Peg Roth, Alan Partington, and Jessica Hall display some Clarkston Art Connection artwork, displayed in the CNews office. Photo by Phil Custodio
BY PHIL CUSTODIO
Clarkston News Editor
More than 500 paintings, drawings, sculptures, and other works of art decorate downtown Clarkston this spring, thanks to Community Art Connection.
Local businesses volunteered their storefronts and front offices as exhibit space for young artists through the end of the month. The public is also invited to a guided tour of the art on Saturday, May 20.
“This is a new part of it, to draw more attention to the pieces of art displayed in the community,” said Alan Partington, member of the Clarkston Area Optimist Club, which is partnering with Clarkston Community Schools and Clarkston Retailers Group.
“The artwork is beautiful, really incredible,” said Peg Roth of Clarkston Retailers Group.
“This has grown into such a great event,” said Jessica Hall, CCS subject area coordinator for fine art and art teacher at Renaissance High School. “We’ve received calls from the Fine Arts Council for Oakland County and Ferndale Waterford – reaching out to us to start their own programs with their public schools. It’s very cool.”
Members of the Clakston Cultural Arts Council will lead the tours from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Meet in front of the Clarkston Mills at 20 W. Washington Street starting at about 10:45 a.m., then breaking off into groups for tours.
Admission is free, with donations accepted for DRAW.
This is the sixth year of the partnership effort.
“The Optimists are so helpful. They deliver the artwork and really help the art teachers,” Hall said.
Art instruction is expanding in the school district, which is showing up in the quality of the artwork on display, she said.
“This is the first year in probably 20 years grades 3-5 are receiving an hour a week of art rather than a half hour,” Hall said. “Their art has just really blossomed.”
Art helps students make cross curricular connections with science, reading, and many other subjects, the teacher said.
“There’s a lot of visual thinking strategies in art and music, using both sides of the brain,” she said.
Artwork is on display in downtown businesses including Village Fashion Boutique, Essence on Main, Picasso’s Grapevine, Health Quest/Fitness Quest, Union General, Honcho’s, Kinetic Systems, Salon 20, Morgan and Milzow, Clarkston News, Clarkston Mills, Clarkston Makeup Studio, Rudy’s, and Berkshire Hathaway.
For more information, call Hall at 248-623-8064.