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Young artists encouraged to enter Youth Art Expo

By Siw Heede For the Redlands Community News

All young artists of Redlands and beyond are encouraged to enter the third annual Youth Art Expo of 2023 that takes place during the annual Redlands Festival of Arts on Memorial Day Weekend.

“We had to skip 2020 and 2021 because of COVID,” said Annette Weis, Youth Art Expo director and Redlands Festival of Arts board member. ­The first Youth Art Expo took place in 2019 with 176 entrants.

The first year after the pause was 2022, which saw 136 entrants. This year, the organization hopes that many more will participate.

“The Youth Art Expo affords children an opportunity to enter a Juried show just like adult artists who display their work at the annual outdoor Redlands Art Festival and the adjacent Redlands Art Association’s Art in the Park on Memorial Day weekend,” said Weis.

The accessibility for young artists to enter could not be any greater; the entry fee is free.

The other part of the Youth Art Expo is a hands-on activities center, also free for the public. “We recruited volunteer Redlands Art Association teachers and artists to set up hands on activity stations so visiting kids could come and paint on easels, rocks, do printmaking and other mediums,” explained Weis about the first year which has continued since then.

“We welcome volunteers to man these activities stations under the tents for both days,” she added. Interested volunteers can contact Redlands Art Association in downtown Redlands.

The Margaret Clark Art Education Enrichment Fund is behind the Expo. “[Margaret Clark] was an art educator and one of the founders of the Redlands Art Association. We believe, like she did, that the innate creativity in each child should be encouraged at an early age and continued in the classrooms which enhances their regular classroom studies of language, math and science,” said Weis.

The goal for Enrichment Fund is to raise funds for art education in the Redlands Unified School District, at the Art Association and in the community. In a way these funds help raise the next generation of local artists.

“In starting this Youth Art Expo, I wanted to show our community the offshoot, if you will, of the reason why we fund art education in our schools and community,” said Weis.

Their other fundraising event is the twice annual Redlands Cinema Classic including the Manhattan Short Film Festival.

Winners receive cash prizes with certificates. All art will be displayed, and all participating artists will receive certificates. The awards will be presented at noon on Saturday, May 27, in front of the Youth Art Expo tent. Young artists are encouraged to bring their finished artwork to Art Association from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, May 1.

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