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Plumas Arts provides hands-on artist workshops in every K-6 classroom countywide through the Artist in the Schools Program. Here, a student works with watercolors in primary hues to create a colorful hot air balloon image. Photos submitted

Plumas students exercise their artistic power

A student creation: Working in black and white to create many variations of texture and pattern on a bird.

The staff at Plumas Arts is committed to Arts education. That commitment is even part of their mission statement: “To enhance and provide opportunities for artistic development and excellence for artists, potential artists and audiences of all ages.”

As part of that ongoing effort, Plumas Arts provides hands-on artist workshops in every K-6 classroom countywide through a grant for the Artist in the Schools Program, a project of the California Arts Council, a state-funded agency.

“Arts Education, and access to it at an elementary school level, is a fundamental aspect of one of our organizational goals of making quality arts education available to all students regardless of means,” noted Roxanne Valladao, executive director of Plumas Arts.

The grant is matched with funding from the Plumas County Office of Education and elementary school sites.

“Our Arts Education program is the result of a 30-year relationship between Plumas Arts and our schools and artists with the funding and support of the Plumas County Office of Education, the Plumas Unified School District, and the California Arts Council. Without our funding partners, we really couldn’t do this important work,” said Valladao. “The PCOE and the CAC help make our vision of artists in the classrooms a reality.”

This pencil portrait shows sensitivity to line and shading.

In the 2017-2018 school year, Plumas Arts has brought a wealth of opportunities for young students to experience art, from fiber arts at C. Roy Carmichael Elementary in Portola, to fundamental drawing instruction at Quincy Elementary, landscape painting at Indian Valley Elementary and beginning jazz dance at Chester Elementary. The great value of this program is that students can build on each successive year’s learned skills resulting in sixth-graders that have had seven years of sequential, hands-on, artist-led workshops.

Educators and program coordinators agree that, “Through the Artist in the Schools program, students are introduced to fine art techniques, and ways they can express themselves creatively. They learn that there are many ways to see and interpret the world. As they work, they learn to problem-solve and think critically. Arts education provides training that translates to many facets of modern life.”

To learn more about Plumas Arts’ programs, visit plumasarts.org or the Plumas Arts Gallery and office at 525 Main St. in Quincy.

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