Paso Robles News|Tuesday, April 23, 2019
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Middle school art exhibit, ‘Awaken’ now at San Luis Obispo Museum of Art 

awaken exhibit sloma

Paradise by Isaac Ray Mendoza-Plasencia.

–The second installment of ‘Awaken,’ an art exhibition of student art at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art (SLOMA) is now open to the public with free admission for all. The winter exhibition features the artwork of county 6 – 8 grade students challenged to use the visual arts to communicate how nature inspires them.

The show is a partnership between SLOMA and the SLO County Office of Education. It is a series of three student exhibitions showcasing student response to themes of community, nature, or discovery. Students from elementary school to high school countywide are participating in the program.

Following a successful fall exhibition with community-themed artwork from nearby high schools, middle school students from San Miguel to Nipomo submitted for the winter “nature” exhibit.

“The Awaken exhibitions provide an artistic experience for a broad cross section of youth—many who may have never been to an art museum,” said Karen Kile, SLOMA executive director. “This outreach is another opportunity for SLOMA to recognize the talents of our younger members of society. I am looking forward to the middle school students’ exhibition in February.”

The name Awaken was chosen to reflect the notion that the creative process is a very basic human instinct, and one that can be embraced and fueled in school. The program offers dual opportunity: for students to display their artwork in a professional setting, and for families and educators to help shape students’ thinking mentality to go beyond traditional academics.

Tortuga by Victoria Anaya

Tortuga by Victoria Anaya.

“I truly believe students need to develop both sides of their brains in order to fully reach their intellectual potential, such as the ability to solve complex problems, find creative solutions and communicate effectively,” said Robert Oliver, CTE Digital Media Instructor at Central Coast New Tech High. “The Arts help develop these desirable skills in our students.”

At the exhibition, you’ll see work from students like Isaac Ray Mendoza-Plasencia, who created a visual “Paradise,” and Victoria Anaya, who captured a bold “Tortuga,” both of Flamson Middle School. SLOMA received 96 submissions from countywide students. This exhibition has captured a wide range of views into nature. Many of the submissions flourish on paper, while others have gone 3D in clay creations and animalistic masks, and that’s only scratching the surface.

The middle school students’ exhibition is open Feb. 1-17. Some of the artists have put their artwork on sale to the public with proceeds going back to the young artists and the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art.

The final exhibition in May will showcase discovery-themed artwork by elementary school students.

For more information on Awaken’s three exhibitions, go to https://sloma.org/awaken/.

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About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on , Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at scott@pasoroblesdailynews.com.