Kids go all out in library art event – The Vacaville Reporter

Things got a little messy Friday outside the Vacaville Cultural Center library, but that was the goal.

The library hosted a special art event in the courtyard of the Ulatis community center where children could cover their hands in paint and press them against large sheets of paper, make colorful paintings out of shaving cream or use crayons or markers to draw anything – from flowers to basketball hoops to big round hamsters.

First of all, they need to learn about a process known as casting. This is where paint is poured into a paper cup and turned upside down onto a canvas to create an abstract design. Artists could even mix several paint colors to create even more vibrant designs.

Suzanne Clerkin, children’s librarian at the Cultural Center Library, said the event is part of the Solano County Summer Reading Challenge. Through July 31, those who have picked up passports at any of the Solano library branches that list activities they can complete will have their passports stamped at each activity. After the challenge is completed, children and teens will receive a book award and adults will receive a commemorative pin. They also participate in weekly raffles where they can win prizes like Oakland A’s tickets, movie passes and Jelly Belly candy dispensers.

Through the challenge, each library branch hosts special events for families. So far this summer, the Cultural Center Library has hosted a scavenger hunt, an interactive music program, a magic and juggling show and an exotic animal visit, courtesy of Wild Things, Inc.

Friday’s event was all about art with an emphasis on pouring art. Families were given small canvases, cups, tubes of paint and Popsicle sticks to smooth the paint on if they wanted. Additionally, families had to use their creativity to determine what they wanted to put on the canvas.

Christine Zarate of Vacaville, center, watches with her grandson Sean Grabes, 6, as granddaughter Savannah Grabes, 10, dries a piece she created on a canvas in the Vacaville Cultural Center library. The library hosted the event on Friday as part of the summer reading challenge. (Nick Sestanovich/The Reporter)

“It’s just kind of a fun, messy process art,” Clerkin said. “It’s more about the process of creating art than having a system of artistic skills. They can have fun with it and enjoy the finished product.”

The kids even got to take their sails home.

Clerkin said the goal is to get kids involved in art that they might not be able to do at home.

“It’s usually messy and requires a lot of supplies,” she said.

Vanessa Lugo of Vacaville brought her 3-year-old daughter Sophia after seeing it on the library’s events calendar. Neither had done art before, but both enjoyed adding a mix of blues, reds, whites, purples and other colors to their canvases.

“It gives (the kids) a chance to be outside and they get messy,” she said. “We don’t have to be home to do it.”

Lugo said it allows Sophia to be creative and see a different kind of art she can create.

“It doesn’t have to be perfect,” she said. “She can do it around her peers and older kids.”

Andrew Golden of Vacaville brought his 6-year-old daughter, Grace. She had dealt before, but this was Golden’s first time at a library event, as he said his wife usually takes Grace. Together they mixed blue and red paint to create several purple swirls.

Golden said the event will be a fun experience and a positive memory for his daughter.

“It’s a fun thing for the kids,” he said. “It’s great that our city does things like this for the little ones.”

Joel Camaro of Vacaville shakes the pour art he created with his daughter Nova Rose, 5, at the Vacaville Cultural Center library.  (Nick Sestanovich/The Reporter)
Joel Camado of Vacaville shakes the pour art he created with his daughter Nova Rose, 5, at the Vacaville Cultural Center library. (Nick Sestanovich/The Reporter)

In addition to pouring art, families had small canvases to create shaving cream art, where colors are mixed with shaving cream to create a 3-D effect. There were also stations for making chalk art, handprint art, or just drawing or painting.

The next Summer Reading Challenge at the Cultural Center Library is a science magic event at 10am on Friday, hosted by Don O’Brien and featuring a smoke ring sprayer, a cloud of genies in a bottle, a laser fight, flying toilet paper and more. The library is located at 1020 Ulatis Drive.

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