the submission criteria and each art entry must be accompanied by an art tag which is provided with the flyer.
Parents or schools interested to have their kids participate in the future may contact Librande directly for a copy of the flyer and art tag. The theme changes every year. This year it is "favorite things."

"The exhibition is in the library's multipurpose room displayed chronologically. The youngest artist is just nine months old. This year since the theme is 'favorites,' kids have drawn pictures of their family, pets and one child has drawn a pizza" said Linda Arbaugh, Community Librarian.

Some paintings, like Me and My dog, Favorite things, Shopping, Dreaming Family, Park, showcase bright colors splashed on paper with a smiling yellow sun, smiling faces, balloons, clouds, express the thoughts of kids through their artwork.

Every piece on display has the artist's chronological display of artworks beginning from the youngest to the oldest children. The chronological display shows the progressive development, how children begin by scribbling or making random marks, which is typical of ages one to three. Children at this stage are not trying to represent the world, but rather are engaging in the enjoyable activity of marking on paper.

Gradually children develop and utilize stylistic symbols and draw from their memories and understanding of the world, rather than from direct observation. Art from the age of six to seven switches to child's desire to represent the actual rather than the remembered world.

The exhibition is free to the public. Since artistic development and language development are related, each entry is accompanied by artist's comments about the piece. For more information contact, Toby Librande, City of Milpitas Child Care Coordinator at (408) 586-3077.

Favorite Things Art Show
Now through April 30
Milpitas Library Community Room
160 North Main Street, Milpitas
(408) 262-1171

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