Art from the Heart

Posted by Kim Schoelen

Omigosh, that was so cheesy.  It hurt to type “art from the heart” as a title, but once it got stuck in my head I couldn’t make it go away and then I couldn’t think of anything better.  Pathetic, especially since this is a totally rad blog post that’s about to happen.


On the first of July I took a group of 20 kids (all 11 year olds) out for an art walk on the Fulton Mall.  I’m sure you’ve picked up on how much I love sharing cool stuff about downtown with people.  I’ve already blogged twice about tours this month (and begged Rebecca Miller to write about the third which I also attended so that I didn’t look too obsessed…)

But they’re fun, our art collection is RIDIC and not just limited to “WE HAVE A RENOIR”, either.  Peter Volkous’ “Big A” is one piece I love showing children because their interpretations vary so widely of what it might be or mean.  And then I tell them It doesn’t mean anything, as Volkous told the Fresno Bee in 1965, and hopefully pass along to them that art can be created just because.  It doesn’t need any underlying reason or cause or interpretation.

Kids pick up on things totally differently than adults too.  When we stop to look at another favorite of mine, “Valley Landing” by Gordon Newell, many adults don’t see the image in the abstract piece- a bird in flight.  Kids on the other hand almost always see it.  Sometimes they see a shark fin, too, and that’s fun and just fine.  Kids are so much more natural at appreciating art than adults are.  We want to get too much into the why’s and the how’s.  They’re into the way it is.

So if this great art tour happened all the way back in July why I am just now gushing about how great it is? Well I’ll tell you.  I received one of the greatest gifts a wannabe tour guide  could receive- a book filled with pictures of the favorite pieces the kids were able to experience.  I’ve taken a few pictures of their drawings to share because they’re just too good to keep to myself.

The signed card/book cover.
Rite of the Crane as interpreted by Stephanie
The Clock Tower
Proof they were listening- Daisy remembered the little plaque that tells about Fresno’s origin here at the Green Bush Spring in Mariposa Plaza.
Mariposa Plaza’s Free Speech Area, the Clock Tower and Trisem.
Vianey drew herself and her friends on the stage at the Free Speech Area.
More proof that children are super attentive to little details- this is a drawing of the aggregate ripple that flows throughout the entire Fulton Mall.
I’m thinking this is the class surrounding Stan Bitters’ Pipes. I love all of the smiling faces!
More Trisem. The whole class was really into this piece.
Another Rite of the Crane, this one by Erik.

If you’re a teacher, youth group leader or otherwise inclined to want a tour for your group, let us know!  We love giving tours and sharing the treasures we have in Downtown Fresno!


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