MassArt Saturday Studios: Parent Testimony

Did you know that Boston offers dozens of amazing youth art classes with scholarships available?

MassArt's Saturday Studios is a great opportunity to explore and strengthen artistic skills:

MassArt's Xtreme Week takes place over February and April Break and has a variety of electives:

The MFA also hosts a variety of teen programming:

The ICA has a number of teen workshops and programs including a paid Teen Arts Council:

Please read the following to hear about MassArt Saturday Studios from an APR parent's perspective: 

The first time I was ever involved with MassArt, was when my oldest daughter was accepted into both the February & April 2014 Xtreme! Weeks. During those extensive weeks, she discovered so much about what art was and her ability to make art. She was also told about Saturday Studios because the teachers saw her artistic potential, so she applied for the program and received a scholarship for which I was grateful. Since we take the T, I thought at the time of dropping her off at Saturday Studios and hanging out at my nearby job site. I didn’t expect the hospitality we parents received form MassArt, nor the awesome opportunity to create art for FREE via the Family/Parents Group! It had been years since I had ‘created/made’ art in a purposeful and focused manner. What helped me during the 1st couple of weeks was the fact that I enjoyed being around adults and, with my limited budget, it was FREE! The teaching team at the time, Zach and Hailey, were fantastic! They not only worked very well together, but were also very well prepared and organized with lectures, teaching space, art supplies and field trips. There was a sense of structure, yet complete freedom.

At the time - the most important aspects for me to express in my art work via any learned artistic medium were my feelings. It didn’t matter what I was feeling, I wanted the feelings ‘seen’ in my art. For example, on the 1st day of class, after viewing the Allison Saar Exhibit, I created the artwork, 'Healing, Strength, and Love'. It was my first art piece using pencil and sharpie. It represented Allison Saar’s sculpture, ‘Hankerin’ Hearts: Gimpy, Hincty, and Mosey’, but was my own personal interpretation of her work. In my drawing, the three hearts symbolized my two girls and me in a single parent household trying to grow stronger via our negative and positive experiences!
When I completed the Family/Parents Group it made me more knowledgeable regarding art, it helped me connect with my oldest daughter in a very special way making us happier. Since then, the aspects that remain the same up to now are the thirst to learn more about various artists and art mediums and the desire to create more art. As a whole, the strengths expressed in my art work, are my feelings at the time of the artistic creation. The qualities that I believe still need improvement in my art work are the practice of using various mediums such as blind contour drawing, and the ability to fully express my feelings and life experiences – no holding back! Overall, I learned the following during the Family/Parents Group at MassArt:

  • I learned that for me, a lot of art is random; and that arbitrary creation has a REAL reason(s) and serves a REAL purpose for the artist and the people who celebrate it.
  • Art is also psychological and communicative to people who want to understand it, talk about it and who want to listen to the artist and his/her work. It can be very controversial and/or very healing.
  • There is an artist ready to create inside each individual!
So, ideally, I would like to practice what I’ve learned and to continue to learn so much more pertaining to ‘art and artists.’ So far, all of my art work created at MassArt, is a reaction to the artists and art mediums we’ve learned about. I created all of my art work trying to relate to the artists mentioned in class and trying to respond to their work and my feelings. For example, I really enjoyed Janine Antoni, Ellen Gallagher, and Allison Saar because their art speaks of family, culture, body use and nature. All these topics are holistic and very important to me.

I’m not sure where my art work will take me right now because I need to learn more about other artists and the use and practice of various art mediums. I’d really like to pull from deep within my constipated life experiences and express them into a tangible form using the artistic mediums learned – so I hope my oldest daughter and I continue to enjoy the opportunities offered at MassArt. I hope and recommend that more families at APR become involved with Massachusetts College of Art and Design so that they can enjoy an absolutely fantastic and wonderful time!

Evelyn - Academy of The Pacific Rim Charter School mom


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