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Youth art on display this evening at St. Elizabeth Seton center

PCAC partners with Y on summer arts education

The Pleasanton Cultural Arts Council is joining with the Tri-Valley YMCA in a presentation tonight of work by youths who participated in their summer program to teach kids some fundamentals about creating art.

The Y-Kids and Y-Camp Art Showcase will be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Activity Center, 4005 Stoneridge Road in Pleasanton.

About 500 youth participated in the art sessions, which were part of the overall Y-Kids and Y-Camps programs that go all day, five days a week, for nine weeks. Classes were held for kindergarteners through eighth-graders at four sites in Pleasanton: Lydiksen, Fairlands and Mohr elementary schools and St. Elizabeth Seton Activity Center.

The arts project, which was the brainchild of Tri-Valley YMCA leader Kenny Altenburg and Dave Wright, co-president of PCAC, included training for Y staff by volunteers Beth Okurowski, Beverly Turner and Rekha Joshi.

The kids were introduced to collage, with overpainting; to a bas-relief, clay project; and to pastel techniques that, when watered-brushed over, ended up as a watercolor. Most of the sessions were led by volunteer professional artists, who tutored and inspired the students as they developed their works.

"Thank goodness for the Pleasanton Art League and the Livermore Art Association, who provided about 70% of our professional artist-volunteers. Without them, we could not have done the job," Wright said.

Some of the students never had art classes before, he noted. He called the Y staff "incredible, dedicated, hard-working and ever upbeat with the kids."

The Y-Summer Art Project was supported with a grant from the Pleasanton Civic Arts Commission.

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